Wed. Aug 12th, 2020

Pluralism: Artists from Chitral, Gilgit and Baltistan present rich cultures in Islamabad

Sword dance is a cherished tradition of Gilgit-Baltistan

Sword dance is a cherished tradition of Gilgit-Baltistan
Sword dance is a cherished tradition of Gilgit-Baltistan

Islamabad (PR):  A two-day mega festival “Culture for Peace and Pluralism” showcasing unique and diverse culture heritage, art, literature and cuisines from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC) concluded at the Open Air Theatre, Shakarparian, on Sunday evening. The event was organized by the Initiative for Promotion of Pamiri Arts and Culture (IPPAC) in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in connection with the International Mother Language Day.

Rehmat Ali singing a Khowar song
Rehmat Ali singing a Khowar song

Thousands of people, including women and children, from GBC, residing in the twin-cities, Lahore, Peshawar Abbottabad and other towns participated in the festival in a large number. Renowned poets, singers and musicians of Shina, Balti, Khowar, Brushaski and Wakhi languages from across the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral enthralled the audience during their two-day performance.

However noted singers and poets Jan Ali, Jabir Khan Jabir, Salman Paras and Naveed Tanha stole the show and made the youth dance in ecstasy. The youth danced to the tunes from all the areas of the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regions. The youth far away from their regions in the capital city took advantage of the indigenous unique musician and rocked the stage with their local dance.

A Balti singer
A Balti singer

Speaking on the occasion the linguists stressed the need for preservation and promotion of all indigenous languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regions, as all the small languages of the regions have been declared vulnerable by the UNISCO. Opening on Saturday with traditional music and Mushaira drew a large crowd in which over a dozen poets presented their poems in local as well as Urdu languages and received Plaudit from the audience.

Artists from Yasin Valley (Ghizar) presenting a Burushaski song
Artists from Yasin Valley (Ghizar) presenting a Burushaski song

Three books on Shina language and Urdu prose in GB by Abdul Khaliq Taj were also launched on the occasion. A new album of songs in Shina language by Zafar Waqar Taj sung by Salman Paras and Jabir Ali Jabir and composed by D.W. Baig was also launched. A number of people, mostly youth, appreciated the effort and stressed the need for arranging such events frequently to create harmony among the people and counter extremism and sectarian discord in the region.

A Wakhi song is being presented by Fazal Rahman Shirin Sado
A Wakhi song is being presented by Fazal Rahman Shirin Sado

“We want to create awareness about local culture among youth especially those who are away from their local milieu and living in urban centres through cultural activities,” D.W. Baig, Director, IPPAC, said. He said efforts should be made to revive endangered languages by involving youth.

Mubarak Ali Sawan presenting a Shina song
Mubarak Ali Sawan presenting a Shina song

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