ISLAMABAD: The annual folk festival (Lok Mela), being held at Lok Virsa Shakarparian, under the aegis of Lok Virsa, successfully showcased the rich cultural identity of Gilgit-Baltistan, on Saturday.
While visiting the festival grounds, It is distinctly visible that a unique combination of cultural heritage of all federating units has been impressively presented by the organisers in a professional manner.
Besides other provinces, Gilgit Baltistan is also participating in the festival with the contingent of over forty persons including master artisans, folk artists, folk musicians and officials.
In Gilgit Baltistan pavilion, a group of young artists and musicians attired in traditional regional costumes attracted attention of the audience with their spellbinding performance.
Historically, Gilgit Baltistan has been at the crossroads of various civilisations for centuries. It has a unique location and serves as a confluence for some of the world’s highest mountain ranges – the Pamirs, the Karakoram and the Hindukush. It has also been a place of cultural cross currents.
Living in historical oblivion and geographical isolation from the rest of the world, the people have clung to a farming life, raising cattle, tending orchards and harvesting crops.
Gilgit Baltistan is home to a number of diversified cultural entities, ethnic groups and various backgrounds. This multitude blend of culture is because of the strategic location of Gilgit.
In view of the multi-cultural and multi-lingual aspects, people also have a beautiful mix of lifestyles and attitudes presenting a pluralistic society living together with peace and harmony for centuries.
The artistes who performed in the folk musical programme were Muhammad Asim, a pianist accompanied by singers, Awais Ahmed Shahzal, , Manzoor Baltistani, Sher Khan Nagari, Azeem Hunzai, Rashid Iqbal, Ahsan Ul Haq, Iqbal Hussain, Doulat Wali Baig, Shah Zaman Faraq, singer and others. DNA
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2018.