Lok Mela 2023; A True Depiction Of Country’s Rich Cultural Diversity

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 29th Oct, 2023) The biggest folk festival, “Lok Mela 2023,” being organized by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa, from November 4–12, will serve as a cultural treat for the people, featuring a variety of activities including provincial pavilions, shopping and food stalls, and musical programs.

The festival, under the theme `Peace and Harmony through Cultural Diversity’, offers a great opportunity to witness the richness of cultural diversity in all regions of Pakistan. This unique event has now become a symbol of the federation’s unity by promoting folk music, traditional dances, arts and crafts, and traditional skills of the people of Pakistan.

With an objective to foster provincial harmony and national integration, the Lok Mela will highlight the contribution of people from diverse communities towards enriching the country’s cultural identity.

A large number of master artisans, folk artists, musicians, and folk dancers from all over Pakistan, including far-flung areas, are expected to participate in the festival, showcasing their creativity and innovation.

The daily attractions of the festival include provincial pavilions portraying various cultural themes, traditional food stalls, folk music and dances, shopping stalls, kids’ corners, and concerts in the open-air theatre among several other programmes that will take place at each provincial pavilion.

The art and craft bazaar, featuring a rich variety of unique handicrafts, souvenirs, antiques, and decorative art, will be an exciting feature of the Mela.

Arieb Azhar, who is a famous Sufi and folk artist, said, “My favourite Mela is going to start in the capital, where the cultural heritage, food, art and craft, and music with representation of all the provinces will be showcased”. 

For him, “this will be an `Awami Mela’ in a true spirit, and those who have not visited this Mela have not actually experienced the beauty of this city”.

At Lok Virsa’s annual cultural festival, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pavilion, featuring a traditional tea stall, will captivate the attention of visitors through its aromatic tea of different flavours. 

The variety of tea available at this pavilion offers a sensory journey, blending rich flavours that evoke the region’s distinctive culture.

The melodious chimta and thundering dhol beats will set the stage alive during the festival. These traditional instruments promise a rhythmic journey into cultural heritage, elevating the festival’s spirit.

The festival will also present a blend of music, from traditional to fusion, featuring different musical instruments, especially “suroz.”.

Suroz is a traditional Balochi musical instrument from Balochistan, Pakistan, and is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans, featuring intricate carvings that reflect the region’s rich cultural heritage.

The Multani Kashi work, a form of blue pottery, is ready to take centre stage at Islamabad‘s highly anticipated cultural festival. This artistry, blending Persian and indigenous influences, creates mesmerizing ceramics with vivid hues and intricate patterns.

The festival’s cultural mosaic is incomplete without the allure of these exquisite creations, celebrating diversity.

The festival offers a unique opportunity to experience pottery making, which will be a delightful blend of fun and learning, making it perfect for children.

This hands-on activity allows them to explore their creativity while gaining insight into traditional crafts, fostering a deep appreciation for cultural heritage.

Stone carving, which is a timeless art form, will be showcased at the festival. At Lok Virsa, the stone carving exhibit becomes a living testament to the art’s significance. Skilled artisans tirelessly work, their hands breathing life into rugged blocks of stone.

Each tap of the chisel unveils hidden beauty, and every curve and groove capture the essence of Pakistan‘s diverse culture. This cultural exchange and preservation of heritage are at the heart of Lok Mela, fostering appreciation for the artistry and heritage of stone carving.

In this Lok Mela, the Lehri brothers will once again set up their Sajji stall. The tantalizing aroma of Lehri Sajji wafts through the air as the annual Lok Virsa Mela approaches, and all eyes turn to the talented Lehri brothers, Hafeez and Kamran.

At Lok Mela, the Lehri brothers offer a slice of Balochistan‘s rich culture on a plate, inviting festival-goers to savour the flavors of tradition. Their sajji is more than just a meal; it’s a connection to a heritage that transcends borders, uniting people in the joy of food.

Hafeez and Kamran Lehri’s presence at Lok Mela is a culinary celebration not to be missed, a testament to the enduring power of cultural cuisine.

This year, artists from all across Pakistan will gather at the Lok Virsa Mela to exhibit and sell a wide range of handcrafted products as they celebrate Pakistan‘s folk heritage. Craftspeople (artisans) will also demonstrate their techniques in every pavilion at Lok Mela Mela.

So this goes to all who think they have the talent to sing on the big stage. This year, Lok Mela 2023 will also bring an opportunity for talented singers to showcase their voices at the Open Mic programme that will be held daily at the Anarkali Facade during the festival.

Lok Mela is not only featuring artists and artisans from all provinces of Pakistan, but this year, the long-lost elements of its mela, the Folk Theatre and Putli Tamasha, will be revived.


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