Lok Virsa has sent a team of professionals to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to document and preserve its indigenous folk culture.
The initiative has been launched by the new management — headed by Shahera Shahid – of the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, popularly known as Lok Virsa.
Based in the federal capital, Lok Virsa focuses on research, collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Pakistan’s traditional culture, including tangible and intangible heritage.
“The purpose of the mission (in G-B) is to document and preserve indigenous folk culture with special reference to the authentication of existing craftspeople, besides exploring new talent of artisans in various craft areas,” Lok Virsa Deputy Director Anwaarul Haq told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
“We have done interviews in Gilgit and Skardu and have made audio and video documentation to showcase skills of traditional practitioners,” said Haq, who is also part of the team. The remaining districts, including Ghanche, Hunza-Nagar, Diamer and Astor, will be covered by Saturday.
The team will also collect ethnological artefacts from G-B to display them at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology (Heritage Museum) in Islamabad.
Initiating the project, the Lok Virsa team met the chief minister’s tourism and culture adviser Sadia Danish in Gilgit. The adviser proposed joint projects with G-B. “A proposal to hold a folk festival to promote arts, crafts, culture, folk music and traditional cuisine of all provinces also came under discussion. We agreed it will be held either in G-B or Islamabad,” he said, adding he was pleased to see individuals volunteering to help Lok Virsa in its ongoing efforts.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2014.