Lok Mela 2015 to begin tomorrow
The much awaited annual folk festival popularly known as ‘Lok Mela’ will begin on April 3 at Lok Virsa, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian. Formal announcement in this regard was made by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) Executive Director Lok Virsa Dr Fouzia Saeed in a press conference organised on Wednesday.
Main features of the 10-day Mela will be artisans-at-work exhibition of dying crafts, performing artists from Chitral, Kaalash, Gilgit- Baltistan; etc, provincial governments cultural pavilions, cultural evenings, commercial sector and NGO’s stalls working for the well-being of artisans and artists, traditional cuisine, kids’ corner and others. Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Pervaiz Rasheed will inaugurate the festival on Friday evening, the guests will witness a colourful ‘dastarbandi’ and ‘chaddarposhi’ of artisan and performing artist together with several regional spell-bounding cultural performances.
Throughout, the Mela the focus will remain on promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the country. The visitors will get to witness a plethora of cultural activities like craft mela to allure shoppers, folkloric performances (rural musicians and dancers) and special puppet shows, face and hand painting for children. Around 500 artisans and performing artists from all parts of the country will participate in the Lok Mela. The concluding session of the Lok Mela will take place on Saturday, April 11 for which the Chief Guest will be Chief Minister of Baluchistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch who will distribute certificates amongst master artisans besides a special closing cultural performance for the guests. The Mela will officially close on Sunday, April 12, 2015. As Lok Mela 2015 is dedicated to the “Dying Crafts of Pakistan,” A Lok Virsa Pavilion is being set up wherein eighteen (18) master artisans representing different specialized dying crafts will showcase their work and expertise. The crafts include Ivory and Camel Bone Work, Camel Skin Work, Paper Thin Pottery, Khes, Lungi, Block Making, Metal Work, Blue Pottery, Farasi making, Khatta weaving, Taghar, Sharma or Paloos, Namda or Yigin, Musical Instruments (Dhambura and Saroze), Kashmiri Wood Carving and Ivory. The Mela will also have traditional Provincial and regional pavilions of Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. These pavilions will feature craftspeople, artists and traditional cuisine. Additionally, this year Lok Mela will specially focus on the rich cultural heritage of Chitral, KPK. The Chitrali music and musical instruments are very famous across the country. Moreover, the Chitrali dance is performed to express joy for every possible occasion i.e. to celebrate the arrival of seasons, birth of a child, wedding and other festivals. The famous Kalash singing and dancing will also feature in this year’s Mela. The Kalash are ancient tribe and have a religion and culture of their own which is unique as well as amazing. The Kalash Valleys of Rumbur, Bunboret and Birir are within Chitral in KPK. In addition, the folk dances will remain the lifeline of the 10-day Mela where folk artists both up-coming and established participate with full enthusiasm. The traditional folk dances representing all major areas of Pakistan will be the key attractions of Open Air Theatre. A colorful Craft Bazaar featuring antiques, craft items, shoes, jewellery and cultural dresses will also make part of the Mela in addition to the traditional mouth-watering Pakistani folk cuisine/dishes which will be readily available in Lok Mela.