The mega cultural event was conceptualized and organized by Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage) and Ministry of National Heritage and Integration to revive endangered folk arts, crafts and music as well as to promote and safeguard traditional practitioners associated with Pakistan’s folk heritage.
“It served to disseminate the dynamic creativity of our countryside and gave rural folk a pride in their identity,” said Khalid Javaid, Executive Director Lok Virsa. The main thrust of the 10-day festival was the focus on provincial harmony and national integration highlighting contribution of the people in building future Pakistan. Over 500 master artisans, folk artists, rural musicians and folk dancers from all over the Pakistan including remote and far-flung regions participated in the festival, bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation and won recognition of their talent at the national level.
A large number of people from different walks of life attended the festival for 10 days which featured artisans-at-work exhibition, provincial cultural pavilions, folkloric song & dance performances, cultural evenings, craft bazaar, NGO stalls, folk theatre performances and special entertainment for children.
Participation of all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir was seen in the festival by way of presenting their beautiful indigenous culture, arts, crafts, music and cuisine in specially designed pavilions symbolizing their respective historical monuments, contributing art, music and entertainment activities.
Prominent figures including dignitaries and political leaders also visited the festival while cash awards were given to the winning artisans on the judgment of a national jury. Special cultural nights with folk musicians of different areas were also main feature of the festival that mesmerized the audience with outstanding performances at open-air theatre of Lok Virsa.
The visitors termed the event as an excellent opportunity of entertainment as well information about rich cultural heritage and traditions practiced in various regions.
. Khalid Javaid expressed the hope that in future, multinational companies would also come forward and join hands with Lok Virsa for creating more avenues for these people and effectively protecting the cultural venues of the country. “In this way, we will certainly be in a position to eradicate poverty among the rural folk and marginalized communities of our society”, he maintained.
He said the festival was a true reflection of our magnificent cultural heritage, which certainly served to express a louder message to the world that Pakistanis are creative and peaceful nation.