Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Owls in America V. Owls in Pakistan

It seems these two societies have different perceptions of this winged creature. Although both would admit that it is a formidable bird of prey they don’t agree on its intellect. Americans view the owl as being wise. This is reflected in literature, the wise owl often guides wayward children to safety. A popular snack food brand uses the wise owl as their logo. The list goes on.

However this is not the case in Pakistani society. The Urdu name for the bird is a good starting point. Uloo has become a term for referring to some one who is foolish. Often times when you want to insult someone for doing something irresponsible or reckless you would call him an owl. How this came about is anyone’s guess.
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