Denmark supports indigenous culture of Gilgit-Baltistan


Pakistan is a culturally rich country with a diverse cultural background and services which has a huge potential to being harnessed for economic, social and sustainable development.

This was stated by Ambassador of Denmark, Ole Thonke during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan, where he met with the Hashoo Foundation (HF), a partner of the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) working to promote art and culture in Pakistan.

Talking to representatives from the Hunza Arts and Culture Council, Ghizer Arts and Culture Council & KADO officials, including local artisans, the ambassador was apprised about the deep-rooted imprints, which the Danish supported program is having on the cultural canvas of the region.

Bulbul Jan Shams, Regional Program Manager of HF, highlighted that Denmark’s support had played an important role in reviving old cultural festivals for social and sectarian harmony, which had faded away over the past many decades.

Ambassador Thonke appreciated the richness of the region stating that his recent visit to the mountains of the GB and meetings with local people had truly impressed him. “Local culture and traditions are important part of any society as it is the root to how societies were built and how people form opinions and build relations.

Denmark fully believes that art and culture are important means to bridge differences, to create tolerance, and ultimately to provide economic opportunities for communities as well as individuals”, said Ambassador Thonke.

He shared that the Government of Denmark is proud to be supporting art and culture in Pakistan that focus on supporting minorities, as well as women, youth, local artists and artisans, entrepreneurs and civil society organisations by providing larger access to art, culture and creative industries and public-private partnerships.

He also appreciated the local government’s efforts to facilitate and fully participate in the cultural activities supported by the program. “Gilgit Baltistan is indeed a jewel in the art and cultural sector of Pakistan and can become a driving force for economic empowerment” the ambassador Thonke said.

Through the Danish supported program, local artisans had also received training in stone carving, wood carving and traditional music. Several business groups have been formed in the region to further promote the value chain of local products and services.

The Ambassador’s visit was further appreciated through various performances done by local artists, including the performance of renowned singer, Ayoub Mutasir.