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Children entertain with folk, traditional songs

Children entertain with folk, traditional songs

ISLAMABAD: Child folk artists from all four provinces put on a live performance of their folk and traditional songs at Lok Virsa on Friday.

The young artists sang songs in Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, Sindhi and Marvari. Some of the performers had also taken part in Lok Virsa’s annual Lok Mela in April this year.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry was the chief guest at the event and he appreciated the young artists’ performances.

He said: “Foreign policy is no longer the game of statements and cultural diplomacy is very important in building the image of a nation. These young artists are the true ambassadors of Pakistan. Unfortunately, we are forgetting our identity as our children do not even know their regional languages.”

“We should be grateful to these children who are trying to connect us with our culture,” he added, and invited the artists to perform at a diplomatic event next month.

“We have a rich history and culture and they need to be promoted. I loved seeing these children in colourful, traditional dresses from around the country,” he said.

Speaking about the event, Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said: “This is an attempt to sow the seeds of a pluralistic society in our younger generation, which will be running the country in the future and will make it a country where people of all cultures, languages and traditions will own one another as valued, Pakistani citizens.”

A young singer from Peshawar, Zaamin Hussein, said he had started singing two years ago and that he was trained by his father, who is also a singer.

“I loved performing here and want other similar opportunities so I can show the world my talent. Pashto is my mother tongue and I feel so proud whenever I sing in Pashto,” he said.

Some of the children also performed their regional dances and played instruments including the chimta and dambora.

Talking to the media after the event, the foreign secretary said: “Pakistan wants a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue because we have a long, emotional affiliation with [the Kashmiris]. It is very depressing to see the people of Kashmir in such a miserable condition, which is why we are raising the issue at every forum. We have invited India for talks but they have refused to talk on the matter. Peace and economic prosperity is only possible in the region if the Kashmir issue is addressed.”

Talking to Dawn, the wife of the foreign secretary, Najia Aizaz, said she was “amazed” to see how confident the children were as they are from rural areas and do not get enough exposure and opportunities.

“They sang very well. Children are our future and we should tell them more about different cultures and traditions,” she said.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2016

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