Wednesday March 22, 2023

500 artisans exhibit their work at Lok Mela

November 26, 2022

Islamabad: Despite the uncertain political situation in the capital due to the long march, the annual folk festival, popularly known as ‘Lok Mela’ organized by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa), National Heritage and Culture Division started on Friday at Lok Virsa Complex, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian.

The formal inauguration of the 10-day event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 26 at 2:30 pm at Lok Virsa Open Air Theatre. Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Heritage & Culture, Engr. Amir Muqam will be the chief guest on the occasion.

The main objectives of the festival include the encouragement of master artisans and folk artists so that they should continue transferring their skills to future generations. Around 500 master artisans, folk artists, and folk musicians are participating in this Mela from all over the country. All provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir are participating in the Mela.

Provincial and regional pavilions serve as major attractions during the festival. These pavilions present the indigenous culture, arts, crafts, folk music, folk cuisine, and folk crafts of their respective provinces/region. Every province, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir will hold a special musical evening during the Mela. Lok Virsa will also hold a special “Sufi night” and musical evening during the festival. Every year, “Chadarposhi” or “Dastarbandi” of one established craftsman or craftswoman and one eminent male or female folk artist is performed at the time of inauguration.

This ceremony is a way of proclaiming Lok Virsa’s commitment to the high stature that craftspeople and folk artists have in the cultural mainstream of the nation. This year Chadarposhi of an established female artisan from Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Dastarbandi of an eminent folk artist from Gilgit-Baltistan and a male master artisan from flood affected area of Fatehpur, Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be performed.

Other major attractions of the festival include an exhibition of artisans-at-work, craft stalls, performances by folk dancers from different areas, traditional food stalls, PNCA performing art theatre and puppet theatre, etc. Mela would culminate with a colourful awards ceremony on Sunday, December 4 wherein awards will be given to deserving master artisans and folk artists on the recommendations of a national jury constituted for the purpose.