FLI organized a Community of Practice (CoP) on culture and arts on March 14, 2019 in Islamabad which was attended by 16 people from 11 language communities of northern Pakistan. The event was aimed to figure out why the local arts and music were facing the danger of extinction and what steps should be taken to revive the local musical arts. Eight people, belonging to Torwali, Gawri, Khowar, Shina, Wakhi, Hindko, Palula and Kalasha language groups presented their presentations on how music, an integral part of their indigenous cultures were eroding and what were the reasons. They also floated their recommendations for promotion of their cultural heritage. The conclusion brought up many reasons varying from geographical to atmospheric factors effecting the very cultural aspect of the region. Some of the findings of the CoP listed below:
- Music was no more a likable and profitable profession in some societies of northern Pakistan
- Music and musicians are stigmatized in some areas
- Globalization, religious extremism, social stigma and government negligence were blamed for overall degradation of local arts.
Factually, every indigenous culture in northern Pakistan, as come out of this event, had been giving great importance to the music in the past. In some places, the music was used not only for casual entertainment but was it also a part of daily life of the inhabitants. In Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral region, some type of musical instruments are still being played during the traditional polo competitions, meant to create thrill among the players. The same was done in the past during wars.
FLI has been requested by the participants of this event to work for the revival of this aspect of cultures in its target region. FLI will surely seek government help for the purpose though its advocacy efforts.