Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Day Heritage Fair begins at Kala Kendra

Ethnic vibrancy of Gujjar-Bakerwal culture, heritage on show

Three-day Gujjar Heritage Fair, the first of its kind exposition of culture and tradition of noble nomads of the state, started at the Kala Kendra, here today.

Organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, the exclusive event showcasing richness of the ethnic way of life of Gujjar and Bakerwals through exhibition of costumes, jewelry, artifacts and objects of daily use, along with age-old legacy of folk lore, music as well as Gojri contemporary literature published so far, is being considered as community’s mega cultural event in modern times.

The must-see event not only provided a glimpse into the unique ethnic practices and vibrancy of nomadic community wherein form and function combine in an inimitable blend of aesthetic and functionality, but also drew attention towards an urgent need to preserving it for posterity.

The three-day mega cultural event was inaugurated by Mian Altaf, Minster for Forests and Environment, and Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Minster of State of for Hajj and Auqaf, Mushtaq Ahmed Sayed Bukhari, Vice Chairman, Advisory Board for Pahari Speaking People, Jahangir Mir, MLC, Atal Dullo, Commissioner, Tourism & Culture and Secretary Academy, were also present on the occasion.

Congratulating the Academy and Dr Javaid Rahi, Chief Editor, Gojari, for the historic initiative, Mian Altaf, in his address said that such exhibitions not only provide a peep into the rich cultural treasures of the community but also will also help in a great way to orient the new generation of the Gujjars and Bakerwals with their roots.

Echoing similar sentiments Aijaz Ahmed Khan, said that the show was energetic, colorful and exciting. He said Academy should preserve this for all generations to come. Terming the heritage fair as ‘a nice effort’, Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari said that such events were needed and should be held at regular intervals.

Atal Dulloo in his welcome address described the event as first of its kind in recent times and said that the Academy would continue the tradition of holding such events in future also.

Dr Javaid Rahi, Chief Editor Gojri, said we are documenting all the shades of Gujjar identity especially the tradition of nomads which are dying down due to onslaught of globalisation. Mohammed Mansha Khaki, senior editor Gojri, presented vote of thanks.

Inaugural session was followed by ‘meet the eminent contemporary’ programme with founder editor of Gojri, Choudhary Naseem Poonchi, which was presided over by former secretary Academy N D Sharma, Fazal Mushtaq and Choudhary Gulzar Khatana. A dance show was also held on the occasion. The NGOs which also participated in the Heritage Fair included Gurjardesh Charitable Trust, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Majlis-un Nissa, Sopore, Kashmir and Abrol Manuscripts, Rare Book Library, Jammu. While the exhibition’s display was done by well-known sculptor Chander Prakash.

The prominent personalities present on the occasion were Farooq Nazki, Media advisor to Government, N D Jamwal, Prof Rita Jitendra, Rajinder Tikku, Aiyaz Rasool Nazaki, and Prof Zahoor-ud-Din. The three-day festival would culminate on March 21.

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