Independence Day preparations continue in full swing across city

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–Majority of flag-themed products available at markets made in neighbouring China

LAHORE: With August kicking off, the provincial capital has accoutered a green and white look as national flags have been put up at every nook and corner ahead of the country’s Independence Day.

People belonging to different walks of life, especially youngsters and kids, can be seen decorating their houses and vehicles with flags and other themed products, as the nation starts preparing to celebrate August 14 with national and traditional fervour.

While several shops and vehicles across the city can be seen covered in green and white, a majority of people have also stepped in to decorate their houses and streets to express love for their country. A number of taxi and rickshaw drivers have also hoisted the national flag on their vehicles.

Amid all the preparations, different Independence Day accessories such as printed shirts, embroidered badges, hats, beads and horns have hit the roadside stalls that can be seen in all major markets of the city, including Anarkali, Bhaati Gate, Main Market, Shadman and Icchra to name a few.

Azan Ali, a youngster, eagerly waiting for his turn at one such stall, told this scribe that the display of a bunch of stalls along the roadside in the main markets and roads had become the centre of attraction for most of his age fellows.

A roadside vendor of such products, Saleem Baig, said that a large number of children and youngsters could be observed in the evening buying flags and stickers to decorating their vehicles and houses, which reflected the patriotic spirit they possess.

“I used to see a large number of children and youngsters at these stalls while on my way home from work every day. Today, I am here myself to buy Independence Day clothes for my daughter because I just can’t wait to dress her up in the national flag colours on August 14!” said Saima, a customer at a stall in Shadman.

It has been observed that most of the merchandise people are purchasing to celebrate Independence Day is not manufactured in Pakistan, but in neighbouring China.

Traders of the biggest paper and products market of Punjab, Urdu Bazaar, have also set up exclusive stalls selling Independence Day-related merchandise. A trader in the said market told that besides traditional local items, traders had also imported huge quantities of decoration products from China. “These products are specially designed and manufactured for Pakistan’s Independence Day and are being supplied to the entire country from Lahore Urdu Bazaar.”

“Earlier, local craftsmen prepared flags, buntings, badges, caps and other decorative items for Independence Day, but now all vendors are selling Chinese merchandise due to a price war. Except for flags and buntings, most products that have been put on sales are of Chinese origin,” he added.