CITY: (Colorful cultural festival concludes)

ISLAMABAD: The colorful Qissa Khawani Bazaar Festival concluded here no Sunday after showcasing rich culture and traditions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for four consecutive days.

The event was organised by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa in collaboration with Provincial Directorate of Culture.

The festival featured recreation of the historical Qissa Khawani Bazaar, crafts bazaar, food court, Pushto musical and dance performances and many other attractions for families and youth.

The major objective of the festival was to promote national harmony and integration by reviving the old tradition of Qissa Khawana Bazaar and its related activities. It carried a series of rounds of a Rubab contest at Peshawar and Islamabad.

To mark the festival, a book on ‘The Bazaar of the Story Tellers’ by Wilma Heston and Mumtaz Nasir was also launched by Lok Virsa. The stories included in the book were for the most part chosen to depict the Pathans and their life and culture as presented by their own singers.

Grand Finale of the Rabab contest also took place during the festival in which 15 contestants competed for the cash awards of three top positions of 1st, 2nd and 3rd and consolation prizes.

Outstanding Pushto artists Nabeela Wadood, Bukhtiar Khattak, Shahid Ali Khan and Abasin Yousuf Zai also performed live in a concert and entertained audience with their thrilling performances. Lok Virsa Mandwa Film Club screened the famous Pushto film ‘Yousuf Khan Sherbano’ coinciding with the festival.

Talking to journalists, Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said “It is the first event of its kind at the federal capital. We have recreated the ambiance of the Qissa Khawani Bazaar, so the audience can experience the cultural heritage of Khyber Pkhtunkhwa.”

She also underscored the importance of passing on traditions and heritage to new generation. It is necessary to document such stories to show the youth real essence of pluralistic past, she said.

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