Hundreds of goat owners from all over the country gathered in Uch Sharif on Saturday to host a ‘goat fashion show’.
Goat owners presented dozens of animals in the show and the animals were decorated in elaborate head dresses as well as paint. Owners of the animals paraded the goats in front of a large crowd on the occasion. The animals being featured in the show were shown in several categories including kid goats, female and males. The festival also featured a stall for farmers who sold goat milk and local cheese craftsmen.
Over 700 people came to the festival and local musicians also performed on the occasion. “People need to realise that livestock doesn’t only refer to camels, cows and buffaloes. My family has been selling goat cheese for over ten years and this industry needs to be promoted,” said goat herder from Rahim Yar Khan, Asim Kharal.
Locals in the area said that they really enjoyed the festival. Announcer Shahid Qasim said that he relished the opportunity to present the animals to the public. “I talked to the owners and they told me the names of the goats and I made up fun stories about the animals. The winning goat was Sass Kutni. She was painted red and I told them she had won purely because of her name,” he said.
“The festival has been a success and we also got to showcase local culture and music. A lot of people bought goat cheese from several stalls,” said organizer Muhammad Irfan. “We put this show together because we wanted to provide entertainment for the people as well as showcase the animals and the three winning goats for the Best Male, Best Female and Best Kid goats have each won Rs5000 for their owners,” he said.
“My goat ‘Shahi Sawari’ won me Rs5000,” Sargodha based goat herder Rehmat Ali said. “I have been raising goats since I was young and we were able to sell several of our goats on this day,” he said. “I have also sold a large stock of goat milk and cheese so the event has been a success,” he added.
Spectators at the ‘fashion show’ said that the event was packed with stalls. “There were goat milk stalls and goat cheese stalls. There was also an entire section where breeders were selling goats at an auction before the show,” said Uch Shaif resident Mehmoona Badar. “The animals were all dressed and painted in bright colours. I personally came up with costumes,” said Mujahid Bukhsh. “There was also a street theatre performance with several goats, dogs and monkeys who worked with performing animals in street theatre,” he said. Bukhsh said that his son used to put on shows in Uch Sharif with ‘dancing goats’ and had brought his animals to the festival. “I have earned a good amount of money today. Lots of people watched the performances and they seemed to enjoy it a lot,” Mansoor Bukhsh said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.