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Islamabad

February 9, 2018

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Lok Virsa launches book on folk heritage

Islamabad: The Folk Heritage of Pakistan, an illustrated book covering all positive aspects of Pakistan, was launched at a modest ceremony here at the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Thursday.

It is an anthology of highly researched articles edited by Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed, a PhD scholar chiefly known for her books ‘Taboo’ and ‘Working with Sharks’. The book had touched almost all aspects of life of a highly diversified nation on the western fringes of South Asia.

“Such a book was extremely required that we can present to foreigners who generally, and quite misleadingly, knew all sensational things about Pakistan which associates it with extremism, but don`t know how rich and diversified our society really is,” said Dr. Fouzia.

She said during the making of the book she got to know that it was not hard to get women’s pictures living in the rural swathes; however, the same was extremely difficult when ‘we tried to get women`s pictures on public spaces in urban areas’.

The Lok Virsa ED said the book held on to all the aspects of life in the country with pluralism turned out to be its chief theme. “This book depicts the pluralistic face of Pakistan. We are the proud nation of very different people,” she said.

Dr Fouzia said the hurdles she faced in putting together and printing such an impressive tome was the shortage absence of funds, a problem addressed with the help of the immensely voluntary world by research writers, photographers and technical hands.

“We can call it a totally community project, which gave us a good product in the end,” she said. She said the book recognised that Pakistan had the history spanning millennia; it was a land which hosted different cultures and religions.

“This book shows that we own all those cultures and religions as we have tried to break the image in the chapter on spirituality which identifies our country chiefly with extremism. It also carries colourful scenes of music and dances offered by the provinces and regions,” she said.

Ambassador of Japan Takashi Kurai was the chief guest of the book launching ceremony. He called it a beautiful book stuffed with material that turned it into a reference book. The ambassador said Pakistan had a diversified culture and its people had one of the oldest cultures and civilisations as the book gave historical linkages, which was beautifully done.

“These linkages show from where people of this land came thousands of years ago and what makes me glad is that every picture in this book is joyful and smiling,” he said. Additional secretary of the foreign affairs ministry Tariq Zameer termed the book important for reflecting the soul of the country.

He said at a time when the country was a victim of the mindset fanning intolerance, such a publication promoting peace was welcome. “Culture is our identity, which could help fix our ideological directions,” he said. He said the Folk Heritage of Pakistan lacked mediocrity and neither was it boring as most of its genre generally did, while the words used in it were pleasing.

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