Lok Mela opens today

ISLAMABAD, June 3: The artisans-at-work festival popularly known as ‘Lok Mela’ will formally open today (Saturday, June 4) in a prestigious ceremony to be held at Garden Avenue, Shakarparian.

Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan will inaugurate the festival at Lok Virsa Open Air Theatre.

According to Lok Virsa traditions, the festival will open with a ‘Dastarbandi/Chadarposhi’ of an established master artisan.

Hundreds of craftsmen, folk artists, rural musicians and dance groups have already arrived in Islamabad from all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir to demonstrate their skills for 10 days.

From Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, a contingent of over 60 people is participating in the festival. They include Khattak dance group, master artisans in specialised craft fields such as embroidery, metal work, wax printing, Shawl weaving, Khes weaving and wood works and a number of folk artists. KPK musical night will be held at Lok Virsa open air theatre on June 10. Leading folk singers and musicians such as Gulraiz Khan, Bakhtiar Khattak, Salma Naz, Ahmed Gul, Rafia Bano, Israr Khan, comedian Saeed Rehman Sheno, Khalida Yasmin, Shazma Haleem, Sher Muhammad (rubab nawaz), Khan Muhammad (tabla nawaz) and Ali (harmonium player) would perform during the Lok Mela.

Besides Khattak dancers from KPK, other folk dance groups who would entertainment visitors during the festival are Multani raqs party ‘Gatta Ghora’, Leva dance group from Balochistan and Sheedi dancers from Sindh.

The festival would provide an opportunity to the diplomatic community and residents of the twin cities to have cultural entertainment and to buy handcrafts at reasonable prices.

The craftsmen would also get a chance to sell their products.

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