Rich and profound: Lok Mela celebrates the many colours of Sindh

Residents of twin cities throng Lok Virsa to witness cultural diversity in the country

Hafsah Sarfraz April 04, 2016
Women perform a traditional Sindhi dance at the Lok Mela. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Sindh pavilion at the Lok Virsa here continued to attracts a large number of visitors from the twin cities on Monday.

People from all walks of life continued to visit the Lok Mela to witness the cultural diversity of the provinces.

Hundreds of master artisans, folk artists and performers from rural areas of different parts of the country, including the most remote regions are participating in the festival, exhibiting their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.

The pavilions of the four provinces are the highlight of the festival.

Each pavilion aims to showcase the culture and traditions of a particular province.

The Sindh pavilion seemed to attract a number of visitors as they flocked to take in the various aspects of the province’s culture including food, music, and literature.

The stalls at the pavilion featured traditional clothes with ajrak, block printing, weaving, and embroidery; and textile painting known as soomal solangi; and other items such as Sindhi shoes, bangles and cushions.

Visitors were also captivated by Sindhi literature, which focused on the history and culture of the province.

A stall at the pavilion was selling “mawa” – a traditional Sindhi sweet, made from milk and sugar.

Abdullah Soomro, the vendor selling the sweet told The Express Tribune that that sweet was a very special Sindhi sweet and was a hit at the Lok Mela.

“People who are not native to Sindh are also coming and trying it, which is the true aim of the Lok Mela,” he said.

The tourism stall in the pavilion, aiming to create awareness about the historical sites and tourist spots of the province, was the most interesting.

Books and photographs of tourist attractions in Sindh and souvenirs from the region were displayed to entice people to visit Sindh.

Asif Laghari, from Sindh Tourism Development Corporation, told The Express Tribune that it was really unfortunate that it was really unfortunate that the cause of tourism in Sindh had been neglected even when the province had sites that were recognised by Unesco.

He further said that people complained visiting Sindh was inconvenient due to lack of facilities.

“People need to realise that tourism and travel is never about convenience. It is about leaving your comfort zone at home to get out and see the world,” Laghari added.

Sikandar Ali Soomro, a book vendor from Karachi said that the aim of bringing books all the way from Karachi was not only to sell them, but to also create awareness about Sindhi literature, culture and traditions.

“These books feature the culture and rich history of Sindh. They feature poets and artists from Sindh as well as phenomenal leaders like Benazir Bhutto, and our aim of bringing them here is to create an interest in the younger generation to read about Sindhi heroes,” he said.

The Lok Mela will continue till April 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2016.


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