LARKANA: Two French scholars, who are conducting research on Sufism, music and culture of Pakistan, have said that Pakistani mystical singing and dancing are powerful tools to spread universal message of love, peace and tranquility in the world.
Dr Pierre-Alain Boud, director of Arts Nomades, a non-profit research and promotion project, and Dr Alix Philippon, assistant professor of sociology at the Institute of Political Studies in France were speaking to students during their visit to Knowledge Centre here the other day.
Dr Boud said that he was highly impressed by late Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan during his performance in France in 80s and from then on associated himself with the mystic singer and wrote a book on him.
He said that Pakistani mystical singing and dancing were powerful tools to carry the universal message of love and peace to all the nooks and crannies of the world. Sindhs’ Sufi tradition was very rich which he had observed firsthand after spending time at the shrines of mystic poets Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Sachal Sarmast, he said.
He said that he was very impressed by mystic singers of Sindh as well whom he had listened with rapt attention and keen interest. The culture, art, mystic poetry and music of this land exuded a message of respect and love for humanity without any discrimination, he said, adding that the culture of this land and its adherents were very hospitable, welcoming and caring.
He said that it was good to see that students of all ages, young and old, were involved equally in informal as well as formal mode of learning their courses in classrooms, and appreciated the efforts of Knowledge Centre, which was working on self help basis to educate children of less privileged class of the area.
Dr Philippon said that sometime back she had met a Pakistani student in France who was pursuing his higher studies there and belonged to Larkana. “I was so impressed by his talent it gave me an idea that the youth of this part of the world are talented and well-behaved,” she said.
She said that she had visited Larkana and Moenjodaro 20 years ago as well for research and was pleased to find that there was an element of liberalism and tolerance in the culture of natives. “This time my visit here is extremely heart-warming and I do hope to come back in near future,” she said.
Earlier, Prof Mukhtiar Samo, founder of Knowledge Centre and writer, welcomed the foreign guests and presented them traditional gifts of Ajrak and sets of books authored by him.
He briefed them on the services the centre had been rendering in the field of education for the past 26 years and the achievements of its students who belonged to the less developed section of society.
Prof Jam Jamali recited his English poetry and Jameel Laghari, former student of the centre, shared his experiences with the guests. Towards the end of the sitting, the students put questions to the guests who answered them unreservedly.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2018