KARACHI: The Karachi Haat, an open-air crafts centre held at the National Museum of Pakistan, brings different indigenous crafts of Sindh and Balochistan to those who may lack access. To celebrate the success of the exhibition which began in April, a performance by the legendary Abida Parveen was held on Tuesday.
The evening was all the more special as the country celebrated its 71st Independence Day and thousands thronged to partake in the celebrations. Abida Parveen represents Sindh and her music brings to the fore the province’s heritage, culture and folklore.
Hameed Akhund of Endowment Fund Trust came onstage to talk about the significance of the project. “Crafts from Sindh displayed at Karachi Haat solely profit the artisans who sell their craft without paying anyone in the middle of the transaction. Neither the culture department nor EFT profit from this venture.”
He also lauded that Abida Parveen epitomised the true essence of Sindh who has further immortalised the kalam of the Sufi saints.
From ‘Ali Maula’, to ‘Ghoom Charakhra’, Parveen had the crowd on its feet and enthralled music lovers. Early in her performance she had gauged the sensibility of the crowd and allowed them to partake in the vocals at certain points. This invigorated the crowd further.
Another worthy performance was of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetic masterpiece ‘Hum Dekhain Gay’, an apt choice amidst the independence celebrations.
Other performances of the night were ‘Yaar ko hum ne ja baja dekha’, ‘Naad-i-Ali’ and ‘Ho Jamalo’.
Karachi Haat is designed like a contemporary village market and is an ambitious project organised by Sindh Indigenous and Traditional Crafts Company (Sitco) in collaboration with the department of culture. The crafts village boasted of a panorama of crafts, cuisine and cultural activities.
Sitco’s director Shakeel Abro and assistant director Abdur Rehman Shaikh spoke about how this round of Karachi Haat was specifically organised to celebrate Independence Day in which artisans from other provinces participated, even Balochistan.
“We have been encouraged for our efforts to maintain a bazaar on a weekly basis in which buyers can have a range of traditional crafts to choose from. There are different things available such as Thari, Kohistani, Pashtun and Hazara embroidery.
“Karachi Haat is a weekly bazaar jointly organised in collaboration with the culture department. The aim is to promote indigenous crafts and give maximum exposure to the artisans in such a way that we are able to minimise the role of the middleman. We managed a list of 70 artisans this time round,” said the organisers.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018