ISLAMABAD-While folk festival of Pakistan “Lok Mela” is in full swing here at Shakarparian, people pour in large numbers to witness work of rural artisans showcasing their talent on Monday.

Statement issued said that over five hundred crafts people could be seen actively demonstrating their work. The dominant historical influence still to be seen in the form, design and colour of Pakistani handicrafts was essentially Islamic, a fusion of Turkish, Arab, Persian and the indigenous Mughal traditions. While moving from one provincial pavilion to other, cultural diversity was clearly evident, and those who had travelled miles to participate in the festival were ambassadors of their regions. Dressed in traditional attire, they attracted crowds with displays of their unique and enriching folk crafts, food items and cultural performances.

Pakistan’s rich and varied heritage has a craft tradition of more than 9,000 years, dating back to the Mehergarh civilisation in Balochistan, which was revealed in the form of ancient pottery products at archaeological sites. The Indus Valley of Moenjodaro in Sindh and the Harappa civilisation in Punjab indicate the impressions of woven cloth production from cotton to wool.

While some artisans have been a regular feature of Lok Virsa festivals, first timers were of the view that such an event was not just to educate people about their work, but also about the culture and art of other provinces. Moreover, they consider this a good opportunity to exhibit their artwork and increase sales.