Lok Mela-2015: K-P pavilion - exhibiting heritage of peace-loving people

A number of women artisans from the province are participating in the festival


APP April 10, 2015
Artists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa present a song performance in a live event at the Lok Mela. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Pavilion at the Folk Festival of Pakistan `Lok Mela-2015’ continues to attract visitors to its art and craft stalls, traditional cuisines and music and dances performances. 

The Lok Mela is being organised by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) and more and more people are pouring in to witness the event with all its festivities.

A student, Raheema said that, the K-P pavilion at the festival truly represented the cultural identity and incredible heritage of a brave and a peace-loving people.

“Their hospitality is of course fantastic and matchless,” she added.

The K-P, land of poets such as Rehman Baba and leading activist of nonviolent resistance Bacha Khan, over the recent years has been at the forefront of the ongoing war against extremism. The people of K-P though socially conservative like much of the rest of the country have a history of supporting secular and progressive political values. People from K-P take great pride in their culture and traditions.

Enthusiasts thronged the festival ground on Thursday to get a respite and enjoy the colourful ambience, folk dances, rural music and a number of art and craft stalls.

All provinces and regions have set up their pavilions presenting indigenous folk music, songs, dances and traditional cuisines peculiar to their respective areas at the aesthetically-designed pavilions.

The replica of “Bab-e-Khyber” has been used as an entrance to the pavilion. The pavilion boasts twenty diverse master craftsmen and crafts women from various parts of the province.

Many stalls have been allocated to female artisans, which show participation of women in the economic process of the province.

The female artisans participating in the festival include Hanafa Shah and Farzana in Hazarajasti tanka, Ayesha Saleem in embroidery, Tasleem Bibi and Rashida Parveen in Hazara phulkari, Ihsana in paranda work, Naheen Bibi in cross stitch, and Tarkashi and Rushma in lacquer work.   Amongst them, Farhat Bibi from Dera Ismail Khan especially stands out. She is master artisan at wood lacquer work.

Male artisans participating at the event include Muhammad Waseem in lacquer work, Farhadin Peshawari carpet, Muhammad Saeed in Charsada Khaddar, Sardar Aliin (clay pottery), Shamsul Arifeen (gemstones), Muhammad Asif (Charsadda chappal), Riaz (wax printing), Sultanat Khan (Swati wood work), Shamsul Zaman (Swati shawl), Aurangzeb (stone carving) and Abdullah in wood carving.

The pavilion also offers other varieties of mouth watering traditional food and `qehwa’ (green tea) at Nemat Khan Qehwa Khana.

In close proximity, a `hujra’ has been created wherein musicians are presenting folk Pushto music “Tank Takor”.

A special KP musical night was held at Lok Virsa open air theatre wherein leading Pashto folk singers and musicians performed live.

Meanwhile, at an award ceremony PTDC Managing Director Kabir Khan gave cash awards to Rehmat Wali in woodwork and Sarfraz Hussain in Khais (blanket) weaving for their efforts to keep the dying crafts alive.

Lok Mela will continue with till Sunday. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2015.

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