ISLAMABAD, Nov 05 (APP): Director Lok Virsa, Anwaar ul Haq on Thursday announced to hold annual folk festival popularly known as “Lok Mela” from November 6 .
Addressing a press conference here at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) he said that the festival was scheduled from November 6 to 15 at Lok Virsa Complex , Shakarparian.
He said that inaugural ceremony of the mela would be attended by Minister for Federal Education, Professional Training and National Heritage and Culture as chief guest.
He informed that the festival would be organized by ensuring strict observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) regarding COVID-19, adding that no entry would be allowed without face masks.
The director said that Prime Minister’s tiger force would be engaged for observance of the SOPs and four sanitizing gates at entrance points would be installed.
He further stated that Lok Mela aimed at promoting, perpetuating and preserving arts, crafts, culture, folk music and traditional skills of the country.
The event had now become a symbol of the federation’s recognition and patronage to the rich cultural diversity and active participation of the people,he stated.
He said that the central focus of Lok Mela was rural Pakistan, adding that the direct beneficiaries were artisans, folk artists, folk musicians and other performers from the rural areas and remote regions.
The director said that the mela disseminated the dynamic creativity of the countryside and gave people pride in their identity.
He said that the mela also placed special emphasis on creating provincial harmony and national integration and around 500 artisans and folk artists from all parts of the country would attend the the event by bringing with them their creativity in arts, crafts and innovation.
Cash awards would also be given to master artisans in recognition of their craftsmanship,he stated.
He said that the festival also provided a much needed economic opportunity to hundreds of poor and under privileged craftspeople from all over the country to sell their products created over a period of one year to public directly without exploitation by market forces and earn livelihood for them and their families.
He further stated that one of the main features of Lok Mela was the “Dastarbandi/Chadaposhi” which was a way of proclaiming Lok Virsa’s commitment to the high stature that craftspeople and folk artists had in the cultural mainstream of the nation.
This year, one established master artisan and one folk artist/musician would be honoured with dastarbandi/chadarposhi,he stated.
The director said that cultural departments of all provinces, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan had been invited to put up pavilions presenting their indigenous folk culture, artisans, artists and traditional cuisine as link nodes of the festival’s foundational grid.
He said that a special Lok Virsa pavilion would also be set up at the Mela grounds.
The director said that special attractions featuring folk singers, folk entertainers and other entertaining shows would be organized throughout the period of the festival.
Display of traditional folk dances would be held in open air at intervals, he added.
An exotic Craft Bazaar featuring score of tastefully decorated pavilions offering a variety of knick knacks, antiques, craft items and cultural materials would also be set up,he stated.
He said that each province, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir would hold its cultural night during ‘Lok Mela’ in which eminent folk artists and folk performers hailing from their respective provinces/regions would perform.
The director said that Pakistani traditional cuisines would be arranged at the venue of the festival.