Paan is something made of betel leaf. The leaf is coated with slacked lime and ‘katha’. Few small pieces of areca nut are put in side and the leaf is wrapped around. The paan is ready to eat. You put the thing in your mouth and chew the leaf and the nuts. Because of ‘katha’, inside of mouth becomes red and some spit it out while others simply swallow. Some people put a bit of tobacco in it too. Paan is popular in India, Pakistan and other Asian countries. People eat Paan right after meal.
It is not a healthy thing to put in one’s mouth as it damages the soft inside of mouth, teeth etc. Spitting is very messy and causes environment problems. It may cause mouth cancer. But, still people use it. I used to enjoy this when I was a university student but have never touched one in ages.
Last week during marriage of my niece, we arranged a paan vendor inside the wedding hall. He came in full style:
Dressed like a traditional Moughal he looked majestic. He offered a paan to the groom but he refused to take one.
I hope that people of Pakistan get rid of the messy and unhealthy habit.
P.S. Wikipedia has a good article on this subject.