ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) will be organising a ‘Virsa Summer Camp for Children in Regional Languages’ at Shakarparian with the aim of celebrating diversity.
Speaking to media personnel, Lok Virsa Executive Director Dr. Fouzia Saeed said that two camps will be held from July 27 until August 25, 2015 at the Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology. These include Camp-I: Learn Balochi Language and Glimpses into Balochi Culture and Camp-II: Learn Wakhi Language and Diversity of Gilgit Baltistan.
She said that the objective of the programme is to provide an orientation to children aged between 6-12 years about the language, poetry, crafts, music and festivals of both communities. It is hoped that this would encourage children to claim ownership of Pakistan’s various languages and diverse cultural heritage. “This activity would reaffirm our identity as a multicultural and pluralistic country,” she said.
Dr Saeed said that the 20 day activity would have sessions from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 2pm.
“Children would be taught about the languages, culture, art, music of those areas in interactive sessions,” she said.
The programme includes 15-days of classes, a two day interactive workshop and three day educational visits to museums, such as Heritage Museum, Pakistan Monument Museum and Pakistan Museum of Natural History.
“In addition to informal learning of languages, children would also be encouraged to participate in practical activities such as folk singing, music, craft making, painting, etc. Folk artisans, story tellers and craftsmen would also be invited to interact with the children and share their experiences during the camps,” Dr Saeed said.
Registration for the Virsa Summer Camp is currently in progress and interested parents may contact Lok Virsa over the phone.
According to an official statement, more than 24 unique languages and dialects are spoken in Pakistan. These languages are rich with literature, poetry, folk songs and spiritual poetry of Sufi saints.
Wakhi people are occasionally called Pamiris. The origin of this language is Wakhan and it is, according to many sources, more than four thousand years old. It is spoken by the inhabitants of the Wakhan Corridor in Gilgit Baltistan, parts of Tajikistan and Xingjian in western China. The language belongs to the southern group of the Pamir languages, in the Iranian group of the Indo-European family of languages. In Gilgit Baltistan, the Wakhi people mainly live in Gojal, Ishkoman, Darkut and Broghol.
In Balochistan, people speak different languages but there is a similarity in their literature, beliefs, rituals and customs.
Dawn, “Children to be introduced to regional languages,” in Dawn, July 21, 2015. Accessed on July 20, 2015, at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1195442/children-to-be-introduced-to-regional-languages
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