ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Cultural Week organised by Federal Ministry of National Heritage & Integration in collaboration with Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage) concluded successfully Monday.

It was started on January 1, 2013 with a grand opening performed by Raja Parvez Ashraf, Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The major focus of the seven-day event was on Potohar region through depiction of its culture and traditions. Representative pavilions of all federating units — Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir — by way of presenting their arts, crafts, indigenous folk heritage and folk music enhanced the beauty and landscape of the federal capital for a week.

The other features included exhibition of cultural heritage, art & craft bazaar, folkloric song and dance performances, traditional floats representing all federating units, installation of 24 entrance gates on highways & busy roads, decoration and beautification of different chowks and roundabouts on various themes, stage plays, on-the-spot activities, special attractions for families & children.

Over one hundred artisans in various crafts including embroidery, pottery, tie dye, doll making, lacquer work, khussa making, wood work, wood carving, metal work, shawl weaving, traditional carpets, Ajrak, wax printing, stone work, wooden spoon making, pattu weaving, papier mache, truck art, block printing, needle work and several other fields from all over Pakistan demonstrated their skills at the event in specially designed artistic pavilions.

Regular performances by folk artists, rural musicians and folk dance groups attired in traditional regional costumes were also an integral part of the Pakistan week celebrations. Enthusiastic, who seemed exhausted from the load shedding, were thronging the event to get a respite and enjoy the colourful ambience, folk dances, rural music and hoards of art & craft stalls.

A local visitor was listened saying “one could see here a mini-Pakistan presented at the heart of capital city with special emphasis on rural life and indigenous folk heritage”.

Talking to this scribe, a student Hassan Niaz who was happy with the celebrations said, “This is our culture which Lok Virsa truly projected through Pakistan Week, for which its management deserves commendation. We do not go behind the western culture and try to inculcate awareness among our youth about the importance of Pakistani culture specially in the given circumstances”.

Another female visitor Amina Noor said “to promote our soft image abroad, we must also hold such type of activities/events in the capitals of major countries like Washington, London and Paris because it is only the culture through which we can express our feelings in a positive and effective way”.