islamabad - A rainbow of ‘mountain culture’ was put on display at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Wednesday in connection with the 6th Pakistan Mountain Festival.

The annual flagship event of the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) was held to commemorate International Mountain Day. The opening of the students’ paintings exhibition was coupled with the closing ceremony of the festival.

As many as 34 oil-on-canvas paintings reflect the diversity of culture that our mountains represent. The young artists very skilfully highlighted the cultures from Hunza to Kalash, dancing men, traditional clothing and wooden work, the housing architecture, rich landscape and waterfalls and flowing natural streams.

All bright greens, different shades of blue, red and orange tones and right amount of the white colour made the paintings a real treat to watch. The students have experimented different techniques and style to portray the theme. For some students impressionism has been the preferred choice while some participants also used the palette knife technique too. 

The top five winners in each category, postgraduate and undergraduate, were awarded with the shields, certificates and painting material. All the five winners in the postgraduate category were from Government Postgraduate College for Women, 6th Road, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. They included Ayesha Sajjad, Aleena Azhar, Naila Mussarat, Shumaila, and Sadaf Hafeez. 

In the undergraduate category, Nadia Batool of the National College of Arts Rawalpindi Campus, Madiha Usman of the Islamabad Model College for Girls (Postgraduate) F-7/2, Mahnoor Ali of Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2, Faryal Yazdanie of National College of Arts Rawalpindi Campus, Roobia Gulfaraz of Islamabad Model College for Girls (Postgraduate) F-7/2 grabbed the top positions respectively. 

One of the participants Marryam Mushatq said it was an opportunity to know the mountain issues and to paint the culture of our highlands. Such kind of activities help students know the realities on ground and become aware of the different cultures too.

Speaking on the occasion, Munir Ahmed Director Pakistan Mountain Festival and the Executive Director Devcom-Pakistan said the United Nations General Assembly designated 11 December as the ‘International Mountain Day’ that is observed every year to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.

He said the concept of traditional heritage, culture and spirituality is intrinsically linked with peoples’ livelihoods in the mountains, where it is often traditional lifestyles that determine the way people make a living and subsist. Many mountain areas host ancient indigenous communities that possess and maintain precious knowledge, traditions and languages.