• By: Muhammad Faisal

On the 9th of May, 2024, the American Studies Center at the Quaid Azam University, Islamabad, played host to a captivating exhibition aimed at promoting and preserving the diverse cultures of Pakistan. The event, spearheaded by the dedicated efforts of the American Studies team, aimed to shed light on lesser-known cultures and encourage their exploration and conservation.

At the heart of the exhibition was a spotlight on the enchanting culture of Chitral. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unique traditions, Chitral holds a distinct place in Pakistan’s cultural tapestry. Sehrish Karim, the event organiser, eloquently emphasised the importance of recognizing and preserving the rich heritage of Chitral. She passionately articulated, “Chitral is more than just its scenic beauty; it boasts a vibrant culture deeply rooted in traditions like kho and kalash. It’s crucial to dispel misconceptions and celebrate the uniqueness of Chitrali culture.”

One of the primary objectives of the exhibition was to raise awareness about the nuances of Chitrali culture, which often get overshadowed or misunderstood. Karim highlighted the common misconception of lumping Chitralis with other ethnic groups like Pathans, Gilgitis, and Kalash. She stressed that Chitralis possess a distinct identity and cultural heritage that merits recognition and preservation. Through immersive displays and engaging presentations, visitors were invited to delve into the intricacies of Chitrali customs, rituals, and way of life.

The exhibition served as a platform for dialogue and appreciation, fostering a deeper understanding of the rich cultural mosaic that defines Pakistan. It encouraged attendees to embrace diversity and celebrate the myriad traditions that contribute to the country’s cultural wealth.

Central to the success of the exhibition was the generous support of the main sponsor, “Preserved Culture.” Their commitment to preserving and promoting cultural heritage played a pivotal role in bringing the event to fruition. Their sponsorship underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in safeguarding cultural diversity for future generations.

The exhibition hosted by the American Studies Center at Quaid Azam University was a testament to the power of cultural exchange and appreciation. By shining a spotlight on the
vibrant culture of Chitral, the event not only celebrated diversity but also underscored the need for its preservation. Through initiatives like these, we can ensure that the rich tapestry of Pakistan’s cultural heritage remains vibrant and thriving for generations to come.

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