Several musical, cultural and literary ceremonies were held in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan to celebrate Baloch Culture Day, which falls on March 2.
Ceremonies were also organised in other countries where Baloch people reside, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and India.
A huge ceremony was held at the Balochistan Arts Council in Quetta, during which hundreds of people, including women and children, turned up in ethnic Baloch dresses to mark the day with cultural and musical shows, traditional songs and chaap – the traditional Baloch dance.
“This is a big day for us. We are excited and feel proud of our heritage which teaches love, tolerance and bravery,” said Ibrahim Rakhshani, a 28-year-old wearing an elaborate turban, traditional shalwar qameez and chiwats (Balochi sandals).
Yar Muhammad Badini, a Baloch intellectual and researcher, said Balochi literature is the best way to understand Baloch people and their culture. “Balochi culture and language have its own uniqueness and richness which needs to be promoted in the country,” he stressed. “Baloch women’s dress is recognised as national dress of women of Oman,” he added.
However, he did not seem satisfied with the efforts of government to promote Balochi language and culture across the country. “Balochi language is struggling hard for its survival and needs the government’s immediate focus,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2013.