Pakistan's Jane Austen Society is the stuff of dreams
You would want to be a part of it too!
You probably know Jane Austen as the woman who gave the world Mr Darcy. The famous English novelist who interpreted and critiqued the British social class system, is one of the most favourite authors worldwide for men and women alike.
Her work, though based on the social structure prevalent in the 18th century, holds relevance even today.
So it's no surprise that Jane Austen is still talked about in reading circles-not to mention, read regularly by millions.
Which is why perhaps, Laaleen Khan, an avid reader of the author decided to form the Jane Austen society of Pakistan (JASP). Two years later, it has over eight hundred members, who regularly meet read, play Austen-inspired quizzes, and dress up like the characters from her books.
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Initially, the society only functioned in Islamabad, but now it's also found prominence in Karachi and Lahore. In an interview with Catch News, Khan explained Pakistani women find it so easy to identify with the author's work. "There are so many parallels between Austen's Regency-era society and South Asian society today," she said.
"The obsession with the marriage market, for one thing, complete with concern for reputation, eligibility, decorum, propriety and ancestry juxtaposed with elements of snobbery, misogyny and hypocrisy. We have our share of disapproving Lady Catherine de Bourgh-esque society aunties, rakish Wickhams and Willoughbys, pretentious Mrs Eltons and holier-than-thou Mr Collins types," continued Khan.
Interesting, no? Imagine getting dressed up in regal gowns and attending Victorian-themed tea parties. Oh! How we would love to be a part of it.
The members of the society meet every two months at the most celebrated cafes in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore, and have a gala time.
This year, JASP had a Pride and Prejudice themed high-tea party, which was called the 'afternoon tea at Netherfield'. They even played a matchmaker game 'Marrying Mr Darcy'. Interestingly, by the end of it, Elizabeth married Denny and Darcy married Kitty.
The group also has an online community, with bloggers, authors, and other professionals from all over the world, who participate in the digital forum.
Now, don't you feel left out because India too has its own chapter in Mumbai. So, those who live in the city can explore it at their own leisure.