Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cholistan Cultural Festival, Arranged by the Lok Virsa - - Started at Lok Virsa Complex in The Lights and Traditionald Music

In the midst of the desert music tunes, dancing men and camels, and artisans-at-work, a three-day long Cholistan Cultural Festival, arranged by the Lok Virsa - National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy kicked off here at the Lok Virsa Complex on Saturday.

The inaugural ceremony began with a chadarposhi of a female craftswoman Malookan Mai who belongs to Hindu minority in the Cholistan. She is a bona-fide artisan in the tradition patchwork of cloths from Cholistan termed as rilli. She has dedicated 30 years of her life to this craft. The concept of chaddarposhi - putting on someone a shawl is traditional denoted to respect and honour and it is quite common in the sub-continent especially in Pakistan.

It is the tradition at Lok Virsa that the women artisans are honoured with chaddarposhi while the men with dastarbandi - putting on a turban on their heads.

All the Lok Virsa festivals open with a colourful ceremony in which dastarbandi or chadarposhi of an established master artisan takes place. This ceremony is a way of proclaiming Lok Virsa’s commitment to the high stature that craftspeople have in cultural mainstream of the nation.
The chadarposhi followed by brilliant cultural performances presented by the Cholistani authentic folk singers including Krishan Lal Bheel, Mai Noori and Moon Bhagat who is the son of renowned folk artist Faqir Bhagat, the recipient of President’s Medal for Pride of Performance.
Speaking on the occasion, the Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan Robert Kvile said that Norway attached high importance to the development of Pakistan because five percent of its population belonged to the people from this beautiful country. Both the countries differ in many respects including politics, history and culture, and geographically far apart, he said adding, but there are many bonds that have been created during the four decades of cooperation between the two countries.

The Ambassador was of the view that culture was one of their priority areas to help Pakistan preserve and strengthen its rich cultural heritage as no society can thrive without culture - the main fabric of the society and the basis for its stability.

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