Pakistani Culture


  • 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 politeness’) while lifting a hand to their forehead.
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  • Population
    [Census, 2017]
  • Language
    Punjabi (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.]
  • Religion
    Islam (96.28%)
    Christianity (1.59%)
    Hinduism (1.60%)
    Ahmadiyya (0.22%)
    Other (0.32%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Ethnicity
    Punjabi (44.68%)
    Pakhtun/Pathan (15.42%)
    Sindhi (14.10%)
    Seraiki (8.38%)
    Muhajir (7.57%)
    Balochi (3.57%)
    Other (6.28%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with Pakistani Ancestry
    64,344 [Census, 2016]
Pakistanis in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Pakistan.
  • Median Age
    30 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (60.9%)
    Female (39.1%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Islam (88.4%)
    Catholic Christianity (2.5%)
    Other Religion (2.9%)
    No Religion (2.2%)
    Not Stated (3.9%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    Pakistani (61.6%)
    Indian (8.6%)
    Southern Asian [not defined] (4.2%)
    Afghan (4.1%)
    Other Ancestry (21.5%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Urdu (71.5%)
    English (8.1%)
    Pashto (6.2%)
    Hazaraghi (4.6%)
    Other Languages (9.0%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 90.3% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (39.6%)
    Victoria (34.1%)
    Western Australia (8.8%)
    Queensland (7.6%)
    Other (9.9%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival
    Prior 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]
Country Flag Country Pakistan