FOLK musicians perform at the SLF on Friday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
FOLK musicians perform at the SLF on Friday evening.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: The third Sindh Literature Festival (SLF) opened at a local hotel on Friday with the aim to celebrate the power of words, culture, music and the Sufi teachings of peace and tolerance.

Jointly organised by the Sindh Literary Foundation, information department of the Sindh government and the Endowment Fund Trust, the festival is a three-day event with book launches, sessions on cultural and political developments, and Pakistan’s economic prosperity.

Thespianz Theatre started the event with a beautiful and vibrant display with their string puppetry performance. They showcased the different provinces of Pakistan and the puppets wore the local dress and danced to popular tunes, which have emerged from different provinces.

Literary and cultural traditions of the province are being celebrated in the three-day event

The purpose was to highlight that Pakistan boasts rich and vibrant cultures and traditions and they offer a different flavour of the country.

For instance, the performance on Balochistan was about celebrating the different tribes and the beautiful embroidery that are some of the things the province is known for.

Musical performances, dance and poetry were also part of the offering, which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. There was a vibe of celebration and pride present.

Sheema Kermani’s spellbinding performance was a celebration of the cultural and traditional richness Sindh, and the country on the whole, possesses. The signature grace with which she performed for the audience left all spellbound.

Writer Noorul Huda Shah spoke about the importance of such festivals, which celebrate the literary and cultural traditions of the province. Karachi is the heart of Sindh but Sindhi literature and poetry was not properly represented in other literary festivals in the city. So the Sindh Literature Festival is an attempt to rectify this lacking and give Sindhi culture, literature, music and poetry space to be represented.

Educationist and philanthropist Mazhar-ul-Haq Siddiqui recalled the time when the One Unit programme was an attempt to suppress the Sindhi language in schools, offices and even in the courts, but it was Sindhi writers and poets who struggled against this by writing and printing more publications in the language.

Historian Dr Mubarak Ali spoke about how history is an important element in the life of a nation, and sheds light on the nation’s highs and lows, the victories and losses, and the lessons learnt from it. The history of Sindh revealed a tradition of love, peace and tolerance, he said.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019

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