Reports & Pictures
Press Briefing at Lahore
The fourth Punjab Lok Boli Mela, dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, an internal icon of resistance and hero of independence struggle, is being held from 21st to 25th November 2008 at Jaranwala, district Faisalabad, this was told by the representatives of the Punjab Lok Sujag and Punjab Lok Rahs, the two orgnizations, which are organizing this festival, while addressing a press briefing here at Press Club on Tuesday. The representatives Rashid Chaudhry and Shoaib Iqbal told reporters that the mother language festival is organized to celebrate the diverse and rich language and culture of the Punjab. They told that the Mela is participated by over 1000 performers, artists, writers, poets, intellectuals, Mela lovers and language rights activists besides hundreds of thousands of common people from across the Punjab. Mela events spread over five days are distributed over ten venues. This includes venue for music makers, theater makers, puppeteers, seminars and mushaira (poetry recital). The students of as many as 26 colleges and universities of Punjab will perform plays on a variety of subjects in mother language. Besides students' groups, various progressive theater groups including Punjab Lik Rahs, the host group, would perform in the mela. Bal Rahs Mela (Children Theater Festival) is also part of festivities in which 12 plays are being performed by the children. A special venue will host school children from nine districts. Children will present skits, songs, debates in their mother language. Village women will set up traditional kitchens to serve meals to guests. An exhibition of Punjabi books and books on Punjab will also be held at the Mela. Essay and drawing competitions are also part of mela. The unsung folk artists as well as groups attached to traditional theater (Rahs) and storytelling enhance the beauty of this mega event. Similarly various organizations are provided an opportunity to hold seminars and debates on social issues in the mela. As many as 12 seminars are being held in Mela in five days by various civil society groups. On this occasion eminent intellectual Afzal Tauseef paid rich tribute to Bhagat Singh, saying his services should be remembered through such events. LUMS teacher Varinder Kalra told the mediapersons that Boli Mela will help Punjabis feel proud of their language and culture. Nazeer Kahut, a Punjabi writer from Canada also spoke on this occasion.
Press Release | Tue, 18 November 2008, 2:01 PM
FAISALABAD, November 22, 2008: Thousands of locals along with performers from across the Punjab thronged to the venue of Punjab Lok Boli Mela on second day of the 5-day gala at Jaranwala. The mela is dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a son of Jaranwala, who had become an icon of independence and struggle against imperialism in sub-continent. A play titled as Chipen Ton Pehlan (before sunset) written by Davinder Daman on Bhagat Singh struggle attracted hundreds of locals. The play is performed by host group Punjab Lok Rahs. Besides Chipen Ton Pehlan Comsats Sahiwal presented a play Pachan (identity) on language issue while BZU Multan came up with a beautiful performance titled as Ek Probhra Akhar (an alien word) on the same issue. Mass Foundation Lahore performed 'Mera Ki Kusur ay' (What is my fault) highlighting the gender inequity in society. Similarly Sojhla Multan also brought a play on the same issue with a title of Aurat (the woman). A Netherlands Group Theater Magic attracted many at a Puppet show on gender issues. On music side Wasif Malangi, Mohsin Jhangvi, Mansha Kharianwala and others enthralled thousands of people present with folk singing. Multan Raqs Party Dharees and Panjtani Dholi Jut of Lahore presented beautiful open performances forcing many to dance on the beat. As many as eleven schools of Jhang and Faisalabad districts brought various performing items to mela on the second day. Before three seminars on Rights of Village population, Punjabi Script, Folk Knowledge and Livelihood and Violence against women by HRCP, Sujag Sahiwal, Khoj Lahore and Sarsabz Foundation Faisalabad respectively, a conference on farmers' issues by South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-Pak) provided the speakers an opportunity to share their views with people present at mela.
Press Release 2 | Sat, 22 November 2008, 2:49 PM
FAISALABAD, November 23, 2008: Theater performances are drawing thousands of people at Lok Boli Mela being held at Jaranwala with most of the people getting first opportunity to have a glimpse of purposeful and alternate theater. The theater performances are changing the concept of theater among people of Jaranwala. Pleasantly surprised audience very swiftly comes to understanding and appreciation of the performances. Chhipen Ton Pehlan (Before Sunset) by an Indian playwright Davender Daman, which is performed by Punjab Lok Rahs is especially observing matchless silence during the performance, which is otherwise very difficult to attain in a mela. The long play deals with the struggle and hanging of Bhagat Singh, the son of Jaranwala. People seem very much aware and proud of Bhagat Singh. The theater awe is not confined to Bhagat Singh rather a children performance "Jeebho jani di kahani", which artistically and esthetically addresses the environment issue gets even more audience. The skills and confidence in little artists is something worth seeing. Other theater performances in last 24 hours included Keeh Main Badkar Han (Am I a bad person?) on women rights by Taboo Arts Faisalabad and a beautiful mime performance titled as "Tuseen mainun Guria kehnday O" (you call me a doll) by University of Agriculture Faislaabad dealing with the same issue. Ek Probhra Akhar (an alien word) and Aurat (the woman) were performed second time in the mela. The queued performances are Chota (child labourer) by Gomal University, Heroinchi (the addict) by BZU Multan, Murdan da Khooh (the well of dead) by Sodium Chloride Multan and Probhray Ek Shehr Ichoon (from an alien city) etc. On traditional theater front Tooti Sabri Group is performing a 3-hour long drama Pooran Bhagat. As many as nine schools of Faislabad came with bhangrha, theater, dholay, tappay, mahiay, gawan, jhoomer and luddi on third day of mela. On music front Moham Das Faqeer, Rasheed Anjum, Abbas Lohar and others kept entrapped the audience for hours.
Press Release 3 | Sun, 23 November 2008, 4:51 PM
The third night of fourth five-day Punjab Lok Boli Mela was characterized with beautiful music performances by Dr Azhar Ali of Gujrat, Sharif Raagi of Faisalabad along with Fayyaz Ali Khan of Wazirabad, Sheeno Lal and Abbas Lohar. Dr Azhar Ali, while singing the esthetically satisfying poetry of Surjit Patar and Afzal Sahir attracted and enthralled thousands of mela-visitors. His 'jagga' singing was what people appreciated a lot. Sharif Ragi came up with traditional 'war' (story) singing while Fayyaz Ali Khan presented some beautiful Punjabi poems in a hall with maximum participation of families. On the theater front the performances of Chippan Ton Pehlan (before sunset) culminated. Prior to last performance Malik Abdul Haq 97, a resident of Bunga village who claims to be a childhood friend of Bhagat Singh shared with audience his vivid memories of the 1920's. He told about Bhagat Singh's family and the movement it was attached with. Malik can't hear and see clearly but he traveled to mela, dedicated to his great friend and spent many hours there. As many as seven other plays were performed and students of nine schools presented various items of performing arts besides performing three theater plays. Frontier Language Institute hosted a seminar at mela venue titled as "Languages of Northern Areas", in which speakers emphasized the need to save the rich languages of northern areas, some of which are literally facing extinction. Berozgar Naujwan Tehreek Pakistan also conducted a seminar on unemployment in which a socialist revolution was termed as the only solution to the menace of unemployment. Similarly Pakistan National Forum Karachi organized a seminar on Punjabi language.
Press Release 4 | Mon, 24 November 2008, 12:37 P
LAHORE, November 26, 2008: Famous Sufi singer Sain Zahoor's gripping performance on the concluding night of Punjab Lok Boli Mela Jaranwala was enjoyed by the thousands of local people. When Sain, attired in his typical sufi dress along with his beautifully decorate iktara, came to sing, it seemed if the entire city has gathered at mela venue. His Allah Hoo and Bullha ki janan main kaun helped people to experience the excellence of spiritual folk music. Besides Sain Zahoor, Nasir Chaudhry of Jhang, Aslam Lohar of Faisalabad and Iqbal Pathanay Khan of Muzaffargarh performed at the jam-packed music venue. Punjab University Lahore's group performed a beautiful mime on the illustrious poem "ambi day bootay thally" (beneath the mango tree) of the legend Punjabi poet Professor Mohan Singh. COMSATS Lahore performed a play titled as Sidq (truthfulness) depicting the struggle of Bhagat Singh. The students of Rose Model School Faisalabad won the admiration of audience when they performed a play Mandi (the market). Asghar Hussain Dardi of Sadiqabad and other Dhol and Jhumer groups performed at the open venue of mela. Almost three dozen students of a Faisalabad school showed complete harmony while performing Jhumer. Peoples Rights Movement Islamabad held a discussion on "national security state and Punajb" at seminars' venue while Communist Party of Pakistan held a dialogue on Bhagat Singh's life and struggle.
Press Release Final | Wed, 26 November 2008, 3:10 PM
Press Briefing At Mela