Lok Mela showcases colours of Sindh

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ISLAMABAD: The folk festival of Pakistan named ‘Lok Mela’ which started in Shakarparian on Saturday is in full swing. The event is organised by the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage (NIFTH).The cultural pavilions set up by the other provinces are the major attractions of the festival. While visiting the festival grounds, we can see aesthetically designed colourful pavilions depicting the rich culture and traditional architecture of the land of Sufi’s. Sindh is famous for a wide range of folk crafts like lacquer art, farasi weaving, blue pottery, Sindhi embroidery, block printing, traditional carpet weaving, appliqué work, tie dye, khes weaving, wood works, Thari embroidery and several others, which all have been showcased at the festival.The craftsmen who are showing their artistic craftsmanship at the Sindh pavilion include Faqeer Muhammad in pottery, Khadim Hussain in Mohenjodaro replica making, Abdul Hayee, Arbab and Rafique in ajrak, Suleman in lacquer work, Bharat in Thari embroidery, Naeem in kashikari (blue tile), Qadir Bukhsh in blue pottery, Siani in lungi weaving, Safia and Zahid in khes weaving, Parri in darree (floor rug), Zaheeran and Abdul Ghafoor in applique work, Krishan Lal in Sindhi cap, Khan Chand in Sindhi shoes, Bhawan in chunri (tie dye), Naseem Sultan in Sindhi embroidery, Gheno, Krishan and Bhano in Thari embroidery and Ghulam Ahmed in khes weaving.Prominent among the artisans is Parri, an established but poor master craftswoman in farasi weaving (traditional rug) from Badin. She is a 70-year old artisan having expertise in the art of weaving since her childhood. ‘Farasi’ is a part of the traditional weaving of rugs with goat hair, camel hair and mixed yarn. These are woven in warp and weft on horizontal looms, generally portraying geometric patterns. The availability of raw materials and a burgeoning demand of the local market are greatly responsible for the sustenance of this craft. Tharparkar and Jacobabad are the major centres of farasi weaving. Parri has trained a number of female students in her native town. She has been attending various festivals and exhibitions organised locally as well as at the federal level. She has been participating in Lok Mela for the last 25 years and receiving cash awards and certificates.Artists, musicians and folk dance groups from Sindh include Ahmed Ali (singer/harmonium player), Jansar Sano (singer), Sattar Jogi (murli), Arbab (alghoza player), Chaandi Faqeer (Khapri dance group), Sain Dad (Matka dance group), Niaz Muhammad (shehnai), Ajmal (Folk dance group), Vishno Mal (Firework dance group), Agha (Sindhi dance group) and Khuda Bukhsh and group (folk dancers).The other features of the Sindh pavilion include a book stall arranged by the Sindh Cultural Department. The Sindh pavilion is holding its cultural night on April 18 at Lok Virsa open air theatre which will be featured by folk artists like Aman Mughal, Marwal Koro, Mahtab Kanwal, Kumber Brohi and others. The 10-day Lok Mela would continue with all its festivities at the Lok Virsa Complex.

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