I was at a friend’s Dholki in London this past weekend and was very impressed by the amazing atmosphere. I’ve been a bit homesick lately so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see all the aunties, uncles, and ‘youngsters’ dressed in shalwar kameezes and making some noise the desi way. I had a great chat with one of the foreigners who was quite taken with the rich culture and heritage listening to the aunties singing “raat keh baara bajeh” and “lateh kee chaadar”.
As we finished our second helping of Lahore Kebab House’s delicious catering at the Dholki, we walked towards the dessert section to see what was in store. As I was about to join the line for the gulab jamans and gaajar ka halva, I heard one of my friends say “I hope they have gola ganda tonight”. The idiot that I am, I laughed and assuredly told him that gulli danda is a game not a dessert, adding that he was a fool for not knowing that, at which time then he became hysterical and made sure that our other friends heard my comment as well.
I will be the first to admit that I grew up in somewhat of a bubble and was a bit sheltered studying at the American School, and I never really made an effort or got the chance to be exposed to some parts of my own culture.
Yes, I have heard of shaved ice before and I’m sure I’ve seen a similar version in the States as well, but no, I had never heard of “gola ganda”, which is apparently very popular in Pakistan. For those who don’t know, gola ganda is an assortment of colored syrups poured over shaved ice, which is usually bright colored and fruit flavored, and is enjoyed as a summer treat across Pakistan.
This post is most definitely dedicated to Juggy, Princess MM, & Faizullah as they were both shocked and disgusted that I was unaware of gola ganda’s existence in Pakistan. Maaf kardo, guys!