Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Save Our Heritage

I saw many objects of love being prepared at numerous workshops that litter this part of our country {Hala}. Usually, the crafts were being either produced in a run-down plot, called the artist place, or it was being practised under open skies, open doors, and no frills. That’s the classic old-style way of doing things. People, passing by, would look — almost gawk — at the visitors, who are rare.

In fact, at most places we were the only visitors, and as soon as we would enter the artist’s domain, deep in his craft, he would raise his head, salute, smile and continue with his work. Some more business-like would stop altogether, shake hands and would start detailing the process — if asked — or else the qualities of the craft; where it came from, how long it has been here, who are the pioneers, and why this craft is now vanishing. Every time they would tell me the reason why their craft was vanishing I felt like a party to it all. After all, we, as a nation, spend millions on items bought from abroad; we like to fill our rooms with ‘Made in Europe’ items and loose out on Made in Pakistan. They would then look at me with eyes filled with anticipation, thinking that I might buy one ajrak, one stunning, blue bowl, or place an order for tiles for home; I did none of that and felt ashamed. It was one of those sad days when I had felt a party to a crime.

As one Pakistani scientist, now in Canada, reminded me, that just writing articles won’t help save our heritage much. It will take a lot of genuine effort, lot of Pakistani nationals and a lot of money, I would say, to save them from complete collapse. Already, once a booming industry, now in patch works, ‘ajrak’, the oldest patterned chador in production in this country, is fighting for survival. {Dawn}
Tags: Heritage, Arts, Pakistan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 6:00 PM,


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