Islamabad:The 5th Pakistan Mother Languages Literature Festival will be held at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts from February 21 to February 23.
The Indus Cultural Forum in collaboration with the PNCA and other institutions has developed an ambitious programme with added attractions to mark the success of the festival, which has become one of the key features of federal capital’s cultural and literary scene.
Partners and sponsors of the event include Foundation Open Society Institute, Friedrich Naumann Foundation Pakistan, Alternative Research Initiative, Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture, Culture Department, Government of Sindh, ECO Science Foundation, Pakistan Science Foundation, Society for Alternative Media and Research and other organisations.
The festival that coincides with international mother languages day on February 21 highlights the potential of Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity.
More than 150 Writers, intellectuals, artists and activists from up to 20 Pakistani languages will take part in this year’s festival, which is free and open to all. Chairperson of Indus Cultural Forum Niaz Nadeem told reporters that there will be 20 diverse sessions in the festival which will comprise of discussions, book launches, poetry recitations, music performances and theatrical performances.
Other attractions will include painting and antiques exhibitions, children’s science fun activities and book stalls.
“We are striving for equal dignity and respect for all Pakistani languages as they represent rich heritage and folk wisdom of millions of Pakistanis,” he said. Niaz Nadeem said special attention has been given to the constitutional equality of all languages and sessions have been designed in this regard.
PNCA Director General Dr Fouzia Saeed said the linguistic and cultural potential of Pakistan was not very well known and as a result we are not able to celebrate the diversity of the country, which should be biggest strength of us.
“This festival offers a platform for celebrating all 70 plus languages of Pakistan and encourages language communities to take action for saving these languages from extinction,” she said.
Dr Fouzia recently joined PNCA as director general and this festival is one of the major events under her leadership.
Representative of Foundation Open Society Pakistan Nargis Sultana said respect for linguistic rights was critical for empowering communities and reducing discrimination. “The festival is to promote Pakistan’s linguistic and cultural diversity by fostering critical thinking and learning through effective use of creative expression in mother languages,” she said.
Nargis Sultana said the festival had been an important event to highlight the potential of literature and arts in these languages which are usually marginalised.
She said the festival provided a platform to intellectuals, writers and thinkers representing different languages to come together and present their work on various genres of art, literature, culture and education in mother languages of Pakistan.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom-Pakistan’s head of programme and administration Muhammad Anwar said his institution celebrated linguistic and cultural diversity of Pakistan.
He said the FNF worked with partners to bring out real potential of Pakistani languages so that people of Pakistan are aware of their rich heritage and culture.