Islamabad - A weeklong workshop of weaving craft started yesterday at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa, for budding and amateur craftpersons from various educational institutions of the twin cities.

Around 300 students/children from different schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi including special children from Directorate of Special Education participated in the colourful opening ceremony that was followed by folk musical performances and shows depicting the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan, besides demonstration of weaving on handlooms by master artisans from all over Pakistan.

Six creative weavers in the dying craft field of Farasi and Sussi from Sindh, Taghar, Kaleen and Shawl from Khyber Pakthunkwa, Loi, Khes, Durree and Khaddar from Punjab, Sharma and Pattu from Gilgit-Baltistan will show their skills to the audience and teach children of age group 6-14 years regarding their craft areas during the workshop. Students will be provided coaching on Khaddis (handlooms) by the artisans. Lok Virsa also arranged a display of rare weaving craft items on the occasion for the benefit of masses. The programme aims at creating a link between culture and education; encouraging youth to value dignity of labour; fostering ownership for their culture, inculcating respect for different professions and character building; and helping understand the contributions of artisans in the sustainable development of their community and country.

at large; engaging students in creative works by providing them on-ground opportunities to learn craft skills; recognizing the hard work of artisans associated with various fields to ensure continuity of the traditions; and documenting, promoting and preserving the rich craft heritage of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director Lok Virsa Dr Fouzia Saeed said, “We have initiated this programme for students and young children around folk crafts. Our Heritage Museum highlights one craft for a week every month and we have artisans and experts available for children to engage them in creativity. These craftspersons not only display their skills and make them in front of the people but also teach children and have materials for them to experiment with the medium. This we hope will give a hand on opportunity to become familiar with the folk crafts.”

Highlighting the significance of the programme, the ED Lok Virsa further said, “This is an experiment of sowing the seeds of pluralistic society in our younger generation. A generation that will take care of our country in future and make it a truly pluralistic society where people of all cultures, languages and traditions living in Pakistan will fully own each other as valued Pakistani citizens.”