ISLAMABAD – The celebrations featuring live performances on Kalash music and dances, live painting competition, exhibition of mountain craft, seminars and youth forums in connection with International Mountain Day are continued at Lok Virsa.
The events were arranged to commence the 4th Pakistan Mountain Festival, comprising all mountain colours right from the Kalash dance by the indigenous performing group from the two Kalash valleys Rambur and Bamboret; music from the Gilgit-Batistan, live painting competition on the theme of `mountains and water’, exhibition of mountain craft and a day-long seminar entitled `challenges confronting mountains and its communities’.
This time the core partners for arranging these event were, Sports and Culture Directorate of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Lok Virsa, and the GLOF project of UNDP and the Climate Change division. Over a dozen other partners are playing their role to make the 4th edition of the Pakistan Mountain Festival a success, and they include Rupani Foundation, AKRSP, SEED project, EvK2CNR, ICIMOD, Sustainable Tourism
Foundation and the Adventurer Club.
A 15-member dance troupe from Kalash has been the centre of eye because of its colourful and unique dresses and headgears. The small groups of girls dancing in the circles, semi-circles, and enchanting unusual verses and their cheerful screaming kept the
audience to sway and applause.
DW Baig music group also presented the several melodious tunes in different local dialects. He said the mountain music is just not the music, its ritual for the locals. Baig thanked the partners of the Pakistan Mountain Festival for mainstreaming the cultures and
challenges confronting the mountains.
As many as, 67 students from the different universities and participated in the live painting competition on the theme of `mountains and water’. The participant used oil on canvas media to reflect their thoughts.
Riffat Ara Baig said all the paintings would be put on display in an exhibition later on, and some of the best paintings would decorate the calendar of 2015. Every year a different theme is selected to challenge the creative flare of the students that also sensitise
the participants of the importance of mountains to our life.
The exhibition of crafts has been another attraction for the visitors. Rupani Foundation has brought the gems and jewellery from upper Hunza. All the designs were made by the women who are trained by the Rupani Foundation for cutting and polishing the gems, and designing of the jewellery.
Muhammad Ikram, senior manager of the Rupani Foundation said, “Women are more artistic and can create the shapes and designs of the gems that could attract more the women buyers. Besides, it gets the women engaged in to the economic circle, empowering their households,” he added.
Munir Ahmed, Director Pakistan Mountain Festival and Devcom-Pakistan said, the environmental hazardous in our mountain region has direct link with poverty in the area.
We believe that to tackle challenges of climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, sustainable livelihood and solid waste management in Pakistan’s high lands require political will, mobilization of key stakeholders, sensitization of public and engagement of the
communities for reducing vulnerability and the efficient management of natural resources.
Highlighting the role of event, Munir Ahme said, the Pakistan Mountain Festival was organized to meet the need of a forum that could play a junction for the mountain communities especially youth and women, experts, government departments, development partners and donors and other stakeholders to interact each other in frank and open
environment to discuss the progress and review the way forward annually to implement the policies and plans of action with necessary amendments if they collectively think so, he further said.
He informed, “The environmental advocacy organizations in Pakistan has been celebrating the International Mountain Day individually but in 2009 DEVCOM-Pakistan initiated the idea of Pakistan Mountain Festival to mark the International Mountain Day jointly and successfully arranged several activities so far.
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