Looking Behind the Curtain: A Cultural Perspective of Folk Knowledge about Dreams and Reality in Pakistan

  • Ms. Latafat Aziz, Asim Muneeb Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Muhammad Nadir Shahzad


The current research work was focused around the contemporary debates on the folk knowledge about dreams and their association with the reality. The researchers studied the phenomenon of dreaming under the umbrella of symbolic anthropology. One of the typical religio-cultural areas of Islamabad, Pakistan was selected as the locale of the study. Forty-seven (47) respondents, selected through snowball sampling technique, were in-depth interviewed for the purpose of data collection. Different anthropological ways of research such as transit walk, participant observation, mapping, rapport building, and in-depth interviews were performed to have as accurate data as possible. The researchers stayed the field about three months as ethnographers themselves. The research work found that dreams have a great importance in everyday lives of respondents. It was further comprehended that dreams were categorized by natives in to true, false and idle dreams. Dreams were considered to be infinitive while reality as limited. The relationship of dreams, time and date (lunar calendar) were also found to have a significant relationship among them. The study concluded that the respondents had a diverse kind of opinion about daydreaming and dreaming while sleeping and two main practices of dream knowledge i.e. cultural and religious knowledge were prevailed among the natives.