KARACHI: Pakistan-Japan folk mela opens

A large number of people accompanied by their children visited a folk Mela, “Mount Fuji ta Mai Kulachi”, that was inaugurated at The Danishgah, here on Friday evening.

Sindh Finance Minister Syed Sardar Ahmad, who had come on behalf of Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, inaugurated the festival organized by the Pakistan Japan Cultural Association. On the occasion, a visiting Japanase ceramist, Eiko Oto, gave demonstration on how to make clay decoration pieces etc.

The technique was almost similar to that used by local artisan, the only difference being the fast-moving electric wheel on which Mr Oto moulded the clay giving it different shapes. The local artists used their hand to rotate the wheel.

A big stall displaying various Japanese handicrafts and cultural objects was also set up at the Mela. The artifacts on display included Japanese traditional dolls, kimonos, decoration pieces, and models of various important buildings and structures – Itsukushima Jinja Temple, Himajijo, Horyuji, and Kinkakuji – that have been declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco.

A large number of stalls displaying handicrafts from different parts of the province as well as from Balochistan were on display. Some of the handicrafts were Kashi work from Hala, pottery from Tando Bago, Jandi work, Sindhi Khusa, juti, Sindhi cap, Gaj (glass embroidery) Rally, Khes from Khairpur, Khadar, Sussi, tie and dye fabrics, block prints, ajrak, zardori, aari, paranda, lungi etc.

Replicas of various objects excavated from Moenjodaro, Mahergarh, and Taxila were also displayed at the Mela. Many artisan were giving demonstrations on making pottery by molding the clay on wheel, others were making Sindhi caps, rally, and carrying on embroidery work on cloth, while an artist was also busy preparing a brass decoration piece.

Students of the Karachi Japanese School presented a tableau, sang songs in Japanese, and presented their music. The Japanese students and a few Pakistani students also sang a national song “Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan”. The handicapped children of Danishgah also presented a tableau, which was much appreciated by the audience.

Sardar Ahmad said that Pakistan and Japan, both being Asian countries, shared many things owing to which their friendship was getting stronger with the passage of time. He said that these kinds of festivals help people from both the countries understand each other in a better way. He also read out the governor’s message.

Earlier, acting consul general of Japan Hitoshi Neki said that the cultural relations were further strengthening the economic as well as political ties between Japan and Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan had many heritage sites of Gandhara civilization, which were a major attraction for the Japanese people, who visited these sites in large numbers.

He hoped that the cultural exchange would further strengthen the relations between the peoples of the two countries. Fatima Surriya Bajiya, Altaf Shaikh, and others also spoke at the function.

A travelogue of Japan “Hik Gharee Piyar Ji” written by Qurban Mangi was also launched at the function. The five-day Mela will open for public on Saturday morning.

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