ISLAMABAD: Punjab has a long history and rich cultural heritage while it's folk music has its own charm and attraction.
This was stated by Federal Secretary National History and Literary Heritage Division Dr Nadeem Shafiq Malik while attending the Punjab Folk Night at the Lok Mela organised by the heritage museum Lok Virsa and the Punjab Council of the Arts (PCA). Lok Virsa Executive Director Anwarul Haq and PCA-Rawalpindi Director Waqar Ahmed also attended the event.
Malik said that the archaeological sites, forts, shrines, tombs, buildings, museums, folk music and places of worships not only help connect the people to their past but also create a strong reference for all socioeconomic and cultural advancements.
He appreciated the decision to invite singers and performers from every nook and cranny of the province.
Prominent folk singers of the province including Afshan Zebi, Khuram Zeeshan, Imran Shaukat, Bashir Lohar, Mushtaq Niazi, Saen Zahoor Iqbal, Asma Rajput, Abuzar Ghafari, Ahmed Ali, Hasnain Abbas, Jamil Lohar, and Qurban Niazi gave enchanting performances. Folk dancers from Fateh Jang presented sami dance. Folk dancers from Dera Ghazi Khan presented the traditional sword dance in the packed open-air theatre.
Balochistan musical night
On Wednesday, Lok Virsa hosted a Balochistan musical night featuring local folk songs at the Open Air Theatre as part of the 10-day Lok Mela.
Eminent Folk artists and musicians including Sachoo Khan, saroz player, Taj Muhammad Tajal, Benjo player, Zulfiqar Ali, Dambora player and singers Akhtar Chanaal, Taj Buledi, Khadim Hussain, Naseeb Mazaar, Perveen Rani, Shafi Esaar, and others enthralled the audience.
On Wednesday, Balochistan pavilion showcased the province’s rich culture and traditions including embroidery, dresses, music and food. The pavilion has been set up by the Balochistan Culture Directorate in collaboration with Lok Virsa.
The Balochistan contingent included craftspeople, folk artists, folk musicians and dance groups. Master artisans Daryan Khan showcased his traditional ‘saroz’ making skills, Miral Khan in leather embroidery, Muhammad Akram in handloom work, Rozi Khan in ‘Balochi chappal’ making, Malookan in Balochi embroidery and others.
Visitors took a keen interest in the Balochistan pavilion as it stood out among the pavilions of other provinces.
Balochistan Tourism, Culture, Sports, Archives and Youth Affairs Minister Abdul Khaliq Hazara also visited the pavilion.
“We will support every initiative that can lead to creating national harmony and integration amongst the nation, which is the need of the hour,” he said while appreciating efforts of Lok Virsa.
Several visitors flocked the mela on Wednesday.
“One can see the glimpses from every corner of Pakistan created in the lush green surroundings of the Shakarparian Hills, contributing significantly to enhance the stature, beauty and landscape of the federal capital,” said Tayyab Hanif a visitor.
The Lok Mela will continue until Sunday, November 24.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2019.
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