Cholistan Cultural Festival starts at Lok Virsa
By: Fahad Bin Ameer
ISLAMABAD, OCT 30, 2010: A three-day Cholistan Cultural Festival kicked off on Saturday at Lok Virsa Complex to highlight the wedding traditions and lifestyle of the people of Cholistan.
The festival was organized by National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage in collaboration with Royal Norwegian government.
H.E. Mr. Robert Kvile, Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan was the chief guest. He said “Geographically we are far apart. But there are many bonds that have been created by many years of cooperation by citizens of Pakistani origin in my country. The core of our relationship is our development cooperation, which is now into its fourth decade”.
Appreciating Lok Virsa’s contribution, ambassador said “This unique institution is a key partner in our work. We have been doing projects with Lok Virsa since 2002”. The ambassador congratulated executive director and the team of Lok Virsa for this another fine project of Cholistan Cultural Festival.
In his welcoming speech, Executive Director Lok Virsa Khalid Javaid said that the creation of Cholistan diorama had been possible under joint institutional cooperation programme between Pakistan and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their mission in Pakistan for this generous support.
Cholistan Cultural Festival was opened with a ‘dastarband/chadarposhi’ ceremony of a female craftswoman Mst. Malookan Mai, belonging to Hindu minority. She is a bonafide artist in rilli (patch work) from Cholistan and has dedicated 30years of her life to the profession.
Cholistani folk singers Krishan Lal Bheel, Mai Noori and Moon Bhagat presented brilliant cultural performances, which was applauded by audience in a great zeal.
The festival features artisans-at-work, craft bazaar, song and dance ensembles, folkloric performances, camel dance, camel hair cutting embellishment, traditional cuisine and many other attractions.
Special feature of the opening ceremony was the participation of a large numbe of male and female students from different schools of Islamabad, Rawalindi and Gujranwala. They highly enjoyed the show amid clapping.