A Major Cultural Product Crystallized
Towards the close of March, Sindh had four successive days of sheer abandon amidst the unique colour and sound of Thari Culture in a ground breaking Festival with its segments spread over the towns of Mithi and Nagarparkar and in the Umarkot Fort which was beautifully decorated for the occasion, giving the whole event a vibrant ambience. An exciting display of fireworks was held on both evenings which local elders said was the first ever in the Fort’s recent history.
The event was organized by the Government of Sindh Department of Culture, Tourism & Antiquities. Thousands of men women and children came from the neighboring areas and from cities like Karachi and Sukkur.
The Mithi and Nagarparkar segments on March 17 and 18 respectively, presented cultural and sports events including races by camels and horses, musical concerts and Malh, the Sindhi style of Wrestling. Forty stalls were set up in the huge ground of the fort presenting exquisite handicrafts unique to this District of Sindh. Brisk sales were reported of which sold traditional Thari clothes, Rilli and Khes, Thari Tiles, and, of course, Thari cuisine.
Thari Village life was very impressively shown through specially built Chaunro – a canopied straw-made hut and a Landhi – a rectangular hut unique to the Thari people. The representation was complete with Thari artisans including potters, blacksmiths, carpenters and cobblers, were also sitting along the model huts depicting typical Thari village life. A lively Mushaira and a typical Sughar Katchehri were also held.
Addressing the concluding session inside the Fort, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, Sindh Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities said they had made history by arranging the first ever Thar and Parkar Festival.” We will foil, he asserted, extremism through such cultural festivities which give a message of peace and pluralism.’
The minister`s speech was followed by a grand music programme in which local singers and others like Mai Dhai, Humera Channa, Reshma Parveen, Ameer Faqueer, Rashid Hyderi and Dilbar Jalal Chandio enthralled the audience.
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PATA Pakistan Chapter is, in effect, the federation of Pakistan’s tourism industries, trades and administration. Its constituents are travel agents, inbound and outbound tour operators, event managers, airlines, hotels, restaurants, tourist transport operators, travel publications, consultants, government and semi-government authorities.