Join us on Tuesday , 20th February, at 6.30 pm, at Media Centre Lok Virsa for a special program spotlighting “Lost Heritage – The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan” by Amardeep Singh. This program is brought to you by Asian Study Group in collaboration with Lok Virsa.
About the Event:
‘The Quest Continues..’ is a unique yet captivating book that documents the travels of Amardeep Singh, in early 2017, to 90 cities and villages across Sindh, Balochistan, AJK, KP and the Punjab, on a quest to chronicle the nearly abandoned legacy of the Sikh civilization in Pakistan.
Visually intensive, using spectacular photographs (by Mr. Singh) to weave a story line that takes the audience on a thoughtful, yet entertaining, virtual journey, the event – which will be in the form of a presentation – will motivate all communities to become aware of the past, and through it, live in harmony for mutual progress, in present times.
About the Presenter:
Amardeep Singh is an engineer and an MBA who worked as Asia Pacific Regional Head for Pricing & Revenue Management for 25 years at American Express in Singapore. He retired in 2013 and began studying the history, musicology and spirituality of his Sikh ancestors from the Punjab.
He is passionate about history, musicology, spirituality and photography. His first book: LOST HERITAGE: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan, published in Jan 2016, documented his explorations across 36 cities and villages in Pakistan.
We look forward to see you at Lok Virsa tomorrow, 20th Feb, at 6.30 Pm.
Note: Parking will be available from Gate 4.
Dear All ,
It is time for international cinema at the Mandwa Film club.
Join us on Saturday 24th February, at 4pm for the screening of a Hollywood classic “The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)”.
About the Film:
Directed by William Wyler and Produced by Samuel Goldwyn, “The Best Years of Our Lives” is a true Hollywood classic starring some of the greatest actors that Hollywood has known such as Fredric Marc,Teresa Wright, Harold Russel and Myrna Loy. It won seven Academy awards and remains the sixth best selling film of all times in the UK theaters.
When the film was released in 1946, the bloodiest war of the century had just ended and the survivors were coming home. They all returned with the same basic dream of putting the war behind them and getting back to life as usual, but the reality was different. For those whose primary skill was wielding a weapon, employment opportunities were scarce. Wives and children had become strangers. And women, who had entered the working force to earn for their families while men went to war away, had discovered a never-before kind of independence. “The Best Years of Our Lives” takes all of these factors into account. And, even though the film’s social relevance has diminished after quarter of a century of it’s release, its dramatic power and impact have not lessened.
Calling out to all fans of Hollywood, don’t miss the opportunity to watch this great classic at the Mandwa film club. Join us on Saturday, 24th February, at 4 pm, at Media Centre.
We are pleased to announce a very exciting Calendar of Events for February 2018.
The major event of this month is Grand Musical Celebrations of Lok Virsa, on 3rd February at 6.00 pm. This will be a reflection on the milestones of Lok Virsa such as Rebuilding Cultural Identity, Reclaiming Cultural Spaces and Promoting Pluralism.
You are especially invited to become a part of this event. A copy of formal invitation card can be found here. Please print the card and bring it along.
Going forwards, we are going to launch two more books this month. “Folk Heritage of Pakistan” will be launched in Karachi Arts Council on 4th February, and at Zarsanga Hall in Lok Virsa Islamabad on 8th February at 6.00Pm.
Our much anticipated cinema book “A Journey through Lens: Pakistani Cinema” will be launched exclusively in Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore on 7th February.
On 5th February, Lok Virsa will commemorate Kashmir Day with one-day Kashmir Cultural Festival, with it’s Opening Ceremony to take place at 11.00 am on same day, in Museum Hall.
On 6th February at 6.00Pm at Heritage Museum we will have a “Grand Opening of Music Hall together with the opening of an Audio Tour of Heritage Museum“.
On 17th and 18th of February ICF will conduct it’s “3rd Pakistan Mother Languages and Literature Festival” at Lok Virsa. Keeping in view this two-days long literature festival across Lok Virsa, Mandwa Film on 17th February will be screened at the Faiz Heritage Library.
Please review the detailed schedule of events given below:
2nd February 2018, 6.00 pm, at Media Centre
ASG in collaboration with Lok Virsa presents “Performing Arts, A JOURNEY: DANCES OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC”
3rd February 2018, 11.00 am, at Museum Hall
Sri Lankan Dance Troupe Performance
3rd February 2018, 6.00 pm, at Lawn Area
Grand Musical Celebrations of Lok Virsa
4th February 2018, 6.00 Pm, at Karachi Arts Council
Book Launch: “Folk Heritage of Pakistan”
5th February 2018, 11.00 am, Museum Hall
Opening Ceremony: Kashmir Cultural Festival
6th February 2018, 6.00 Pm, at Heritage Museum
Grand Opening of Music Hall and Audio Tour of Museum
7th February 2018, 10.00 am, at Museum Hall
Iranian Film Festival
7th February 2018, 6.00 Pm, at Alhamra Arts Council Lahore
Book Launch: “A Journey through Lens: Pakistani Cinema”
7th February 2018, 6.30 Pm, at Media Centre
ASG Comparative Cultures in collaboration with Lok Virsa presents “AMONG THE ‘DHOLIS’ OF PUNJAB”
8th February 2018, 6.00 Pm, at Zarsanga Hall
Book Launch: “A Journey through Lens: Pakistani Cinema”
10th February 2018, 4.00 Pm, Media Centre
Mandwa Film “Baharon Phool Barsao(1972)”
12th February, 10.00 am, at Zarsanga Hall
“Pakistan Womens’ Day” by PODA
17th February 2018, 4.00 Pm, at Faiz Heritage Library
Mandwa Film “The Best Years of Our Lives(1946)”
17th-18th February 2018, 10 am , at Lok Virsa
Pakistan Mother Languages and Literature Festival
20th February 2018, 6.30 Pm, at Media Centre
ASG Comparative Cultures in collaboration with Lok Virsa present “LOST HERITAGE: THE SIKH LEGACY IN PAKISTAN”
24th February 2018, 4.00 pm, at Media Centre
Mandwa Film “Talaash(1976)”
You can also visit us on Facebook for latest updates on all our upcoming events.
We look forward to see you at Lok Virsa for these special events in the month of February 2018.
We are pleased to announce that a new batch of music classes will commence from 3rd February, 2018. In this batch we will be focusing on Singing, Flute and Rubab playing. These classes will take place on weekends with schedule as follows:
Singing Classes: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 am – 1 pm
Flute Classes: Saturdays & Sundays, 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm
Rubab Classes: Saturdays & Sundays, 4 pm – 6 pm
Meet our Teachers:
Singing (Classical and Light Music) – Ustaad Sultan Fateh Ali Khan:
Ustaad Sultan Fateh Ali Khan is the son of late Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan who was among the foremost Khayal vocalists of Pakistan and a leading exponent of Patiala Gharana. Ustad Fateh Ali Khan has been instrumental in keeping his father’s legacy alive by passing on the knowledge of classical music to the new generation. He will be teaching light classical singing at Lok Virsa music classes.
Flute – Salman Adil:
Salman Adil has been practicing and teaching flute for several years. A master musician, Salman runs his own academy and is apt at teaching the basics, to advance skills of playing Flute tunes to first time learners, at a reasonable pace. He has taught all the previous students of Flute at Lok Virsa music classes.
Rubab – Adnan Haider:
Adnan Haider is a master Rabab player from Parachinar, Khurram Agency. He has learnt Rubab from Ustad Gulab Afridi and has been practicing this craftab for the past 12 years. Along with a command on Rubab, Adnan is also a sculptor. He is well-known for his renditions of Pashtu tunes and has performed on prestigious platforms in Pakistan and abroad. Adnan has taught all the previous batches of Rubab classes at Lok Virsa.
Please contact 051-9249209 for queries and registration. Please also pass on this information to prospective students who may benefit from this opportunity.
We look forward to welcome our next batch of music classes from February 2018 onward!
When I joined Lok Virsa, about a year and a half ago, we only had employees from Punjab and Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa. Over the last year I have tried hard to search for young candidates to be inducted from other province. To get good candidates from Balochistan has been a challenge as it is difficult to get people to move to Islamabad on such low renumeration, However, I am happy to share that we now have six young professionals from Balochistan at Lok Virsa, providing thier services for various jobs.
Abdullah Baloch, the head of the Culture Department, Balochistan Government, visted us yesterday and was so happy when I introduced him to these young professionals. He said, “This was a dream for me. I had been associated with Lok virsa for over three decades and always wanted to see bright people from Balochistan here and now it has come true.” He thanked me for being true to my claim that Balochistan and GB were my priority. I am sharing a picture of Abdullah Baloch with young professionals from Balochistan who are providing thier services as internal auditor, PRO, store keeper of the museum, Media program executive, Electrical Engineer and ethnomusicologist.
I would also like to share that we have 5 young professionals from GB who are providing thier services to Lok Virsa as head of Media, head of accounts, cameraman and two in the Museum. This diversity is already changing the environment of the Institute and influencing, positively, the programs of lok virsa. I strongly beleive that for it to be a true ‘National’ Institute, it has to have the voices of all the provinces. We continue to work on achieving that balance!
I hope you had nice Eid holidays. Ramzan was a nice time for reflection on our last year’s program and preparation for the financial year starting 1st of July. We have a full agenda of strategic cultural programs for our children, youth and all other ages to bring out the true pluralistic nature of our folk culture. I would like to share briefly what we were able to accomplish in the last year and highlights of what we plan to bring, with your help, in the coming year.
REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST YEAR
The strategy I developed for Lok Virsa was designed to 1) cater more to the younger generation to develop their cultural identity, 2) spread out of the Rwp/Isb area to ensure LV is a national institute, 3) focus more on dissemination rather than collection of cultural materials and 4) to promote pluralism and national integration. In addition, we wanted to re-establish connections with other countries.
I think we were able to re-establish Lok Virsa as a vibrant hub of cultural activity. We were able to systematically attract thousands of children with the help of Federal Board of Education and other partners. Our programs, Craft of the Month, teaching how to make various folk crafts, Children’s Literature Festival in collaboration with Oxford and Idara e Taleem o Aagahi and the language Summer Camp were super successful. For youth, we had tributes to great cultural figures like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Habib Jalib, Aslam Azhar and Amjad Sabri, as well as competitions for Rubab and Saroz playing.
For all ages our program Mandwa, featuring Pakistani and international classic films was successful in generating interest and appreciation of old classics.
To make Lok Virsa truly national we engaged with a full range of diverse ethnic communities and organized programs with them to ensure all communities with different languages, cultures and religions are welcomed at Lok Virsa. We also partnered with the Govt of KP and Balochistan and did elaborate programs with them in those provinces. A competition of Rubab in KP and that of Suroz in Balochistan. Our spread and dissemination was also ensured by going livestream and actually touching people internationally. We live streamed our Mela through our website and since then have been live streaming all our major programs. Lok Virsa produced a TV program for the first time. A half hour program called the Folk Beats for PTV world aired every Sunday. We also became active on social media with a new website and a Facebook page which has increased our spread and engagement with the public. Another way of increasing our spread and ensuring we focus on dissemination is to be producing video DVDs and audio albums and making them accessible to public. We have taken out 14 DVDs which will be launched soon.
Lok Virsa has promoted pluralism and diversity by building sound relationships with all kinds of communities of Pakistan and highlighting their festivals and cultures. We celebrated, Eid with an Eid Mela (2015), Christmas, Nauruz and Holi. We had many ethnic based cultural events like with Hazara community, Gojal community, Afghan community, Sindhi community and many more. The two language and literature Festivals in collaboration with Oxford and Indus cultural forum focused on diversity of language and its significant to retain our culture. These will become annual events to be held at Lok Virsa now. Our Mela also remains a highlight to promote our cultural diversity and with the excellent role media played to accentuate our efforts, we were able to make a mark.
Internationally we have begun our linkages and home that we would establish a working relationship with Smithsonian in Washington DC.
LOK VIRSA also had internal targets in three areas to strengthen the institute itself. The following was achieved in this regard.
– An empowered Board of Governors was established in June 2015, after a gap of two and a half years.
– Lok Virsa Rules were made and passed by the BOG after a gap of 13 years. When the institute was reconstituted in 2002 the new rules were never made.
– The accounts were cleaned up and computerized (a very big challenge, took a whole year and still have pending liabilities)
– Pension Issue almost resolved (mega problems in this area when I came, will take more time to clean up the mess developed over the years)
– Other systems being developed
b) Staff capacity issues
– Some capacity building exercises were done, computer courses, cultural lectures, but this area is a very big challenge
– New people on contract were hired and soon we will be hiring and re building teams.
NEW PROGRAMS IN THE UPCOMING YEAR
We plan to continue our new strategy as it was developed for three years. We continue the following programs:
-Craft of the Month for children and Summer Camp
-Mandwa Film Club – this year we hope to feature Zeba Begum, Nadeem and Saima as our celebrities
Starting with an annual celebration of Mandwa’s success by the members on the 23rd of July with a special feature of film kasoti (quiz show)
-Tributes will continue: this year starting with Ahmad Faraz, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Javed Salamat Bakhshi and then Reshman
– this year we plan to take the Mela out. We will have one in Islamabad in April but will also try to do 2 small ones in Swat and Karachi.
– TV shows will continue
– we will do provincial work with Sindh or Punjab Government, while our collaborations with KP and Balochistan will continue.
Will revamp Lok Virsa Archives with the help of Smithsonian
Establish a folk dance group for regular performances and also for Embassies and Foreign office to capitalize upon
Music classes, initially for Tabla, flute and Rubab
Production of audio albums, video DVDs and discovery of new folk artists.
Improvement in documentation and new collection for the museum.
WE ARE OPEN TO YOUR SUGGESTIONS, IDEAS AND COMMENTS, AS IT IS ONLY WITH YOUR COOPERATION AND HELP THAT LOK VIRSA CAN SUCCEED. IT IS YOUR INSTITUTION, WE ONLY RUN IT FOR YOU.
Dr. Fouzia Saeed
Executive Director, Lok Virsa