ISLAMABAD: The ongoing Folk Festival of Pakistan “Lok Mela” organized by National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) here at Shakaparian celebrated “Constitution Day” with the theme “Unity in Diversity”.
Chairman Senate, Mian Raza Rabbani, was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Program included sword dance from Gilgit Baltistan, musical recital on traditional Chitrali sitar, dance of Kalash ensemble, Marwari singers of Bhil community, Cholistan/Tharparkar, Brahvi and Punjabi songs along with colorful dances.
In his address, Chairman Senate applauded the efforts of Lok Virsa in celebrating the Constitution Day and spreading the message about the importance of the constitution to the masses. He said “Lok Mela affords an opportunity to all federating units to showcase diversity within provinces and regions. It also serves to contribute towards unity, national integration, religious harmony, love, peace and brotherhood among the nation”.
Mr. Raza Rabbani further said that Pakistan’s current Constitution was passed on 10th April, 1973. However, it was only after the 18th amendment that the provinces were given the ownership to project their rich heritage both tangible and intangible. He said “it gives me immense satisfaction to see the different colors of Pakistani culture under one roof for which I’m thankful to Lok Virsa. These artisans and folk artists are our pride and we all should come forward to support them”.
Earlier, in her welcoming remarks, Executive Director, Lok Virsa Dr. Fouzia Saeed shed light on the objectives behind holding the Constitution Day with special reference to the mandate of Lok Virsa, i.e. research, collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Pakistan’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
A large number of people from different walks of life attended the ceremony and enjoyed the thrilling performances presented by the folk artists and musicians.
Talking to this scribe, a visitor to Lok Mela Amna Aslam said “it is first time in the history of Pakistan that a cultural institution has took the lead to celebrate Constitution Day for which management of Lok Virsa deserves appreciation”.
The 10-day ongoing Lok Mela is pulling a big crowd and featuring Exhibition of Dying Crafts of Pakistan, Provincial & Regional Cultural Pavilions, Folkloric Song & Dance Performances, Cultural Evenings, Craft Bazaar, Public Sector & NGO stalls, Theatre Performances and many other attractions.
The Mela will continue with all its festivities and attractions till Sunday, April 12, 2015 at Lok Virsa Complex, Shakaparian. Daily timings are 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.