CultureDevelopmentGilgit - Baltistan

Wakhi Festival concludes at Lok Virsa

ISLAMABAD, December 13: The five-day Wakhi Cultural Festival, organised by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Gojal Educational & Cultural Association (GECA), has concluded with a prestigious ceremony marked by traditional cultural ensembles of music and dance.

The slogan of the festival was ‘Harnessing Culture for Peace & Harmony’ and the organisers succeeded in bringing the message of peace to the entire Pakistani nation through the vibrant depiction of the Wakhi heritage with performances and demonstration of skills by the Wakhi artisans and artists, who came from the far-flung valley of upper Hunza and Gojal.

Murtaza Solangi, Director General, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony, who eulogised the efforts of the organisers Lok Virsa and GECA for their combined efforts for promotion of Wakhi culture and language.

Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid appreciated the efforts of the participating master artisans, folk artists and musicians from Wakhi community on the successful completion of the festival. He said that the festival afforded an excellent opportunity to the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad to witness at the capital city the first time in the history of Pakistan live presentations and display of the rich of cultural traditions, lifestyles, musical heritage, traditional cuisine and the rituals connected to various festivities and celebrations of the Wakhi community living in Gilgit-Baltistan region.

On behalf of Lok Virsa, he assured the participants that Lok Virsa will continue to patronise and support all regional and local cultural institutions in Pakistan for documentation and preservation of their indigenous folk culture and traditions. He also acknowledged the generous contribution made by the partners, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented by Royal Norwegian Embassy for holding this unique cultural activity of its kind at Islamabad.

Also appreciating the role of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, Khalid Javaid said that it is a source of great satisfaction for the cultural organisations like Lok Virsa that state media institutions like PBS are keen to help out in projecting cultural heritage of Pakistan. He said that Lok Virsa recognises the contribution of PBC in documenting and promoting folk musical heritage of Pakistan through its provincial and regional radio stations. He expressed hope that Both Lok Virsa and PBC can join hand together to make some more concerted efforts in this direction, he added.

GECA Chairman Farman Ali Baig thanked Lok Virsa and the Norwegian partners in giving an opportunity to the Wakhi people to showcase their rich culture, traditions, folklore and musical heritage in the capital city through Wakhi Cultural Festival.

The ceremony concluded with life cultural performances by a select number of Wakhi folk singers and musicians as well as poetry recitation by the Wakhi poets and writers. Certificates and shields were presented to the participants at the end of the ceremony. Over 60 participants including master artisans, folk artists and musicians attended the festival.

The 5-day Wakhi festival remained a centre of attraction for the visitors from the twin city metropolis. Visitors enjoyed the elderly people and notables of Gojal tribe dancing to the tunes of traditional music wearing their cultural white cap and long woollen coat embroidered with flowers called ‘Chugha.’ The white cap and ‘Chugha’ clad elders remained the centre of attention.

Apart from poetry recitation session, melodious songs, skits and drama staged by local Wakhi artists were also presented during the festival and a drama depicting the various phases of historical development of Wakhi people received warm appreciation. Stalls showcasing the traditional dress, cuisines and artwork of Wakhi Pamiri people remained the centre of attention of visitors. Local cuisines such as Bat, Molida, Gral, Shulbut and Moch offered a unique traditional taste to the visitors. The warmth of the food stalls and the colourful cultural presentations of the festival provided a good warm environment in the chilly weather of the twin cities. [The NEWS]

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  1. On behalf of the newly appointed Chairman and cabinet members of Gojal Ismailia Students Association Karachi (GISAK) pays congratulations to the Chairman and executive members of the Gojal Educational & Cultural Association (GECA), for organizing “Harnessing Culture for Peace & Harmony’ successful festival in Islamabad. We hope that the GECA will organize different events for the students, professionals, civil society and will play a major role in the development of Gojal valley.

    Karim Ali Bahadur
    Chairman (GISAK)

  2. Congratulations to the chairman Farman Ali, his team, participants – came from Gojal and evey body who did participate in the events.

    I would request the Executive members of GECA to carry- out the evaluation including learnings – vital component of the prog cycle.


  3. It is in real sense a great success. I appreciate the efforts of the organizers for arranging such a marvelous festival. Pakistan is a diversified country having different kinds of cultures and one of them is the Wakhi culture having its own unique attributes. The cultural patterns actually play a substantial role in shaping an individuals’ personality like inculcating in them the positive qualities, essential to lead a useful and peaceful life and in keeping the individuals intact and on the track of life, especially our youth, who is in dire need of such cultural festivals so that they could see and observe the true values of life like happiness, tolerance and peace.

  4. Congratulations to all Wakhi Pamiri peoples for their successfully performances in the Wakhi Pamir Festival 2009,We thanks to Pakistan government and another supporting organizations too, to whom help us for organizing the big Wakhi Festival and we also strongly Mubarak Bad to the (GECA) representatives for organizing such nice Wakhi Pamir Festival 2009 in Islamabad and pray for your success, keep it up.

    Ali Aman Gojali

    Congratultions to All representatives of GECA and all the stakeholders. Indeed it is the first time for the community to organize such a mega event and smoothy ending with respectable comisments by the Chief Gust.
    The entire credits goes to all the participants of this event as well as to the committees of GECA.
    The committee devoted thir entire efforts , energy, mony , idea and precious time for the accomplishment of this successful and result oriented programm.
    Although , too many negative occcured on the site but need to be improved towards giving best of the best remarks of the collective achievement. The comments on Late Haqeeqat uncle is indeed below the morality. His contribution in preserving the language of Wakhi is indeed the success story for the arrangement of such mega event. Those people who have no any type of existence they simply dig the grave yards and remarking the great leaders .
    Finally, thanks to all those who contributed their entire efforts, time , money and knowledge for arranaging such event in the heart of capital city Islamabad.


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