Folk dancers enthrall Lok Virsa Mela visitors


Groups of folk dancers, attired in beautiful regional costumes with their exotic performances, enthralled the visitors at the week-long cultural Mela at Lok Virsa on Saturday.
The performers, hailing from all five provinces, used a variety of props to elucidate the cultural value of their respective areas.
The cultural events included the Khattak dance party from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gatta Ghora dance party from Punjab, Jhoomar dance party from Sindh and Leva dance party and Jangi Khan Group from Balochistan.
Most prominent among the performers was the Leva (camel dance), which entertained the viewers with its distinctive attire and unique dance moves.
Leva is a Balochi dance of Sheedi origin which is performed by a group of people walking in a circle with hand movements.
The lively performance by the Punjabi artist Fazal Jat was also notable.
Jat entertained the audience by presenting popular folk tales in a unique style.
Talking about the folk music, Lok Virsa’s executive director Khalid Javaid said,”Pakistan is extremely rich in folk music. It includes folk songs, folk dances, folk tales, epics, folk romances, children’s songs, lullabies and children’s game songs”.
“One finds a remarkable continuity of traditions, some of which date back thousands of years to the ancient civilizations of Mehergarh, Moenjodaro, Harappa and Gandhara”, he added.
“The folk songs express the people’s inner and most powerful feelings and ideas, which the ear conveys to mind thus having an elevating, influence on human minds. It is not only an expression of art but it also promotes harmony among different cultures”.
He said folk music constituted an integral part of the cultural life of the people of Pakistan.
“It includes folk songs and folk dances. Folk songs speak for the popular emotions and sentiments, which emanate directly from the heart of the people,” he added.
“These songs differ in tone, tenor and accent of language but their central themes invariably resemble with each other. This is due to the unbreakable cultural ties of the people as a whole. Popular folk dances include bhangra, luddi, gidda, leva, jhoomar, khattak dance, etc,” he said. The major features of the Pakistan Week celebrations include an exhibition of cultural heritage, art & craft bazaar, folkloric songs and dance performances, installation of 24 entrance gates on highways and busy roads, decoration and beautification of different roundabouts, stage plays, special attractions for families & children and an award ceremony scheduled to take place on the last day of the event.
A large number of people are attending the event daily, enjoying the programmes immensely.