Islamabad: When the Australian ambassador shared his photos savouring Pakistani mangoes with fork and knife on a neatly set table, locals dared him to put away the cutlery and eat the mangoes in “pure Pakistani style” to truly enjoy them.
To weeks later, Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Geoffrey Shaw, not only accepted the challenge, but also surprised Pakistanis. In photos uploaded on Twitter, Dr Shaw is seen enjoying mangoes using both his hands — without any cutlery. “I’ve listened to the many comments after my previous tweet and tried eating mangoes in the traditional Pakistani style,” he wrote. “A good mango, eaten ‘the right way’, can lift your spirits. It’s rightly called ‘The King of Fruits’ in Pakistan,” he commented.
Within four hours, the photo was shared by more than 1,000 on Twitter and had 7,500+ ‘likes’. Most comments under the tweet appreciated the diplomat’s ‘desi’ effort, saying: “This is the right way to eat mangoes” and “to show love for mangoes”. Those residing abroad voiced their frustration for not being able to enjoy local mangoes this year after restricted exports due to the coronavirus pandemic, while others insisted to enhance export of Pakistani mangoes to Australia. In his previous tweet, Dr Shaw noted: “Pakistan is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of mangoes, with its delicious and juicy mangoesbecoming increasingly popular in Australia.” He termed mango his “favorite summer fruit”, which is “an intrinsic part of Pakistan’s culture, art, poetry and literature.”
Diplomats share their love for Pakistani mangoes
Dr Geoffrey Shaw is not the only one to share his fondness for Pakistani mangoes as several other envoys also expressed their love for the delicious fruit.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Dr Christian Turner, captivated Pakistanis when he quoted one of the finest Urdu poets, Mirza Ghalib, in his tweet with photos of mango slices. “Aamo mein bus do khubiya honi chahiye, ek meethay ho aur bahut saray ho” (Mangoes should have two qualities: They need to be sweet and there needs to be aplenty.)” He also thanked friends who had sent him mangoes. https://twitter.com/CTurnerFCO/status/1275770904715411459
The Netherlands Ambassador to Pakistan, Wouter Plomp, also shared his love for mangoes in a tweet in Urdu, saying: “Pakistani aam dunya may behtreen hay” (Pakistani mangoes are best in the world). The popular variety of mangoes, Anwar Ratol, is his favourite, he said. He also thanked Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, for the gift of delicious mangoes. https://twitter.com/NLAmbPlomp/status/1276798677864951815
The newly-appointed Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan, Benedict de Cerjat, in an online post thanked Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the “kind gesture of sending mangoes”to welcome him in Pakistan,adding that the gift made his day “very special”.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan, Ali Alizada, suggested everyone to “strengthen immunity” amid the coronavirus pandemic by savouring fresh and delicious Pakistani fruit such as vitamin-rich mangoes, peaches and cherries.
Last year in July, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi, had joined a major mango festival in Islamabad where he expressed his love for Pakistani mangoes.
Pakistan’s aromatic, sweet and juicy mangoes are more than just a national fruit. Mangoes are a part of culture, art, poetry and a tool of connection and diplomacy as Pakistan gifts its best mangoes to dignitaries all over the world. It is said that Pakistani diplomats first introduced the fruit in different parts of the world in 1960s.
Pakistan, which produces around 1.7 million tonnes of mangoes every year, is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of the fruit. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the top destinations for Pakistani mangoes that are also exported to more than 50 countries. There are more than 250 varieties of mangoes in Pakistan, including Chaunsa, Sindhri, Langra, Anwar Ratol and Samar Bahisht.