Call me ignorant, call me unworldly, but I had never heard of “Black Friday” before a couple of years ago. Then I forgot about it – because I really had so little interest in it – until this week. A good friend of mine asked me what Black Friday was, and I wracked my brain for what I could remember about it – just about nothing. I searched online, and was quickly reminded that it’s the USA’s version of Australia’s Boxing Day sales.
Lahore’s glitzy new Emporium Mall in Johar Town
Alas, that was not the end of it, because apparently Black Friday in Pakistan is a thing! I arrived at work on Thursday and Friday of this week to several colleagues discussing the Black Friday sales, and what they were planning (or not planning to buy). So that left me with the questions; since when did a discounted shopping day from North America become a worldwide phenomenon? And since when did Black Friday become a thing in Pakistan?
A Pakistani shopping website advertising for Black Friday
The answer to the second question is “since last year”, according to the photocopy guy at my work. I searched online, and indeed, Black Friday in Pakistan was a big thing last year… very big, it seems; check out this news clip from 2015. It’s in Urdu, but you’ll get the idea;
Vouyers, eat your heart out. Pakistan has a small collection of upmarket shopping malls where people (middle-aged women, evidently) can hone their skills in martial arts once a year. For oblivious little me, it came as quite a surprise that Black Friday is such a major retail event in Pakistan of all places; but then perhaps I should have expected it, given the average Pakistani’s fixation with with things American.
Lahore’s Emporium Mall
Is Black Friday “a thing” in your country? Had you heard of it before? Or was I the only one? Comment below!