- Closing ceremony to be held at Greater Iqbal Park
A three-day ‘Punjab-Gilgit Baltistan Fusion Festival 2017’ commenced at Alhamra Arts Council on Thursday to bring the two provinces culture and music together under one roof.
According to details, many musicians, artists, folk singers and dancers from both the provinces would mesmerise the audience by their performances during these days. The stalls of different items were set up by the Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA) and Lahore Arts Council in collaboration with the provincial governments of Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Muhammad Anwar, the oldest artist among a crew of some fifty artists who came from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), cut the ribbon to formally inaugurate the marvellous festival that would have a blend of both the provinces. Soon after the inauguration, Anwar along with his team members performed traditional sword dance and was joined by WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Anwar, who originally hails from Siachen, said that he was overwhelmed with the honour he has received in Lahore. Such festivals must be arranged on a regular basis as artists from different parts of the country get an opportunity to interact with each other, he added.
Anwar said, “The ‘sword dance’ that we presented today is our traditional folk dance that we usually present on the occasions where we have to give special honour to someone and it is our gift to the people of Lahore”.
The people of Gilgit-Baltistan had also setup the stalls of their traditional items that they brought from their areas. The items of stalls included dry food, handicrafts, hand-made traditional caps and clothes of GB. “The response from the people of Lahore is excellent and we have sold forty percent items on the very first day of the festival,” Manzoor, who came from Hunza Valley, said while talking to Pakistan Today. “We have warm clothes and traditional caps and they are available at very nominal prices”, he added.
Sherbaz Kalim, the manager of the fifty artists who came from GB, told Pakistan Today that there are more than 2000 tunes in the traditional music of GB for different occasions. “The traditional music of GB is very rich as it has different melodies for different occasions, we have wartime tunes, sports tunes, tunes of harvest and heroic tunes for different times” he added.
WCLA DG and Alhamra Arts Council Chairman Kamran Lashari said on the occasion that interprovincial harmony would be strengthened by holding such festivals as artists from other parts of the country get an opportunity to meet with each other. “This festival will send a soft image of Pakistan abroad and brotherhood among Pakistanis will also be promoted,” he said.
The closing ceremony of the festival will be held at Greater Iqbal Park on Saturday.