ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The two-day Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival kicked off here Saturday at National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, to highlight the value of languages in Pakistan.
The event has been arranged by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Indus Cultural Forum (ICF) and Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) on the theme of “Our Languages Our Identity”.
The festival is planned to coincide with the International Mother Languages Day which is celebrated on February 21, declared by UNESCO. More than 150 writers from over 15 Pakistani mother languages participated in the event as speakers and moderators and discussed why it is important to retain and nurture our mother languages which are dwindling in many cases, notwithstanding the social pressures and the significance of drama, prose, poetry, story telling, television, promoting folk culture and other aspects in mother language.
The objectives of the festival are to promote Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity as an instrument of social harmony, peace, tolerance and encouraging reading culture in mother languages.
The festival will be an occasion to showcase a wide range of literary works in these languages, the organizers said.
The major attractions of the festival include Mother languages Mushaira, Mother Languages Music Evening, Discussions on Languages, Literature and Culture, Book launches, audio-visual screening, cultural performances, mother languages book stalls, food courts, cultural exhibitions and mobile library.
Most of the festival’s proceedings will be in Urdu language while the participants are encouraged to dress up in their respective cultural attire reflecting the identity of their area and language.
The event is a unique and first of its kind of opportunity to experience Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity while the participants will get rare chance to listen and meet over 150 writers, poets and cultural activists from over 15 Pakistani mother languages.
Lok Virsa has the mandate to promote and preserve the intangible and tangible cultural heritage of the country while the Indus Cultural Forum aims to provide multi-cultural space to celebrate all cultures of Pakistan.