ISLAMABAD, Dec 25 (APP): The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa, here Friday celebrated the 139th birth anniversary of founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah with great fervor and festivity and also organized special activities to mark Christmas Day.

Maintaining its previous tradition, Lok Virsa, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage arranged the Cake Cutting Ceremony and Youth Painting Contest on the theme of “Quaid, the Great Leader” at Pakistan Monument Museum, adjacent to Pakistan Monument at Shakarparian.

Twenty five youth (students) of different schools and colleges of Islamabad/Rawalpindi participated in the contest and created beautiful paintings of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah depicting various stages of his life and struggle for freedom.

Special programs marking Christmas Day held at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology (Heritage Museum) were congregation of Christian community, Christmas cake cutting ceremony, erection of Christmas tree, distribution of sweets and gifts by Santa Claus, live folk musical performances and cultural diversity shows.

The Christmas activities were arranged by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Temple of Lord Church, New Shakrial.

Executive Director, Lok Virsa and eminent folklorist, research scholar and social activist Dr. Fouzia Saeed on the occassion hlighlighted the importance of celebrating Quaid-i-Azam Day and Christmas through a cultural perspective.

She paid rich tributes to the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his untiring efforts and contribution in creating a separate homeland for the Muslims of sub-continent.

She also congratulated Christian community on their auspicious occasion.

She said “Christmas is a time for celebration and rejoicing. It is also a time to reflect on the message of Jesus Christ, the eternal message of love, peace and forgiveness”. Highlighting the role of Lok Virsa, Dr. Fouzia Saeed added “Lok Virsa is a national institution dealing with Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage.

It lives in the hearts of the masses, who are the real bearers of our magnificent cultural heritage. We always plan and present such programs and activities that create love, peace, harmony and solidarity in all classes of society including minorities. The today’s event is a step forward in this direction”.

The special performances rendered by Christian youth were a milli naghma “Hum sab aik hain”, Christmas welcome song and a cultural diversity show “Rhythm of Unity”.

A large number of people from all walks of life including Christian community attended the ceremony and enjoyed the thrilling performances and presentations rendered by the artists and musicians.

The two museums working under the administrative control of Lok Virsa, i.e. Heritage Museum and Pakistan Monument Museum also remained open throughout the day from 10 am to 7 pm and entertained the visitors.

In order to ensure maximum participation of the masses, fifty percent rebate on entry ticket of Heritage Museum for Pakistani nationals was also granted by Lok Virsa.