KARACHI: Amid tunes of a variety of folk and traditional music, the two-day Sea Festival kicked off at Beach Luxury Hotel on Friday with at least 13 stalls displaying traditional clothing, arts, antiques and other works.
The festival, organised by the provincial culture department, started before Friday prayers but was officially inaugurated in the evening by Culture Secretary Jawed Akbar Laghari.
According to Laghari, the department has been organising such events to promote local arts and culture so that people from rural areas will also get an opportunity to present their work at such platforms.
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He added that not only have these stalls been set up to support craftsmen from rural areas but also to facilitate visitors who can purchase items are cheaper rates.
He mentioned that apart from these stalls, a variety of folk music, traditional dances and a concert of folk singers will be held during the two day festival.
The secretary added that another attraction of the festival is a free 15-minute boat ride for visitors. He said any visitor can enjoy as many rides as they want, there is no limit.
Residents of Thar, Matiari, Hala and Khairpur awaited visitors at the festival showcase their work.
Shahnawaz Soomro, who is famous in Hala for his work, displayed his handmade blue pottery products which included clay animals and pots. When asked if he thinks that that demand for such artwork is dying, Soomro responded art lives on if the quality of work is maintained. He spoke of his recent exhibition in Kazakhstan, where he received many orders and his work was appreciated by the local people.
Women thronged a popular stall displaying traditional Sindhi embroidery. The pink and red coloured bags, purses, shoes and dresses attracted visitors to at least appreciate the hard work involved in making the items. The unique part of the products was the use of small mirrors on the clothes, surrounded by bright colours.
Dewan Bahl, the salesperson at the stall, told The Express Tribune that they have brought their products from Tharparkar, where women stitch and embroider the clothes.
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Along with these, handmade ajrak, block printed lawn covered with ajrak designs, calligraphy art and photo frames made with sea shells were also on display.
Nusrat Haris, who had come to the festival along with her friends, said that while the festival could have been organised on a greater scale with a little more effort, she still appreciated what had been done as it gave residents of Karachi an opportunity to explore traditional artwork.
Another visitor, Rafiq Soomro, said he is fond of folk and traditional music and therefore he visits every event where folk musicians perform. He said that such events should also be organised in other parts of the province, as most parts of Sindh are sadly deprived of entertainment.
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