Archive for the ‘Culture and Heritage’ Category

Rudolph? Is That You?


Santa Claus is a man who believes in going local wherever he may be. During the Christmas season in Australia, for example, you’ll find him at a barbecue on the beach, wearing bermuda shorts and flipflops.

And in Islamabad, you might see him riding a camel down the street.

Capital to have state of the art movie theatre [At Last]

In a first ever step towards introducing a world-class movie-going experience to people of Pakistan by building state of the art movie theatres in urban cities of Pakistan, Cinepax performed the groundbreaking ceremony of an entertainment complex in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at the Club Road.
Cinepax is the first dedicated Cineplex Company in Pakistan that is building the country’s first nationally branded Cineplex chain. It is targeting larger cities of Pakistan; Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan and Hyderabad. The entertainment complex aims to cater all aspects of a modern shopping mall having a dedicated area for multiplex cinemas, a food court and a health club.

Daily Times

A visit to the National Art Gallery

A few weeks back the National Art Gallery opened its doors to the public near the Parliment house. It has managed to attract quite a number of people.After seeing the advertisement in the newspapers and hearing about it from several people I decided to pay visit to the gallery.
It was totally different from what I expected. A you approach the entrance of the vicinity you are greeted by a sentry of seven large black statues of burqa-clad figures, haunting and dementor like. On close inspection it was found that they are made from fibreglass although from a distance they seem to be made from charcoal.
The gallery which took over more than two decades to be materialized now houses 600 works of art featuring 126 artists. Grouped in 16 exhibitions with each hall dedicated to a certain subject.

Photogragh: Aamir Qureshi
There are several internees around the gallery who can explain to the visitors what the painting and the sculptures depict. Although most of the time I did not find them helpful. The room which was dedicated to love was perhaps the most controversial of the exhibitions( or may be the hall at the top floor) where some paintings displayed nudity. This was totally out of the blue for me and many other who would expect strong censorship.
I was totally taken by surprize when I saw a several paintings depicting homosexuallity. I wonder why the mullahs haven’t criticized yet? I was also appalled to see that the paint on the wall was already getting scraped off due to the water getting leaked from the ceiling in room of the miniatures.
Although the general effort in bringing all these pieces of art together at one place is very much appriciated and is a visual treat for the art lovers.
The Art Gallery opens at 11a.m. Theres no ticket from 11a.m to 2p.m and later when it reopens at 3pm there is some sort of ticket.
And do remember that when you go into a hall that has this sound which is quite irritating dont keep wondering what it is. The sound coming from the speakers is the sound of childeren reciting Quran mechanically in congregation. I found this later from a news paper.

Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP

Urs, Colors, Life @ Its Peak

Bari Imam was an eminent sufi saint belonging to the Qadri silsila of tareeqat. His real name was Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi. When he arrived in a village in suburbs of Islamabad (obviously not existent then), it was town inhabited by dacoits. It’s been said that due to his saintly ways and blessed presence, he preached the denizens of the town turned to pious ways of life. (If any one can confirm or elaborate this information??!??)

His yearly urs, celebrated in these days of the year, is attended by thousands of devotees from all over the country.

The urs, now becoming a festivity for many city dwellers and people coming from across various villages, started this Monday. While coming to office, many people (more like a caravan) were spotted carrying brightly coloured flags, flowers, walking their way towards Bari Imam (miles away from the margalla road) bare foot. Isn’t it a bit odd, since Islam prohibits self-torture …!

Let’s have a picturesque account of preparations of the Urs courtesy many newspapers :>


Diyyay are lit at the shrine of Hazrat Bari Imam at Nurpur Shahan.


Vintage Ride

I’m a lover of things time rusts off whether they be trees, machines, cars or people … In islamabad every year the vintage car society organizes a Vintage Ride festival at F-9 park …

Wait a minute – This post is not about any classy vintage car as it sounds … it’s a totally different story.

Come to you courtesy Daily Times

Karo-kari, Suo Moto Action & Jirga

Punishing the minors
Image: Daughters of Buland Ali Buzdar appear at a news conference after a jirga declared their father a “karo” and ordered him to surrender his two minor daughters to his accusers in punishment (via Dawn)

Few days back I read this tragic incident in Dawn where two minor girls were punished when their father was declared Karo by the Jirga, and as a result the jirga decided to hand these girls to the opponent party.

Karo Kari is an age long tradition in some areas of Pakistan (mostly witnessed and heard in Sindh but other provinces have their own hideous traditions to go with this one). To understand the concept of Karo kari, you can read a story narrated here on Chowk.

What happened in this very case as narrated by the karo father in a press conference that:

Buland Ali Buzdar developed personal enmity on the issue of water rotation. He owns two acres (of) land and earns his living by cultivating this tract of land. Ghaffar Buzdar accused Buland Ali Buzdar of having illicit relations with his wife, Majida Bibi, and a jirga was held to dispense justice in this connection. Waderas (landlords) Sadiq Buzdar and Ali Muhammad Buzdar and Sanjar Buzdar, through a self-styled decision, had ordered Buland Ali to give his two daughters in marriage to Allah Wasaya, in addition pay a fine of Rs200,000, in cash. In case of non-compliance of the verdict, karo Buland Ali would be executed.


Back with the Big Bang: National Art Gallery

We talked about it back then and now again :>

Islamabad’s art gallery has seen quite some conflicts in the past few days – first they did a strange thing (not so strange in present circumstances though), paintings like the picture shows “Clash of civilization” is one of the paintings being removed from the gallery due to its sensitivity or ostensibly to please our western friends.

Then the govt issued orders to rename the National Art Gallery as National Center of Creative Arts that looked confusing even to the people from arts circle.

Gandhara week

Federal Department of Archaeology and Museums is all set to celebrate the third “Gandhara week” from 26th March.
The event is being held in connection with the Destination Pakistan 2007, which I think was a flop from day one. The archaelogy department would make all-out efforts to facilitate the tourist coming to Texila. A sound and light show portrying the ancient Buddhist culture will also be held at Dharamrajika stupa and monastery during the celebrations.
The Stupa is the oldest monument in texila and comprises of a number of buildings, a monastery and a series of small chapels. Gold, Jewellery and other antiques have also been discovered at the site.

An aerial view of Dharamrajika Buddhist monastery and stupa where a soud and light will be held as a part of Gandhara week celebrations(Pic given in Dawn).

Weddings, Litter & Our Sahab Bahadurs

People living around, or the ones who pass through the main double road from F-10 to Blue area, must have witnessed the setting up of huge canopies (though marquees’ a better word) on Friday, at exactly in the green belt in front of the F-9 Park’s gate (towards G-9).

Since, it was one of the huge setups I, for one, have ever seen in open air in Islamabad (it would’ve easily accommodated 3000+ people) – so my own presumption was that it must be some governmental kind of function – you know inauguration of this or that – But I was wrong.

Plans For Exhibition

Islamabad%20Museum.jpgThe Department of Archeology and Museums is planning to organise an exhibition on March 23 to create awareness about art and heritage among people. The event is being specifically staged at the Islamabad Museum to attract people at the venue that does not normally draw many visitors.

This facility is to eventually merge with the National Museum in Karachi once it moves to Islamabad in the next three to five years. The plan to shift the National Museum is as old as the capital itself, but the project has never materialised due to various reasons. In 1993 the Islamabad Museum was located in E-7 before moving to its present premises at the Sir Syed Memorial Society two years ago.

The Islamabad Museum illuminates unique cultures of Pakistan including Indus Valley Civilization and the rich Gandhara culture. The excavated remains of these civilizations reveal that those people had developed a refined style of architecture having no parallel in the contemporary world.

A unique collection of fossils, Mehrgarh antiquities, coins of different periods and paintings of Islamic period also form part of the museum.

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