ISLAMABAD – National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Monday celebrated the International Museum Day to aware the general public about the significant role Museums play in the lives of individuals and growth of society i.e. educational, social, cultural and economic. The programmes that were organized to mark the occasion at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology (Heritage Museum) and Pakistan Monument Museum (PMM) included an exhibition of artisans-at-work
along with live performances by traditional puppeteers, traditional drummers (Dholis) and folk artists and musicians.  Free entry was allowed to both the museums in order to ensure maximum participation of the visitors.  The objectives of the programmes were to create a link between culture and education, to encourage youth to value dignity of labor, foster ownership for their culture, inculcate respect for different professions and character building and to help understand the contribution of craftsmen/women in the sustainable development of their community and country at large.
      The other objectives were to engage youth in creative works by providing them on-ground opportunities to understand the crafts from artisans, to document, promote and preserve the crafts of Pakistan and to recognize the hard work of artisans associated with various crafts to ensure continuity of the crafts from generation to generations.
      The special feature of the International Museum Day celebrations at Lok Virsa was the overwhelming participation of youth from various universities, colleges and schools who interacted
with artisans, folk artists and puppeteers and inquired from them about the techniques involved in creating different products.
      Lok Virsa complex was fully decorated with colourful buntings and banners which presented a festive look throughout the day. Eleven master artisans namely Habib ur Rehman in truck art,
Samiullah Khan in lacquer art, Gul-e- Zehra in embroidery, Mukhtar Dar in Namda/Gabba, Rubina Zulfiqar in embroidery, Zulfiqar Ghazi in papier mache, Sadaf Nisar in Motikari (bead work), Safeena in
Phulkari, Fouzia Naheed in doll making, Irfan Ghulam Nabi in wood
carving and others demonstrated their skills in the artisans-at-work
      A large number of people, specially youth and families
attended the programs and appreciated the effort of Lok Virsa in
documenting and preserving the cultural heritage of Pakistan in a
beautiful manner.
      Sharing her remarks Executive Director, Lok Virsa, Dr. Fouzia
Saeed said, “Lok Virsa follows a pro-active approach of reaching out
to artisans and folk artists, protects precious dying crafts and act
as a bridge between intangible heritage and the modern world”.
      She said that the institution aims to strategies its programs
in a way that the computer-relied youth feels motivated to be part
of cultural activities, values its culture and believes in
protecting the same.
      The ED said support of folklorists, poets, researchers,
writers, scholars, educationists and others will always be welcomed
in the implementation of this institution’s policies.
      Furthermore, Lok Virsa remains the only institution in the
country which offers financial assistance to cultural
scholars/students, artisans and folk artists particularly from the
remotest regions, she added.
      A student, Amina who seemed enthusiastic about the
celebrations said, “Pakistani culture is very diverse. Every
province and region has its own indigenous folk traditions which
people proudly practice from generation to generations”.