ISLAMABAD: The subcontinent is popularly known as the land of saints – most of whom have contributed towards creating love, peace and harmony amongst the masses in what is a very pluralistic society.
“Now, it is the need of the hour to project their message effectively, so that the younger generation can get acquainted with their valuable contributions in the real sense,” said Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday as he inaugurated a revamped and spacious, three-dimensional diorama on “Sufis and Shrines” at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology, at Shakarparian.
The heritage museum, as it is popularly known, is part of the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage — Lok Virsa.
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Mahmood added that the sayings of the sages and the time-old customs showcase the true genius of the people of Pakistan.
The heritage minister further encouraged students to visit the museum and ask questions about the various aspects of Pakistan’s traditional culture.
The diorama depicts the contributions and messages of great Sufi saints of Pakistan. Visitors can see the architecture with intricate mirror work done artistically.
In the Sindh section, wax statues of musicians can be seen performing renditions of Sufi poetry of saints such as Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Sachal Sarmast. There is a life-size wax figurine of Sindhi folk artist and performer Alan Faqir as well.
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In the section representing Punjab, pictures of shrines of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh, Shah Rukne Alam and Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria have been put up on display.
Malangs and faqirs, who form an integral part of shrines, were also seen paying rich tributes to the Sufi saints.
Dali, an ornamented boat-like monument specially created to pay tribute to the famous saints belonging to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) known as Bari Imam by his spiritual followers during the annual Urs celebrations, has also been put on display in the museum as a new attraction.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2019.
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