Exhibition featuring ‘Fusion of Pakistani, Indonesian cultures’ held at Lok Virsa

Zubair Qureshi

Live printing of the Sindhi Ajrak and the Indonesian Batik delighted visitors at an exhibition featuring ‘fusion of Pakistani and Indonesian cultures, histories and cuisines.’

Ambassador of Indonesia Adam Tugio hosted the event in collaboration with National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) at the Museum gallery of the Lok Virsa on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s Ajrak artist Abdul Hayee from Matli, District Badin (Sindh) and Nisa, an Indonesian Batik expert were embossing their respective pieces of Ajrak and Batik showing their rich texture and original colours.

Ambassadors of Nepal, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, diplomats and art and history lovers had come up to attend the launching ceremony of the exhibition that will continue for the next four days. The ribbon was cut by Ambassador Tugio’s spouse who, the ambassador said, was the inspiration for him to work on this idea [of holding an exhibition of similarities between Pakistan and Indonesia]. She, by chance, visited Lok Virsa a few days ago and was quite amazed to find many cultural similarities with the Pakistani art pieces and cultural depictions, said the ambassador. She mentioned this to her husband and as a result the idea of an exhibition was coined.

Our cultures, histories, religions have many things and features common with each other, said Ambassador Tugio adding in the next four days those similarities would help bring the people of the two countries closer together.

The ambassador also referred to a hit Pakistani movie of 1980s ‘Bandish’ in which the hero (Nadeem) lost his memory and married an Indonesian girl in the Bali island of Indonesia. Maybe that love will re-enkindle through this exhibition, the envoy said in a light vein.

He also thanked Executive Director of Lok Virsa Sajjad Ahmed and Director Anwarul Haq for extending all out cooperation with regard to holding of the exhibition.

ED Lok Virsa Sajjad Ahmed thanked the ambassador for selecting Lok Virsa as venue of the exhibition and assured his team would extend full cooperation with him as both the countries have cordial relations and people-to-people ties are strong and flourishing.

There were also displayed models of various Buddhist temples as according to the ambassador, 1-2pc of Indonesia’s population consisted of the Buddhist community.

The roots of Buddhist influence in East Asia are often linked with the ancient territories of Buddhist rule in ancient Gandhara, which was a region in present-day Northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said, adding the Buddhist heritage is scattered across Pakistan such as the monastery in Takhti-Bahi-KPK, the Dharmarajika Stupa in Taxila and Amluk Dara Stupa in Swat.

The ambassador hoped the exhibition would serve the purpose of introducing the similarities of cultures between the two countries and ultimately bring the people closer together.


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