People pouring in large numbers to witness Lok Mela

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP):The folk festival of Pakistan ‘Lok Mela’ is in full swing here at Shakarparian and people from all walks of life are pouring in large numbers to witness work of rural artisans showcasing their talent.

Taking advantage of the weekend, thousands of residents of twin cities made a beeline for Shakarparian to witness the artwork of rural artisans at the ongoing Lok Mela.

Anxious parents elbowed to get entry tickets for themselves and their children to witness the charm of the rural life in different provincial pavilions set up at Mela.

Over five hundred craftspeople can be seen actively demonstrating their work.

The dominant historical influence still to be seen in the form, design and color of Pakistani handicrafts are essentially Islamic, a fusion of Turkish, Arabic, Persian and the indigenous Mughal traditions.

While moving from one provincial pavilion to other, cultural diversity is clearly evident, and those who had travelled miles to participate in the festival were ambassadors of their regions. Dressed in traditional attire, they attract crowds with displays of their unique and enriching folk crafts, food items and cultural performances.

Pakistan’s rich and varied heritage has a craft tradition of more than 9,000 years, dating back to the Mehergarh civilization in Balochistan, which was revealed in the form of ancient pottery products at archaeological sites. The Indus Valley of Moenjodaro in Sindh and the Harappa civilization in Punjab indicate the impressions of woven cloth production from cotton to wool.

While some artisans have been a regular feature of Lok Virsa festivals, first timers were of the view that such an event was not just to educate people about their work, but also about the culture and art of other provinces.

Moreover, they considered this a good opportunity to exhibit their artwork and increase sales.

The crafts on display include embroideries such as Multani, Bahawalpuri, Hazara, Swat, Balochi, Sindhi, zari and motikari, block printing, lacquer work, Khussa making, pottery, tie and dye, doll making, khaddar (hand spun cotton) weaving, truck art, wood carving, papier mache, namda and gabba (traditional mattress), metal work, shawl weaving, traditional carpets, blue pottery, Ajrak, wax printing, stone work, wooden spoon making, pattu (rug) weaving and many others.

The 10-day Lok Mela will continue till Sunday, November 24, from 10.00am till 09.00 pm every day.