The artists, artisans and folk musicians continue to enthral visitors as a large number of people thronged the Lok Virsa at Shakarparian Hills to enjoy glimpses of Pakistan’s diverse and unique cultural heritage on the fifth day of the 10-day Lok Mela (folk festival) amid the scorching heat and loadshedding.
The festival has provided an opportunity to the citizens of the twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi as well as diplomatic community to enjoy the colourful environment, folk dances, traditional arts, handicrafts and cuisines and lively music.
One of the major attractions of the festival is the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) pavilion, which draws hundreds of visitors through a huge model of the Khyber Pass at its entrance.
The pavilion is marked by more than 20 craftsmen from different parts of the province displaying their work on different stalls. Also, a large number of women artisans are displaying their skills at the stalls. These women include Tanzila from Dera Ismail Khan and her wood lacquer work, Sahira Parveen and Tasleem bringing phulkari from Hazara, while Shahzadi Bibi, Zainab, Karam Swati and Gulzar Bukhari from Dera Ismail Khan displaying embroidered works. The most prominent among the craftswomen is Farhat Bibi from Dera Ismail Khan, who has mastered the art of wood lacquer work.
Several artisans are displaying their skills and talents. They include Aurangzeb and Muhammad Ilyas from Haripur who display their stone carvings, Fahim Awan and Waseem from Dera Ismail Khan and their wood lacquer work, Nawab Gul from Mardan showing beautiful baskets, Kashif from Charsadda displaying traditional chappal, Shahzaman Khan from Swat and his weaving, Khawaja Safar Ali from Peshawar exhibiting metal work, and Shah Behram from Dera Ismail Khan demonstrating taghar. Dost Muhammad, who hails from Khawazakhela, is the most prominent among the artists. He has put on display his skills with intricate wood carvings, all made free-hand. He also makes wooden furniture which is valued by foreigners and local art lovers.
Apart from that, the scrumptious cuisine set up in artistically designed cultural pavilions also adds a special beauty, as visitors come and enjoy cultural dishes including chappali kabab, patta seekh and lamb karahi amid traditional Pakhtun music.
The visitors have shown an overwhelming response to the event where they have enjoyed rich cultural heritage of the province.
“The K-P pavilion truly represents the cultural identity of the brave people of the province. It gives a loud and clear message to the world that we are a peaceful and nonviolent nation,” said Ansa Qamar, a local university student.
The 10-day event started formally on June 4. A special musical night for K-P has also been organised at the Open Air Theatre on June 10, where several singers will display their talent.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2011.
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