[Culture and Art] Wakhi Cultural Festival begins
December 10, 2009 1 Comment
ISLAMABAD: Folk artists clad in traditional white and burnishing gold Chogha enthralled a select gathering by singing Sho Muborakbod, a traditional song to welcome guests, to herald the beginning of a five-day Wakhi Cultural Festival at Lok Virsa Museum here on Wednesday.
The event showcased the unique lifestyle of the Wakhi people living in four countries including Pakistan’s Gojal and Ishkoman valleys in Gilgit-Baltistan and Boroghil in Chitral.
The ceremony of putting the traditional white woolen caps on the heads of the chief guest, Terje Thodesen, Counsellor/head of the development section of Norwegian Embassy, and Executive Director Lok Virsa Khalid Javaid was a symbolic gesture that Wakhi Pamiri people wanted to enter the mainstream of cultural life.
Thhe event also gave an opportunity to peep into the hitherto pastoral life of this community, especially in a few documentaries which were screened on the occasion.
The Norwegian diplomat described the retrospect of culture and traditions of the Wakhis as an important part of the efforts of his government and Lok Virsa.
‘The people of Norway were also simple and financially handicapped and undeveloped until the discovery of oil in the North Sea. However, after becoming affluent they have retained their humble ways of the past.’
He said his country in many ways was similar and, therefore, the people of Norway have a natural liking for northern areas of Pakistan and its people.
The chairman of Gojal Educational and Cultural Association explained that the Pamir Knot mountainous terrain, where the Gojal valley is situated, was an area where cross-currents of various civilizations had met for centuries as caravans of traders, explorers and adventurers traversed the historic Silk Route.
Wakhi Pamiri people despite their diaspora spread across four countries on the Pamir high plateau namely Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikstan and China share close linguistic, cultural and religious ties with each other.
He said the festival would explore various facets of Wakhi culture through folkloric performances, songs and dance ensemble, traditional cuisine and also through sessions of linguistic expressions.source