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Islamabad

November 6, 2018
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Lok Virsa: Kashmiri crafts centre of attraction for visitors

Islamabad

November 6, 2018

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Islamabad: Arts and crafts from the beautiful valley of Kashmir remained centre of attraction for visitors at the ongoing Lok Mela at Lok Virsa, Shakarparian.

The contingent from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) consists of several craftsmen specialising in Papier Mache, wood carving, Namda, Gabba, Kashmiri shawl and embroidery as part of the contingent.

Shaista Rehman, who specialises in the famous Kashmiri art of papier mache, is the most prominent Kashmiri artisan at the festival. He is also an accomplished artist in stain glass, fabric designing and traditional furniture painting. He has represented his skills and creativity at local as well as international festivals, and has won several cash prizes and certificates for his work.

Kamran Butt is another prominent artist representing the AJK pavilion. He is a master craftsman in wood carving who uses walnut wood, cedar, sissu and dalbergia for creating exquisite furniture and decorative items.

A performance area has been set up by the organisers where several musicians present Kashmiri folk music using ‘dhol’, flute and ‘shehnai’, while ‘Gatka’ dancers perform the traditional Kashmiri dance, wearing colourful costumes.

On the second day of the eventful Mela, Lok Virsa hosted a Kashmiri musical night featuring local folk songs at the Open Air Theatre. Secretary Sports, Youth and Culture Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Muhammad Abbas Khan was the chief guest on the occasion.

Kashmiri singers presented a number of folk songs and local dances during the ceremony. The stage was beautifully decorated with posters of scenery from Kashmir, its buildings and handicrafts.

The ceremony started with a melodious instrumental performance by local musicians who played the famous Kashmiri song ‘Mere Wattan Teri Jannat Mein Ayen Gein’, which was followed by Akbar Khan playing two tunes on his Alghoza and flute. He also read out the lyrics of the song which he had played.

A young folk singer, Shakil Mir presented ‘Saiful Mulk’ in his local language and four singers wearing traditional dresses sang ‘Mere Wattan Mere Chaman.’ As per the old Kashmiri tradition, all the male guests were presented with turbans and the women with shawls.

A song titled ‘Sindh, Sarhad, Punjab, Balochistan Mein Rehta Hoon’, was presented with the artists wearing traditional clothes from across the country. The Kashmiri folk singers who took part in the event include, Nadir Ali, Dalwar Abbas, Aashiq Butt, Sadam Hussain, Akbar Khan and Shakil Mir.

Secretary Sports, Youth and Culture Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Muhammad Abbas Khan thanked the Lok Virsa for hosting a Kashmir culture show and said Lok Virsa is doing a great job of entertaining and educating people about the rich culture of the country.

Talking to a member of the audience Sardar Hammad said such events are very encouraging. “I belong to Kashmir and I do not miss such events in Islamabad where I can enjoy my culture and my regional songs,” he said.

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