- Greetings are generally formal in Pakistan. When addressing a person for the first time, use their last name followed by “Sahib” or “Saab”, literally meaning ‘Mister’. For people of different professions, use their specified title, for example: “Brigadier” (Doctor) followed by their surname.
- Strangers will speak to each other in the formal register of Urdu. The familiar register is only used when talking to friends and young family.
- The most common greeting among Pakistanis is “As-Salamu-Alaykum” (‘Peace be upon you’).
- Elders are greeted first out of respect.
- Well-acquainted men may hug each other upon greeting. However, when greeting strangers, business associates or those of a very different status (i.e. an elder), one usually shakes hands and respectfully places the right hand over the heart afterwards.
- Women may kiss each other on both cheeks if they know each other well. Strangers generally meet each other with a handshake.
- In more traditional circumstances, men and women will share a verbal greeting but make no physical contact. Business introductions between men and women may involve a handshake if initiated by the women. Physical contact (e.g. hugs, handshakes and kisses) is only considered appropriate between men and women if they are family or close friends.
- A Pakistani may simply place their right hand over their heart and give a gentle nod in greeting if they perceive the other person is unaccustomed to being touched.
- The traditional greeting towards Hindus or Indians is “Namaste” (‘I greet the god within you’).
- Liberal middle class Pakistanis may say “Adab” (‘Respect and ’) while lifting a hand to their forehead.
Download this Cultural Profile
Too busy to read it right now?
You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.
LanguagesPunjabi (48.0%)Sindhi (12.0%)Saraiki (10.0%)Pashto/Pashtu (8.0%)Urdu [official] (8.0%)Balochi (3.0%)Hindko (2.0%)Brahui (1.0%)English [official], Burushaski, Shina and other 8%[2010 est.]
ReligionsIslam (96.28%)Christianity (1.59%)Hinduism (1.60%)Ahmadiyya (0.22%)Other (0.32%)[2010 est.]
EthnicitiesPunjabi (44.68%)Pakhtun/Pathan (15.42%)Sindhi (14.10%)Seraiki (8.38%)Muhajir (7.57%)Balochi (3.57%)Other (6.28%)[2010 est.]
Power Distance 55 Individualism 14 Masculinity 50 Uncertainty Avoidance 70 Long Term Orientation 50 Indulgence 0 What's this?
Australians with Pakistani Ancestry64,344 [2016 census]
Pakistanis in Australia
Population61,913[Census, 2016]This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Pakistan.
Average Age31 [Census, 2011]
GenderMale (60.9%)Female (39.1%)[Census, 2016]
ReligionIslam (87.6%)Catholic Christianity (4.7%)No Religion (1.7%)Other (4.1%)Not stated (1.9%)[Census, 2011]
AncestryPakistani (65.2%)Indian (7.5%)Southern Asian nfd. (3.6%)English (3.5%)Other (20.1%)[Census, 2011]
Language Spoken at HomeUrdu (72.5%)English (10.2%)Pashto/Pashtu (4.7%)Dari (2.5%)Other (10.2%)Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 89.5% speak English fluently.[Census, 2011]
DiasporaNew South Wales (44.3%)Victoria (30.4%)Western Australia (8.3%)Queensland (7.8%)Other (9.2%)[Census, 2011]
ArrivalPrior to 1996 (9.6%)1996 - 2005 (32%)2006 - 2015 (66.6%)2016 (5.8%)Not stated (2.6%)Note: Arrivals up until 9 August 2016.[Census, 2016]
Cultural Atlas eBook Purchaseclose
Cultural Profile PDF - Pakistan
Cultural Profile PDF - Pakistan
Please provide your email to receive your eBook download and receipt.