Musicians from Gilgit, Hunza & Chitral enthrall audience

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Mystical musical colours of Karakoram

Zubair Qureshi

Families and youths hailing from Gilgit Hunza and Chitral gathered here at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Sunday to celebrate the colours, music and mystic traditions of Karakoram.
Impeccably dressed in crisp white garb, black waistcoats and neatly-polished black shoes, the artists and youngsters of the indigenous were seen making efforts to revive musical traditions that are on the verge of extinction. Not only the artists but amateur performers and students also participated in the event with enthusiasm. Burushaski Research Academy & Pakistan national council of the Arts (PNCA) had jointly organized the musical evening. Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters Dr Qasim Bughio was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Folk artists, intellectuals and researchers from the Karakoram valley as well as from abroad like Canada, UK and other countries of the world had come to participate in showcasing the unique culture of the northern mountainous region of Pakistan. However, emphasis of the evening was on performance of the works of the mystics which according to organizers fine a natural abode in the sky-kissing mountains of the northern region.
There may be little support for the Burushaski research academy but gathering of the audience here on Sunday showed they had done well depending on their limited resources and made the evening a successful showcasing their unique culture, music and mysticism.
The programme offered a unique opportunity to listen to and enjoy oneself the conventional instruments like Charda, flute, Rabab, and Sitar. One could hear cheers and see the Chitrali and Hunza families break into applause after each performance.
Meharangez, the world renowned artist spellbound the audience with her performance of mystical kalam. She presented Burushaski, Persian and Urdu kalam. A paper was read by noted columnist Ghulam Qadir Baig.
Later, some 40 to 50 folk artists presented mysical kalam on rabab, daff and drum to the utmost delight of those present in the auditorium. Among the other performers included Zoha (Ilahi Shukr-e-Nemat kay liay) while flute player Niaz Qitoshi gave forth melodious tunes through his flute. Performance on Sitar was done by Ishaq while Dr Qasim Bughio in his address as chief guest spoke quite high of the artists from Chitral Valley, Gilgit and Hunza.
We’ve unique talent in those far flung areas and their culture and traditions show how rich Pakistan is in variety, culture and mystic traditions. He also congratulated the organizers of the show for arranging a successful night with the artists from Hunza, Chitral and Gilgit.
He hoped they would continue to arrange such performances in order to bridge music, mysticism and cultural variety with rest of the country.

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