ISLAMABAD: The inaugural ceremony of the 7-day Lok Mela held here at Lok Virsa on Monday.
The Mela has representation of all the provinces, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan. Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage & Culture Shafqat Mahmood was the chief guest on the occasion.
While Punjab Provincial Minister for Culture Khayal Ahmed Kastro, Parliamentary Secretary for National Heritage & Culture Ghazala Saifi, Federal Secretary for National Heritage & Culture Asif Haider Shah, Executive Director Lok Virsa Talha Ali Kushvaha besides hundreds of master artisans, folk artists, musicians from all parts of the country were also present.
Addressing on the occasion, Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood welcomed all the participants of the Mela, saying, he always felt delighted while visiting Lok Virsa.
This institute is determined for the conservation, preservation and propagation of folk cultural heritage of Pakistan. This festival is a part of government’s initiatives that encourages steps which are directly related for the betterment of people of Pakistan. The central focus of the festival is rural Pakistan.
The direct beneficiaries are master craftspeople, folk artists, rural musicians and other performers from each and every corner of the country. The festival serves to disseminate the dynamic creativity of our countryside and would give rural folk a pride in their identity.
He thanked executive director Lok Virsa and his team for holding such a beautiful event and ensure cooperation of his ministry.
According to the tradition, Lok Mela opens with a Dastarbandi/ Chardarposhi of established master artisans and folk artists. “Dastarbandi” is a symbol of Lok Virsa’s sustained campaign to keep the heritage of Pakistan alive and continuing. When place a turban or chaddar on some one’s head, you have placed your complete trust in that person’s wisdom and his stature in life.
This is Lok Virsa’s way of showing that the craftspeople and folk artists have importance in national life and they have made a great contribution to our culture. This year master artisans of pottery Niaz Ahmed, Fouzia Naheed, doll maker and renowned folk artist Bushra Sadiq were honored.
A musical evening of Gilgit Baltistan was held concurring the Independence Day of Gilgit Baltistan. Folk singers and musicians from Gilgit Baltistan presented melodious songs. Minster for Department of Planning, Development and Information, Government of Gilgit Baltistan Fateh ullah Khan was the chief guest.
A large number of audience mostly belonging to Gilgit Baltistan enjoyed the evening. Folk singers including Ghulam Nabi, Iftikhar, Shakeel Sameen, Burhan, Sher Khan Jan Nisar, Ibrahim Jon, Mir Afzal, Abid, Jameel and Shehbaz along with regional dance group presented traditional songs and music of Gilgit Baltistan.
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