"Always so interesting to learn about Sindhi culture from you."
Emmanuel Mansingh also familiar by his Instagram username @Guddupakistani, uses his passion for photography to share Sindhi culture with the rest of the world.
Emmanuel first started uploading his photos onto social media in 2009. He has managed to grow his Instagram following to over 4000 followers.
He works for a local newspaper with the main focus of photographing Sindhi culture, especially the side that some people rarely get to see.
Emmanuel wishes that someday his photography will take him to another level where he can provide more for himself and his four children.
He captures a range of topics through his pictures, including people, monuments, sports, food, fashion and much more.
His passion for different cultures began at a young age. Since then he has always aspired to create something for himself and his photography.
The raw beauty behind Emmanuel’s photos is hard to ignore. There is a sense of emotion in every image, face, and person that he highlights.
School and Education
Here is a young innocent girl from Tharparkar Desert in Sindh, Pakistan attending what seems to be a village school.
Emmanuel first uploaded the mid-close-up photo on April 04, 2019.
The girl is holding a slate in her hand to practice and improve her writing. The picture does reflect the difference between the rich and the poor.
This young girl with a pierced nose probably cannot afford good schooling. Hence, under the sun, she is sitting on the floor in what is a makeshift school.
The feudal influence on families in the province does not even encourage females from a poor background to study. Lack of encouragement applies more to children coming from a minority group.
However, on the bright side, she adorns vibrant colour clothing. Covering her head is a sign of modesty and respect.
The child is wearing different colour bangles on her arms, along with jewellery around her neck. Glitter forms part of the girl’s makeup.
Emmanuel first shared this photo on May 13, 2018, showing how tattoos are a significant part of Sindhi culture.
The woman in the photo has many tattoos on her hands and elbows. She is holding what appears to be a metal tray, with ethnic silver bangles on her wrists.
Many people get tattoos to signify what tribe they are from. It could be a sense of identity for some people in Sindh.
Many women from the province have tattoos on their arms, hands and even their faces. Many men also do the same.
Having said that people usually get tattoos using needles and unhygienic equipment.
On the @Guddupakistani Instagram page, there are a variety of images showing Sindhi people with small and large tattoos on their body.
A lot of the food and dishes in Sindh usually consist of wheat-based flatbread, rice and two other dishes.
In this close up image posted by Emmanuel on August 5, 2018, we can see a silver bowl with bhindi (okra) in it.
As evident in this image, some chapatis (rotis) accompany this meal. Bhindi is a popular dish in Sindh.
Going by comments of the picture on Instagram, this dish is a favourite of many, including Emmanuel.
As with all provinces of Pakistan, a lot of time and care is spent when preparing and making traditional cuisine.
In rural Sindh, some people make the food in clay pots.
This image uploaded to Instagram by Emmanuel on August 14, 2018, shows Malakhro, which is a form of Sindhi wrestling. This is a popular sport amongst men in Sindh.
Emmanuel has captured the moment when one opponent is holding on to the other’s waistcloth. Along with the image, he describes the sport with a caption:
“An action during Malakhro.
“Malakhro is an ancient Sindhi form of wrestling in Pakistan and India, which dates back 5000 years.”
Emmanuel captures this photo just moments before the wrestler in green is down on the floor. Therefore, leaving his opponent to claim victory.
These matches usually take place on a Friday during festivals, special occasions and holidays.
Most of the Malakhro wrestlers maintain a diet comprising of ground almonds, butter and milk.
Emmanuel posted a picture of this UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) recognised world heritage site on September 9, 2018, along with a caption reading:
“Amazing stone art at Makli Necropolis, which is full with at least 500,000 tombs, in Thatta, Sindh Pakistan.
“It is a large funerary monuments belonging to royalty.”
The close-up photo exhibits the finer details of the artwork.
The site also has single tombs, including many, which are large and rather extravagant. But they are wonderful to look at and observe.
It is such tombs and monuments that attract tourists, sparking much interest from Pakistan and around the world.
Over time, Makli has become famous for housing tombs of respected Sufi saints.
This extreme-close up photo by Emmanuel showing a woman with a variety of different piercings was available from October 6, 2018.
It seems the woman belongs to a particular tribe and possibly is wearing a traditional hat.
The piercing of the ears is a spiritual ceremony performed on some of the men and women in rural Sindh.
It signifies the child’s inner ears opening up. Sindhi people believe it enables the child to listen out for sacred sounds. And by doing so it prevents them from sinning, keeping the child pure.
Many of these piercings take place in an unhygienic environment using unclean equipment.
Despite many generations doing the same, there is always a high chance of infection.
Emmanuel captures a man from the Kachi Kohli community who appears ready to sing as he plays his Tambora instrument. This photo made its way onto Instagram on October 29, 2019.
This unique instrument, which derives from the Spanish word ‘tambor’ meaning drum has links to the Dominican Republic. This points to the rich influence of music in Sindh.
The man covered in the image is clearly of old age. Usually, in Asian cultures, older people are the wisest and therefore the most respectful.
With Sindh boasting of many different communities, Emmanuel certainly highlights the diversity of the province through this photo.
This photo shared by Emmanuel on November 25, 2018, is of his young boy Arthur wearing a Sindhi Topi (cap). This cap can found in other parts of Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent too.
Sindhi caps are often viewed as a mark of respect, with people normally presenting them as a special gift. Hard labour and time go into making them.
They are designed and embroidered with many different geometric shapes on them. As with this image, sometimes small mirror pieces are sewn into them as well.
These precious caps (topis) are also hand woven, which is a big part of Sindhi culture. In fact, many garments of Sindh are hand stitched and made by crafted people.
Posting the photo on December 12, 2018, Emmanuel describes the woman holding a solar light with the caption: “Colours of Sindh.”
Sindhi people are known to wear vivid attire as part of their culture, just like this woman who is wearing a floral theme dress.
From her wrist to upper arm, she is covered in orange and pink bangles. Her necklace and large nose ring indicate that she has been married for a few years.
With very little electricity in rural Sindh, this is where the solar light comes into the equation.
Women and Water
Emmanuel put up this photo on January 12, 2019. The image depicts the real way of life in rural Sindh.
The women are said to have a deep connection with water and that is why they often go and collect some when required.
They are sometimes made to walk miles at a time in order to get water from filters, which do not require any electricity.
These women live in places where there is a lack of technology in comparison to more urban Sindh.
Similarly to the previous photo, the women in the image are wearing bright colour clothing, along with many bangles.
On December 15, 2018, Emmanuel captures this beautiful image with a brief historical description: which reads:
“The boats are adding more Beauty to The Lansdowne and Ayub Bridges Sukkur, Sindh Pakistan.
“Landsdowne bridge’s construction work completed in 1889 and that time known as longest bridge in the world.”
The two colourful boats possibly for tourists to cruise go well with the colours of Sindh theme. The two bridges in the background are quite a contrast to the boats, completing the perfect picture.
Landsdowne is a road bridge, which made the New South Wales State Heritage Register list on June 20, 2019.
A user on TripAdvisor commenting about the bridge posts:
“Lansdowne Bridge is accompanied by one rail road bridge named Ayub Bridge. Both of them are parallel and there is only few feet distance between them.
“Steel structures are not common in Indo-Pak region so it is good to see these steel bridges.”
In this photo shared by Emmanuel on December 31, 201s, we see the process of hand stitched work.
The woman in the image is sewing a traditional bedsheet made from different pieces and coloured clothes. This is how women in rural Sindh be creative and put their skills to best use.
The woman hiding her face is crouching down instead of sitting on a chair or stool.
The woman could well be doing this as a profession or making it for herself. In the background, we can see muddy walls.
The Lost City
This photo of a lost city uploaded by Emmanuel on January 22, 2019, shows an archeological site from Sindh.
Other than the image, the photographer adds a caption to it, which states:
“Moenjo Daro lost city belongs to one of the earliest civilizations in the world.”
“Contemporaneous with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley Civilization was, as the name suggests, centered around the Indus River basin.
“However, little was known about this ancient culture until the 1920s, when a couple of long-buried cities were first excavated by modern archaeologists. One of these rediscovered sites was Mohenjo-Daro.”
According to National Geographic, the city was filled with “skilled urban planners with a reverence for the control of water.”
The control and symbolism of water is still a major aspect of Sindhi culture in modern times. Mohenjodaro got World Heritage Site status in 1980.
Emmanuel posted this photo of a groom from the Kanchi Kohli community on February 11, 2019.
The man in the image from the Gujarati community is wearing a white shalwar kameez, along with a very colourful hat. He has a few tattoos on his face and some heavy silver jewellery around his neck.
Weddings in Sindhi culture are different from western ceremonies. Weddings involve a number of rituals before, during and after the different ceremonies.
In the background, we can a few kids and beyond that some agricultural fields.
Emmanuel had put this photo up on February 24, 2019. The picture shows a woman covered in bangles washing her hands, courtesy of a hand pump.
To alleviate a shortage of water in Sindh, there are many hand pump installations in rural Sindh.
The hand pumps usually release fresh clean water, ideal for cleaning, drinking. In some cases, people use them to have a bath.
Commenting on this, a user on Instagram expresses:
“Wow! Always so interesting to learn about Sindhi culture from you.”
Indeed fellow Instagrammers are educating themselves about Sindhi culture after seeing Emmanuel’s photos.
Sindhi culture is present and strong throughout all Instagram posts of Emmanuel. These beautiful photos are definitely an eye-opener to the rest of the world in terms of how people from Sindh live.
Despite covering a range of photo subjects, Emmanuel specialises in rural Sindh and human interest stories.
Emmanuel who uses a Nikon D5300 for his photos wants to purchase a Canon 70D as and when he can afford it.
DESIblitz wishes Emmanuel Mansingh the very best for the future, especially in his quest to become more financially stable.
Meanwhile, we hope to see him continue his passion and see more photos reflecting the beauty of Sindhi culture.