Monday August 15, 2022

Exhibition showcasing cross-cultural influence on Pakistan, Indonesia ends

July 25, 2022

Islamabad: A five-day exhibition showcasing rich cultural heritage and tradition with similarities between Pakistan and Indonesia concluded here at Lok Virsa National Heritage Museum on Sunday.

The exhibition titled "A night at Lok Virsa Museum: The confluence of civilization between Pakistan and Indonesia" was inaugurated by the Indonesian Ambassador Adam Mulawarman Tugio amid the presence of diplomats and art and history lovers.

The ajrak and batik booths, where shawl makers from both countries described the tough grind of making the ajrak, remained a centre of attraction among the visitors. A miniature model of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, built by a Pakistani craftsman also pulled the crowd from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The show also featured a daily live musical performance from renowned musicians who kept mesmerizing the audience by playing world-famous tunes with indigenous Pakistani instruments including Tabla, Rabab and Bansuri.

A large number of citizens flocked to the exhibition featuring a collection of photographs and videos shedding light on inter-regional connectivity and cross-cultural influence on both countries.

Maheen Mirza, a student from National Defence University, said she was quite amazed to find many cultural similarities with the Pakistani art pieces and cultural depictions. “I was unaware of the similarities between culture, history, and religion between the two countries before visiting the exhibition,” she remarked.

Irsa Bin Mairaj, a foreign visitor who was keenly observing the temple model, said he was amazed to know that the miniature was made by a Pakistani craftsman.

It reflected that Pakistani people had great potential in artwork that can scale up the design of such a difficult model with perfection, he added. Hooriya Shiekh, another visitor taking photos while draping the Indonesian Batik at the display booths Sindhi Ajrak and Batik, termed both the crafts an excellent example of the fusion of the two cultures.

She hoped that the exhibition besides introducing the similarities of cultures between the two countries would ultimately bring the people closer.

An Indonesian woman who holds the stalls of Batik explained the difficult process of Batik making and said it was a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to the whole cloth, originated from the island of Java which took at least 4-5 days to finish a single piece.

The technique shows similarity with the famous Sindhi Ajrak and signifies cultural affinity between Indonesia and Pakistan, she added.

At the onset of the exhibition, Ambassador Tugio stressed the need to promote and strengthen existing cultural relations between the two brotherly countries.

Talking to APP, he said Indonesia and Pakistan are home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and added that his country was extending cooperation in various fields including tourism, education and trade.

He said his government was considering inviting Pakistani journalists to explore the real potential of tourism in Indonesia.

Speaking on the occasion, Palestinian Ambassador Ahmed Jawad A A Rabaei said that the people of Pakistan were very close to the heart of Palestinian and underscored the need to organise such events for cultural exchange.

While contacted Director of National Heritage Museum Anwar-ul-Haq said the arrival of hundreds of people at the exhibition showed that life was coming back to normalcy after facing the restrictions of Covid-19. He extended his gratitude to the Indonesian embassy for conducting such a remarkable event for the dwellers of the twin cities.