• Saturday, May 25, 2019

Balochistan festival kicks off at Lok Virsa

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  1. ajpirzada

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    ISLAMABAD: There could not have been a nicer weather or a stage for the Balochistan Cultural Festival that opened on Lok Virsa’s lawns tucked into the shadows of tall trees with lots of folk music, the dance troupe strutting their stuff and delicious Balochi cuisines.

    The spectacular setting, accessible activities, convenient amenities and a casual vibe made the festival a unique and popular experience.

    Visitors were in for some fabulous music. They got to hear some of the most popular Balochi and Brahvi folk compositions and tunes ever – songs that racketed down through the ages.

    The festival started getting the appreciation and respect it deserved later in the evening when crowds started pouring in greeted by Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid near the entrance. He explained his guests how such festivals had been bringing master artisans, folk artists, rural musicians from all over Pakistan, even from the far-flung and remotest parts of Pakistan to Islamabad.Featuring the main attractions such as artisans-at-work, folkloric songs and dance ensembles, exotic craft bazaar, the fairground has been modeled around the concept of nomadic lifestyle.

    “It doesn’t feel like Balochistan is cut off from us,” said a group of visitors.

    People treated their taste buds to delicacies like Saji and chaat while bustling around, running into friends or stopping by wonderful food stalls, plenty of interesting vendors, observing artisans at work while others thought it necessary to visit the palmist, and the ladies believed that the festival grounds were the best place to buy traditional and handcrafted Balochi souvenirs – rugs and beaded cushion covers.

    “Handicraft is what makes a good folk festival so special,” said Ms Atif Altaf.

    Arranged by Lok Virsa, the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage the four-day festival would continue till May 3.

    Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Bilal Jamali, provincial culture secretary, lauded the efforts of Lok Virsa in holding the festival. Underlining the importance of the province, he said Balochistan was a distinct land with distinct folk heritage. It is also a cradle of world’s oldest civilisation. It is now high time that the colours of this province should be projected on national level. Folk arts and their practitioners need patronage and encouragement, vanishing arts and crafts and folk music should be revived and safeguarded.

    Additional Secretary Culture S.M. Tahir also spoke on the occasion and assured full cooperation of his ministry for documentation, promotion and projection of Balochistan. He hoped that the federal and the provincial cultural bodies would work jointly to achieve the common goal of promoting and safeguarding cultural heritage.

    DAWN.COM | Islamabad | Balochistan festival kicks off at Lok Virsa