Swat rings in 2017 with cultural event
MINGORA: Youth from all over Swat gathered here, taking part in cultural festivities, promoting Pashtun culture and marking the advent of the New Year.
The cultural night was organized at Khadi Hall here titled ‘Kaltori Makham’ by Dil Se Pakistan in collaboration with Gamoona Society of Swat.
The event was attended by a large number of people, including poets, writers, politicians and couples from other provinces.
‘Yoon Band’, comprising young singers from Swat and a renowned Islamabad-based Tabla-Nawaz amused the gathering with traditional tunes.
Some youngsters tried to energize the dormant crowd by dancing to the tunes presented by live orchestra.
This was the first time since 2006 that such an event was organized and it received the applause of the visitors.
“This is an outstanding function … Pashtun culture is being highlighted in a colorful environment … amplifying the fun and joy,” said Zubair Torwali, a writer from Swat.
“This is a daring step worth appreciating … For the past decade, no one could have dared to arrange such events,” he said
He also praised the event for providing an opportunity to singers of Torwali and Gowari languages. “Artists and singers from upper Swat are also here … They will surely entertain guests by singing songs in their native languages.”
Wajid Ali Khan, a former provincial minister for environment, said: “This event clearly shows extremists that there is now no room for them in the entire Pashtun belt.”
He said that he was happy and proud that the youth from Swat marked an end to extremism and intolerance.
Aliya Jalil, a visitor from Lahore and an enthusiastic participant, told The Express Tribune: “I am surprised to see the elation of youth here in Swat and I am unable to believe that this area was once overrun by banned outfits.”
She also praised the talent of Swati youth, saying: “The musical band of Swati youth gave an outstanding performance … they sang Pashtu songs, Ghazals and Qawalis in Urdu on traditional musical instruments.”
Meanwhile, the advent of the New Year was also celebrated by youths, visitors and trekkers in Malam Jabba, a tourist and ski resort at Swat district, which is 8,000 feet above sea-level and temperature was below freezing point.
The event was celebrated after a long time and marks the return to peace and normalcy in the entire Swat district.