The media centre of Lok Virsa was packed to capacity on Thursday evening as the Lok Baithak session hosted Potohari folktales and folk music.
Pothohari folk singer Faisal Raja and Potohari ‘Bait Baz’ Chaudhry Sagheer along with their group enthralled the audience with their renditions of traditional Potohari folk music. The event was further enriched by a traditional dhol (drum) performance and recitation of Potohari poetry.
“The session aims at promoting the rich musical heritage of Potohar,” said Lok Virsa Research and Media Centre Deputy Director Zubia Sultana. Talking to the media, she said that Lok Virsa was using its unique position to highlight the culture, arts and crafts of all cultural entities of Pakistan including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and sought to give everyone equal representation at the national level.
Sultana continued that “the main purpose of ‘Lok Baithak’ was to revive traditional informal settings of rural communities.”
The Lok Baithaks are multifaceted and help with association, camaraderie, entertainment, social cohesion, knowledge-sharing, the creation of disciplinarian and organisational spirit. Above, it serves to create a hub of art promotion and culture in the community.
“The Potohari Lok Baithak at Lok Virsa represented the cultural identity of people from northern Punjab,” a female student from a local academic institute said, adding that the cultural contribution of the Potohar region was significant and should not be forgotten.
Lok Baithaks are open to people from all age groups and multiple ethnicities. The event is designed in a way which allows the audience an opportunity to be both listeners and speakers with only Lok Virsa acting as a regulator and facilitator.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2019.