The mega cultural event of Pakistan popularly called “Lok Mela” kicked off on Friday at Shakarparian in Islamabad.
The festival is being organized by National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa), National History and Literary Heritage Division, Government of Pakistan in collaboration with all provincial culture departments.
The 10-day festival aims at promoting, perpetuating and preserving arts, crafts, culture, folk music and traditional skills of Pakistan. This unique event has now become a symbol of the federation’s recognition and patronage to our rich cultural diversity and active participation of the people.
The central focus of Lok Mela is rural Pakistan. The direct beneficiaries are artisans, folk artists, folk musicians and other performers from rural areas and remote regions. It disseminates the dynamic creativity of our countryside and gives people pride in their identity.
The Mela also places special emphasis on creating provincial harmony and national integration. Around 500 artisans and folk artists from all parts of the country are attending Lok Mela by bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.
The festival promotes master artisans and folk artists by way of giving them a platform to demonstrate their skills. The festival also provides the opportunity to the craftspeople to sell their crafts without involvement of middleman.
The main event of Lok Mela is “Dastarbandi and Chadarposhi ceremony” which will take place on Tuesday, 19th November at 3:00pm which will be graced by Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training, National History and Literary Heritage in full view of the national media. The ceremony is a symbol of Lok Vira’s sustained campaign to keep the heritage of Pakistan alive and continuing.
Artisans-at-work sector remains the core around which the entire festival is built. It highlights the role of peace in crafts and features artisans exhibiting their skills in the process and product of crafts.
Cultural departments of all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir are putting up pavilions presenting their indigenous folk culture, artisans, artists and traditional cuisine as link nodes of the festival’s foundational grid.