Islamabad: The rich culture and traditions of Balochistan displayed at Lok Mela is the centre of attraction for visitors to enjoy the arts and crafts of the province along with the display of cultural materials of other provinces.
The organisers have allocated a spacious place for all the provinces for showcasing their indigenous folk culture in a creative and interactive manner. The Balochistan pavilion set up by the Balochistan Culture Department catches the visitors eye with the presentation of the richness of Balochi culture, arts, crafts, folk music, rituals, traditions, cuisine and folk entertainment.
The Balochistan pavilion is located at the centre of the festival grounds. When one enters Balochi pavilion through the beautifully designed gates showing typical Balochi culture and architecture, it feels that they are in Balochistan.
The Balochi contingent includes craftspeople, folk artists, folk musicians, and folk dancers, Master artisans are Kaneez Fatima, Shakar Bibi and Arzi Khan, Fazal Kakar in Balochi embroidery, Rozi Khan in Balochi shoes and Arzi Khan in woodwork and musical instruments making.
Among them, female craftswoman in embroidery Kaneez Fatima, 48, is an educated lady. She stands out not only for her excellence but also for her tireless propagation of this traditional art by imparting it to future generations.
Some of her apprentices have reached high professional levels while practicing their art. She has been participating in Lok Mela for the last 23 years and had been awarded several times with cash prizes and certificates.
While visiting the festival, traditional cuisine from Balochistan Sajji cannot be ignored. It is the specialty of this mountainous region. Residents of Rawalpindi-Islamabad are thronging to the Balochi food daily appreciating its unique taste.
Commenting on the on-going festival, a visitor Behroz said, “One can see here the glimpses of culture from every corner of the country presented in the lush green surroundings of Shakarparian hills, contributing significantly to enhance the stature, beauty and landscape of the federal capital.”
Balochistan Pavilion organized its musical evening on Sunday at Lok Virsa open-air theatre. The eminent artist Jamal Shah was the chief guest on the occasion. Lead Balochi artists like Akhtar Channal, Abdul Baqi, Humayun Kakar and others performed at the musical evening.