BY: NADIA ZAIDI
It’s fair to say that Justin Trudeau is a liberal guy. His progressive views on issues from equality to multiculturalism have increased his global profile and popularity.
And in Pakistan, this fondness is displayed through truck art.
Trucks in Pakistan are far from ordinary. Many are painted with ornate designs, vibrant colours and copious amounts of embellishment. They can also be decorated with poetic calligraphy, quotes, and religious symbols. People who make it on display are locals held in the highest regard – politicians, religious figures, athletes, or war heroes.
So the fact that Trudeau’s face is on many of those trucks speaks volumes.
He is the first Western leader to be featured on a truck in Pakistan. In fact, Trudeau has been the recipient of much affection from the country since his appointment as Canadian Prime Minister in 2015.
Just last year, Karachi was one of the leading cities in which Trudeau had the hugest fan following on Facebook. In a post-Trump elect era, Trudeau’s move towards inclusivity resonates with many Muslim communities in Canada and abroad. He frequently visits Mosques where he dawns traditional attire, or in public announcement videos where he conveys his felicitations on major Islamic holidays.
The truck-art scene in Pakistan gained its footings when the country was subject to British rule in the 1920s. The art was used to decorate the carriages belonging to British aristocrats. Shortly after, transport companies hired craftsmen to decorate their vehicles.
Starting in the 1980s, the Pakistani government began to organize truck exhibitions overseas.
Today it has evolved into a symbol of Pakistani folk-art. The artwork is indicative of the driver’s personality and regional background. It also represents the value of goods it transports.
Given his stance on immigration, you can expect to see more trucks with Trudeau’s face on the streets of Pakistan.