PESHAWAR: Speakers at an event here on Saturday urged students to promote rich cultural and linguistic diversity of Khyber Pakhtunkha.
The event titled ‘Da Pakhtunkhwa Rangoona’ (the colours of Pakhtunkhwa) was organised under the banner of Pashto Society Edwardes College on its sprawling lawn. Visitors including dignitaries, old Edwardians and rights activists showed up at the event in a large number.
Speakers said that such events would strengthen mutual bonds and social interaction among people of the province towards building a pluralistic society.
Abudarda, student chief of Pashto Society Edwardes College, in his opening remarks welcomed the guests and shed light on role of students in organising such activities on the campus.
Around 33 stalls showcasing traditional dishes, beverages, fruits, dresses and artefacts were put on display. One each stalls from Lahore and Quetta attracted visitors with curiosity while hujra stalls were swarmed by causal visitors where students served them with traditional foods and tea.
The live performance of veteran Pashto folk singer Ahmad Gul Ustad and sitar player Zainullah Ustad captivated the audience.
The lone stall displaying handcrafted wallets, rakes, footwear and bangles by prisoners, however, stole the show. The stall set up by young girl students of Bacha Khan Educational Trust exhibiting handmade art pieces earned appreciation and the stall of special persons presented an eye catching sight.
A group of students presented rounds of Khattak and Waziri folk dances while visitors also enjoyed traditional tonga rides yet a few young enthusiasts entertained the audience with fine tunes of rabab and sitar.
Prof Samiuddin Arman, Prof Sareer Khan and Prof Gulzar Jalal Yousafzai in their remarks stated that Edwardes College Peshawar arranged the daylong event with an objective to encourage students to promote the cause of cultural diversity.
Visitors also thronged the sight of traditional games including Kabadi and Chindru and bookstalls on variety of topics. Students and teachers from educational institutions in and around Peshawar took keen interest in the event.
Shazia Rehan told this scribe that she and her classmates enjoyed the stalls where visitors were seen deeply involved in tasting the flavour of traditional foods from Chitral, Shangla, Buner, Bannu, Karak and Waziristan.
A trio of visiting students namely Ahmad Faraz, Hassan and Abdullah while sharing their views said that they learned a lot from the daylong cultural event.
The annual event came to end with a beautiful musical concert in which noted folk artist Dr Rashid Ahmad Khan performed live and received rounds of applause from the audience.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2023