ISLAMABAD -The ethnicity and indigenous cultures of the country have been artistically showcased through three-dimensional creative dioramas and visual presentations here at Lok Virsa.

The Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology here at Shakarparian, known as Heritage Museum nicely projects the country's living culture at home and abroad as it is not only frequently visited by Pakistani nationals but also foreign delegates and diplomats.

The museum has been conceptualized, conceived and created by Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage), a specialized organization dealing with documentation and preservation of Pakistan's cultural heritage.

The main display halls include antiquity and continuity, ethnic tribes, thematic exhibitions and artisans-at-work, ballads and romances, Sufis and shrines, musical heritage, textile and embroidery, jewellery and metal work, architecture and wood work.

A spacious hall on "Sufis and Shrines", depicts the contributions and message of our great Sufi saints. Here one can visit and see the architecture with intricate minor work done in an artistic way.

There are also pigeons landmark, which looks as real as one can see in the shrines.

Besides establishing the display on Sufism, Lok Virsa has also published a series of books on the works of Sufi poets and saints such as Sultan Bahu, Baba Bhullay Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Waris Shah, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and others and this effort is still on-going.

The museum also presents "link passages" depicting similarities and affinities of Pakistan's cultural traditions with neighbouring and friendly countries, including Iran, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Talking to this news agency, Lok Virsa's executive director Khalid Javaid said, "Most of the museums in Pakistan are archaeological, which are a throwback from colonial times. The National Heritage Museum is the first state museum of ethnology, which presents the history and living traditions of the people of Pakistan both from the mainstream and the remotest regions of the country."

The location of this landmark achievement at Islamabad enriches the Federal Capital and adds to its attractions, he added.

The museum is regularly visited by VVIPs, VIP delegates, dignitaries and state guests apart from students, researchers, scholars and general public, he said.

In order to inculcate awareness among the youth about their indigenous folk culture showcased in the museum, "Friday" has been declared as "student day" where students are allowed free access to the museum facilities, which include creative displays, heritage library housing rare materials and manuscripts on Pakistan's culture, museum conservation laboratory, etc, he stated.

The ED Lok Virsa further said that the primary purpose of the museum was to educate and edify present and future generations of Pakistan and to create a treasure house for the nation more valuable than the vault of any bank in the world. "This is a museum for the people of Pakistan, who are the real bearers of our cultural traditions, which make Pakistan truly great", he maintained.

A large majority of people of Pakistan live in the villages. Their life is tradition-bound. Customs, rituals, ceremonies, beliefs, folk songs and dances form the matrix of their day-to-day sentiments. All this has been tremendously presented in the Heritage Museum, he added.

In addition to this, recently a 'Cultural Diorama on Saudi Arabia has been opened at museum titled, "Al-Ghadeer", for which artifacts were being contributed by the Government of Saudi Arabia through its mission in capital city.

It will further enhance brotherly relations of both countries and awareness about the cultural traditions, arts and crafts of Saudia among the people of Pakistan and the delegates of other countries, who visit this museum on various occasions, he concluded.