Karachi is home to a striking diversity of migrants and refugees from all over the subcontinent. People of various nationalities, provincial and linguistic backgrounds, and religious and ethnic origins have settled here permanenty. They all proudly call themselves "Karachiites", and they all call Karachi, home.
The "muhajirs" or migrants are the largest ethnic group in Karachi. These are the people whose forefathers migrated from different parts of India at the time of partition and came to settle in Karachi. They established businesses and set up cultural trends which exist even to this day. Their native language is Urdu.
Another prominent group of Karachiites are the Afghan refugees who fled to this city when the USSR invaded Afghanistan and their country was no longer considered safe. They have since then grown to unbelievable numbers, and can be seen almost anywhere in the city. They have established a monopoly over some of the small businesses such as the 'chapati' shops, local teashops, cobblers, housemaids, and minibuses.
Whatever origin they may have, all Karachiites have a lot in common. They are usually all friendly and hospitable, especially to foreigners. Although some elements can take advantage of the limited knowledge of foreigners, most of the Karachiites go beyond bounds to help them adjust to life in Karachi.
The most popular dress amongst the Karachiites is the loose shalwar kameez, although the younger residents largely prefer to wear jeans with a stylish T-shirt. Karachiites can be quite fashion-conscious, and you can witness everything from Armani to the Z-Brand (both original and localized versions), as well as accessories ranging from chains and bracelets to the trendiest purses and handbags.
Wherever you are amongst Karachiites, you can never feel lonely. Whether it is a bus or a bank, a mosque or a market, you can easily strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Everyone is eager to talk, especially if it is on the latest politics. Everyone has his own conspiracy theories and the weirdest stories, and this activity is sure to keep you entertained for hours.