ISLAMABAD, Jan 5 (APP):National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Saturday announced a new fortnightly series called “Lok Baithak” at Lok Virsa with the advent of new year. The first program will take place on January 9 at Lok Virsa Media Studios. The main purpose "Lok Baithak" is to revive the informal sittings of the traditional and rural communities. As we all know that these Lok Baithaks were multifaceted and used to serve the multiple purposes of associationalism, camaraderie, entertainment, social cohesion, knowledge sharing, creation of disciplinarian and organizational spirit, and above all hub of promotion of art and culture in the general communities. "Lok Baithak" at Lok Virsa would be run while being true to the mandate of Lok Virsa i.e. the promotion of folk and traditional heritage of Pakistan. This program would be open to the people of all age groups and to all ethnicities, in the style that they themselves would be the speakers and listeners with Lok Virsa as regulator and facilitator only. Agenda of the next Baithak sittings would also be set in the general meetings of the Baithaks making people feel this as their very own program. Our audience is encouraged and allowed to bring their musical instruments and crafts that they specialize in. They would be mobilized to share the values, knowledge, wisdom, stories, songs, tales, fables, epics, jokes, traditional games, riddles etc. Overall everything falling within the domain of folklore of their respective regions. Singers and musicians among them would sing and play music. Lok Virsa would make its contribution through inviting a folk/ semi classical / classical singer or through musical performance. We would also invite traditional treasurers (gunny, sughars people etc.) who have a lot to share about the folk and traditional heritage of their respective regions. The star artist of first "Lok Baithak" would be Muhammad Ali a renowned ghazal, semi classical and folk singer. He learnt music from Ustad Mehdi Hassan, Ustad Shokat Manzoor and Ustad Allah Rakha. Among accompanist we would have Ustad Nizakat Ali Khan on harmonium and Ustad Amanat Ali Khan on tabla.