The Asian Study Group (ASG) organised a folk music evening at the residence of Belgian Ambassador Hans-Christian Kint on Friday. The event was held in the beautifully illuminated lawn with fairy lights.
The guests, a mix of local residents and diplomats, were attired in traditional dresses to impress the audience; some garbed in traditional wear, hoping to win the prize for the most appropriately dressed.
“This is our end of the year event. We brought dancers from Jhang to perform a folk-style harvest dance. The Belgian ambassador is this year’s patron,” said ASG President Parveen Malik. The scheduled events included a quiz, followed by dinner and raffle prizes preceding the performance.
ASG’s coordinator for performing arts explained that, “The dance is called Dharees, a harvest dance. It comes from the Thal area. This group is known as the Rabanni Dharees group. It’s not exactly Bhangra, but they do have live singing while they dance.”
Once guests were seated at their tables, the program commenced.
“You are all going to have to earn your dinner,” announced Malik, before the Pakistan-oriented trivia began. For every question answered correctly, a generous prize was awarded- guests walked away with dinner vouchers, decorative items and clothes.
The Belgian Ambassador wife, the enchanting Carmen Fabian de Kint, was awarded full-credit for organising the dinner. The performance began immediately after the lines for the buffet thinned. The dancers, clad in red and white with flashing, embroidered vests, announced their arrival with the beat of the dhol and eventually made their way to the centre of the lawn, forming a dance circle. Their fast paced movement worked seamlessly with the music and accompanying vocals, exhilarating the audience.
“The dance is so passionate. It’s a celebration of life and it’s going to make people want to move,” said Maliha, a visibly inspired guest who felt that the performance was a perfect way to end an overall “enchanting” evening of fine company, sumptuous dining and dance.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2011.
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