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Colours of Kashmir add joys to Lok Mela.

ISLAMABAD -- Several artisans and craftsmen from the beautiful valley of Kashmir are being featured at the ongoing Lok Mela at Shakarparian, representing its rich culture, crafts, folk music, rituals and traditions.

The annual folk festival of Pakistan "Lok Mela", organized by Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage) here at Shakarparian, has proved to be an important national event with equal representation of all federating units by way of projecting their indigenous folk culture.

The Kashmir pavilion has been set up by Lok Virsa in collaboration

with Azad Kashmir Culture Department and Small Industries Corporation.

A performance pit has also been created in the pavilion. Many professional and amateur singers give periodic performances and present Kashmiri folk music.

A contingent of over 37 participants from Azad Kashmir is taking part in the festival.

They include 11 crafts people in the field of papier mache, wood carving, carpets, namda, gabba and Kashmiri shawl, embroidery and many folk artists, musicians and performers. Artisans are Zulfiqar Ghazi, Qazi Ali Muhammad, Sher Zaman, Nisar Ali, Mukhtar Dar, Mst. Yasmin Mustafa, Taj Muhammad Tajal, Gul-e-Zehra, Irfan Ghulam Nabi, Hassan Shishgar, Muhammad Yousaf and Sajjad.

When one enters the pavilion, the sweet voice of a young Kashmiri artist Bano Rehmat, known as nightingale of Kashmir, can be heard.

She sings different popular songs including "Teri janat men ain ge ik din" and entertains the audience with her thrilling performances.

Among the prominent artisans, Zulfiqar Ghazi specializes in the famous Kashmiri art of papier mache.

He excels not only in the art of papier mache and miniature but also an accomplished artist in stain glass, fabric designing and traditional furniture painting. Ghazi paints nature, floral motifs, birds, animals, Mughal monarchs in his paintings as well on papier mache artefacts. With

artistic skills and creativity running in his veins, Ghazi is determined to preserve and revive the golden era of Mughals. He has participated in scores of festivals, fairs and exhibitions in the country and abroad and won cash prizes and certificates in recognition of his talent.

The other one is Irfan Ghulam Nabi. He is a master craftsman in wood carving from the Kashmir Valley. He learnt this art from his forefathers at the tender age of seven.

Due to oppressive policies of the Indian occupation forces, his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Rawalpindi permanently.

He is imparting training to several students, thus ensuring continuity of his art to the younger generation.

Irfan uses walnut wood, cedar, dalbergia sissu (shisham) for creating exquisitely carved furniture, doors, boxes and decorative items.

He often uses teak wood for crafting most profusely intricate carved items.

He carves nature, leaf patterns, animals and floral designs.

Irfan took part in a number of festivals and exhibitions in the country and abroad. He has been attending Lok Mela annually, since long and winning recognition of his talent.

A cultural night was also organized by Azad Kashmir Department of Sports, Youth and Culture during Lok Mela on April 16 at Lok Virsa open air theatre featuring many folk artists and musicians from Azad Kashmir.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 19, 2014
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