Cultural festival: Caravan of Baloch arts in the limelight at Lok Virsa

Visitors enthralled with unique crafts, cuisines and music.

APP April 19, 2013
Akhtar Channal performing to a live crowd at the festival. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS


The ongoing Lok Mela featured the culture and traditions of Balochistan on Thursday. Set up by the Balochistan Directorate of Culture in collaboration with Lok Virsa, the Baloch pavilion showcased the rich Baloch arts, crafts, folk music, rituals, cuisine and folk entertainment.

There was a variety of craftspeople, folk artists, folk musicians and dance groups who enthralled the audience through their unique skills. Master artisans are Rozi Khan in traditional shoemaking, Shakir Bibi in Mastung embroidery, Kaneez Fatima in Baloch embroidery and Fazal Kakar in kashida kari.

Fatima, who learnt the centuries-old tradition from her mother, has devoted 27 years of her life to this art. She stands out not only for her excellence but also in her tireless propagation of this ancient art by imparting it. Some of her apprentices have reached high professional levels while practicing their art.

She has been participating in Lok Mela for the last 20 years and had been awarded several times with cash prizes and certificates. Prominent Baloch folk artists and musicians participating in the festival are Muhammad Bashir Baloch, Akhtar Channal, Sultan Muhammad Chaney, Saleh Muhammad, Rahim Bux Naz, Muhammad Khan, Abdullah, Rasul Bux, Bahawal Khan, Amanullah Mengal and Daryan. “One can see a mini Pakistan recreated in the lush green surroundings of the Shakarparian hills, enhancing the beauty and landscape of the federal capital,” said Rabia Faiz, a visitor. Moreover, a special Balochi night is scheduled to take place at Lok Virsa Open Air Theatre on April 20 at 8pm.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2013.


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