ISLAMABAD-Culture experts at the fifth session of ‘Lok Baithak’ highlighted various aspects of Kalasha folklore at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) here on Thursday, exploring its cultural heritage. Luke Rehmat, an activist from Kalash, shared characteristic features of birth to death rituals, festivals, folk cuisine and folk festivals of the Kalasha people. Joan Kalash – a narrator, story teller and a folk singer from the valley of Kalash, represented the Kalasha community on the occasion through folk stories and folk songs of Kalasha community.

The main purpose of the programme is to revive traditional informal sittings of the traditional and rural communities. These ‘Lok Baithaks’ are multifaceted and used to serve purposes of entertainment, social cohesion, knowledge sharing, creation of disciplinarian and organisational spirit and above all hub of promotion of art and culture in the general communities.

Lok Baithak fortnightly series is open to the people of all age groups and multiple ethnicities in the style that they themselves are the speakers and listeners with the Lok Virsa as regulator and facilitator only. Participants are encouraged and allowed to bring their musical instruments and artifacts they specialize in. They are motivated to share the values, knowledge, wisdom, stories, songs, tales, fables, epics, jokes, traditional games, riddles etc. overall everything falling within the domain of folklore of their respective regions. Amateur singers and musicians among them sing and play music, said an official of Lok Virsa.