Doll-making event aims to teach children about heritage
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
By ASMA KUNDI — in Dawn
Handmade dolls on display at Lok Virsa on Tuesday. In the other picture, dollmakers at work. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad
ISLAMABAD: When her teacher said the class will be attending a doll-making workshop, 14-year-old Rohi Pervez from Government Model School was very excited.
“I love handmade dolls in traditional dresses and jewellery. Now I can make one for my little sister as well,” a very happy Rohi beamed while attending the first day of a week-long doll making event at Lok Virsa on Tuesday.
To promote Pakistan’s traditional skills and heritage and to raise awareness about them among the youth, Lok Virsa is holding a series of programmes titled ‘Craft of the Month’ where one craft is focused on every month.
After truck art and pottery making, this month Lok Virsa hosted the opening ceremony of a workshop titled ‘Doll Making: Engagement with Artisans’.
Four doll makers from Okara, Chakwal and Islamabad are displaying their mastery of the art at the event.
They put on colourful displays of their dolls, decoration pieces and tiny doll dresses that they had made earlier and taught children how to hand make dolls and how to fashion traditional, Pakistani dresses for them. All the dolls were made from local material.
Handmade dolls on display at Lok Virsa on Tuesday. In the other picture, dollmakers at work. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad
One doll maker, Hafiza Begum from Chakwal, told Dawn that she had been making dolls for some 14 years.
“People don’t buy handmade dolls a lot; they prefer mass produced, plastic dolls which cost more. However, foreigners like our work and buy handmade dolls at exhibitions and whenever they visit.”
Some 40 children from different schools administered by the Federal Directorate of Education attended the event. The Directorate General for Special Education also nominated a group of 12 special children to learn the art of doll making.
Students huddled around the doll makers and tried to learn the art. They picked out the fabrics they would use and had a wide selection of colourful threads to choose from. The boys were just as excited about the workshop as were the little girls.
One student, Mohammad Sami Khan, was particularly good at learning how to make dolls and even helped his friends along.
Eyes shining with excitement, little Sami said: “People think only girls like dolls, but I am enjoying this so much. Doll making is so interesting.”
A teacher accompanying the students, Rehana Younus, said: “The children are very excited and happy and are hanging on to every word of the doll makers.”
To give the children a more realistic taste of village life, a folk band performed at the event. The band sang national songs and Qawwalis.
Students of Islamabad Model School for Girls performed a show themed around cultural diversity in which they put on dances from all the provinces.
Talking to Dawn, Lok Virsa’s Executive Director Dr Fouzia Saeed said the programme was initiated so children would be more aware of their roots and traditions.
Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division Barrister Usman Ibrahim, who was the chief guest, appreciated Lok Virsa’s efforts towards preserving the heritage and engaging children in the process.
He said: “Events like this will create an interest among children about their traditions and culture.”
Renowned artist and puppeteer Farooq Qaiser also attended the opening ceremony. He said: “Doll making is one of the oldest and most popular forms of art in Pakistan. It started off with clay dolls and now we have ones made from fiber glass. Dolls were our friends when we were kids and these handmade ones also portray our culture and traditions.”
Cultural skill: Carrying forward the tradition of doll making
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Appeared in Express Tribune
ISLAMABAD: A week-long doll making workshop for children kicked off at the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) on Tuesday.
|Some 45 school students are attending the workshop. PHOTOS: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS, LOK VIRSA|
Themed “harnessing culture with education”, the workshop is a joint venture of Lok Virsa, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and the Directorate General of Special Education. It aims to create a linkage between folk crafts and education, especially among young students.
Puppeteer and Lok Virsa board member Farooq Qaiser, in his welcome speech, said one of the main agenda of such an initiative is to promote and transfer cultural skills on to the next generation. Qaiser said dolls keep children company and entertain them when they are alone.
“Doll making is an indication of innocence, friendship and honesty and one of the best elements of our culture. This craft should not be forgotten. It should be encouraged as much as possible,” Qaiser said.
Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Barrister Usman Ibrahim, who inaugurated the workshop, lauded Lok Virsa’s initiatives for promoting folk crafts and culture.
He said the public-sector education institutes have outperformed the private one in Islamabad. He lauded the workshop which he said would familiarise students with tradition and called for more such programmes.
Islamabad Model School for Girls G -6/1 Principal Ghazala Yasmin said such activities serve as a catalyst for creativity and help in flourishing a healthy mindset. She said the workshop would inspire students and help them pick up productive activities.
Some 45 students from various schools in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are attending the workshop, which concludes on November 15.
Other craft workshops in the pipeline are truck art, pottery marking, weaving, block printing, stone carving, lacquer art and wax painting.
Doll-making programme starts at Lok Virsa
Sunday, December 20, 2015
The seven-day ‘Doll Making: Engagement with Artisans’ programme under the ongoing series ‘Craft of the Month’ kicked off at Lok Virsa on Tuesday.
The programme is being organised by the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) in collaboration with Federal Directorate of Education and Directorate General for Special Education.
Students from various schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad attended the opening ceremony, which featured live colourful musical performances and a special cultural diversity show by children. The students of Islamabad Model School for Girls, G-6/1-3 presented Kalam-e-Iqbal while paying tribute to great philosopher and poet Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal marking his birth anniversary, famous Punjabi folk song ‘Jugni’ and national songs.
Five traditional female doll makers from different parts of the country are taking part in the doll making programme at Lok Virsa and actively involved in transferring their skills to the children while demonstrating their artisanship. They include Farzana Hussain and Khanan Bibi from Okara, Hafeeza Begum and Humaira Qamar from Chakwal and Fouzia Naheed from Islamabad.
Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD) Barrister Usman Ibrahim was the chief guest. Director General, Directorate General for Special Education Naeema Bushra Malik, was also present on the occasion. Renowned puppeteer and member Lok Virsa Board of Governors Farooq Qaiser represented Lok Virsa at the event.
In his welcome note Farooq Qaiser informed that the ongoing craft of the month series aims at promoting traditional skills, giving knowledge to younger generation about the importance and utility of different crafts and providing opportunity to youth to learn about Pakistan’s rich, diverse and pluralistic cultural tapestry. “It also aimed at encouraging youth to value dignity of labour, foster ownership for their culture, create respect for different professions and character building. It would also help them to understand the contribution of artisans in the sustainable development of their community and country at large,” he added.
Chief guest Minister of State for CAAD Barrister Usman Ibrahim said that children are the future of Pakistan. The minister assured full cooperation on the part of his ministry for the successful holding of the on-going series of the program by Lok Virsa.
Later, Minister formally inaugurated the doll making program by cutting a ribbon. He also visited different doll work displays and met master artisans and children participating in the program.
Talking to media Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr. Fouzia Saeed said that they have initiated this program for students and young children around folk crafts. “Our Heritage Museum highlights one craft for a week every month and have artisans and experts available for children to engage and learn from them. These craft-persons not only display their crafts and make them in front of the people but also teach and have materials for them to experiment with the medium. This we hope will give hands on opportunity to become familiar with the folk crafts,” she added.
The training programme will continue till Sunday, November 15, 2015. The registration is free. So far, 45 students and children aged 6-14 from various schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been registered. Daily timings are 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. Interested parents can get their children enrolled by contacting Lok Virsa Museum Section on 9249200 or 0300-5204755.
Doll-making workshop kicks off
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Appeared in Daily The Nation
Islamabad - Seven-day traditional doll-making workshop kicked off yesterday, involving young craft persons to learn this art directly from masters in the field at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa.
As many as 45 students from various educational institutions of twin cities participated in the workshop while five traditional female doll-makers from different parts of the country, would impart the training and share their master-skills through demonstration of their artisanship. The participants will learn to make ethnic dolls, dressed up in the traditional costumes to highlight Pakistan’s folk culture and its living traditions, practiced by a dominant majority of its people.
The workshop is part of Lok Virsa’s on-going series `Craft of the Month’ organized by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Federal Directorate of Education and Directorate General for Special Education. Barrister Usman Ibrahim, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD) inaugurated the workshop and appreciated the contribution of Lok Virsa in creating a linkage between culture and education.
He said “Children are our future and we must prepare them for a better Pakistan. The way Lok Virsa is creating awareness among them is praiseworthy.” The minister assured full cooperation on the part of his ministry for the successful holding of the on-going series of the programme by Lok Virsa.
Renowned puppeteer and member of Lok Virsa Board of Governors, Farooq Qaiser informed that the major objective of Lok Virsa is the promotion of Pakistani culture and its transfer to the next generations. The ongoing craft of the month series aims at promoting traditional skills, giving knowledge to younger generation about the importance and utility of different crafts and providing opportunity to youth to learn about Pakistan’s rich, diverse and pluralistic cultural tapestry.
It also encourages youth to value dignity of labour, foster ownership for their culture, create respect for different professions and character building. It helps understand the contribution of artisans in the sustainable development of their community and country at large, he added.
The Heritage Museum highlights one craft for a week every month and have artisans and experts available for children to engage and learn from them. These craft-persons not only display their crafts but also make them in front of the people. This will give a hand on opportunity to become familiar with the folk crafts.
“This is an experiment of sowing the seeds of pluralistic society in our younger generation. A generation that, we hope, will take care of our country in future and make it into a truly pluralistic society where people of all cultures, languages and traditions living in Pakistan will fully own each other as valued Pakistani citizens,” he added.
Monika Kuppler with local kids
Saturday, December 12, 2015