Female artists of Potohar region explore their voices at RAC

RAWALPINDI: Lok Virsa in collaboration with National Development and Management Council on Sunday organised a programme ‘Talent Hunt Singing Competition’ among female singers of former region at the Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) under on-going joint institutional cooperation between Pakistan and Norway.Aim of this gathering was to promote art and artists of Potohar and provide an opportunity to local youth who have attained the talent in music and singing but still unexplored or little known to the public.Lok Virsa is a specialised cultural body charged with the mandate for collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Pakistan’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Since its inception, Lok Virsa has been working to promote traditional arts and artists, musicians of Pakistan.The idea behind holding this event was to overshadow male chauvinism in the conventional society where women are most underprivileged segment and normally they keep away from cultural activities.

This activity provided a forum to young women to express themselves and show their talent and win recognition at the national level.Talking to Daily Times, Lok Virsa’s executive director Khalid Javaid said this institution being a national body at the federal level worked in close association with all regional and community based organisations in order to document and preserve indigenous folk culture and musical traditions. But more focus of this initiative was to support young talent from Potohar region was also a step forward in this direction. He also acknowledged with great appreciation that the Royal Norwegian Government was extending in this regard.In a message, the Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan Robert Kvile said, “Culture is one of our priority areas. Our objective is to help preserve and strengthen Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage”. The core of our relationship was our development cooperation, which was now in its fourth decade, he maintained.

The diplomat lauded the services of Lok Virsa as a lead Pakistani partner for cultural cooperation between Pakistan and Norway.Initially, a batch of 33 female artists tried their voices and revealed their talent to a large number of spectators. Three cash and eight consolation prizes were given to winners on basis of judgment made by a jury comprising knowledgeable people in the field of culture and music.All other participants received shields as a token of their participation in the event.Artists who gave special performance on the occasion were Ustad Abdul Latif Khan, Ustad Mehfooz Khokar, Ustad Rustam Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan – Dailytimes