Holi (The festival of colors)

In connection to the ongoing efforts of department Holi was celebrated at Nishtar Hall, Peshawar on March 30th, 2019.  On this occasion, more than 600 participants from Hindu community attended the event. The participants performed puja and bhjan quire. Different kinds of performances were staged out in order to entertain the attendees of the program; thus allowing the minorities to take part in recreational activities and making it a memorable experience not only for Hindu community but also for those who participants who belongs to other faiths and were attending the event as guests.  The spring festival of Holi is one of the foremost important occasions in the Hindu calendar, and is associated with the Hindu god Krishna. It is held at the full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna, which equates with February/March in the solar Gregorian calendar. As a spring festival Holi rejoices in ripening crops, fresh foliage and flowers, and the youthful energy and exuberance associated with Krishna. Although Holi is a Hindu festival it is enjoyed, or ‘played’ as it is described in Hindu Religion by all, without distinction of caste, creed or sex and provides an opportunity for the community to come together without the usual social constraints.

 

All the participants were welcomed by the host & organizers. Event was formally started by paying tribute to the country with a standing ovation through national anthem, followed by a speech from the high officials of the department to formally welcome the Chief Guest, Minister for Health Mr. Ihtisham Inam Ullah.  The chief guest appreciated the efforts of the department & extended his warm wishes on this special occasion to the respective members of the minorities. He further said “today is the day we can proudly say that minorities are free to exercise and practice their faith and religious festivities as well as cultural and religious rituals without any fear. He further envisioned the efforts of the current government for the rights of minority and promised to continue the same efforts with extra zeal and zest to ensure that minorities gets equal rights as per the constitution of Pakistan. He stated minorities can play a vital role in building the image of the country as peaceful & prosperous country through their efforts and they should take part in the development process and come forward to make Pakistan a great country.

 

MPA, Mr. Ravi Kumar, who represents the Hindu Community stated that “we want to give message to the entire world that Pakistan is safe as safe as any other country in the region for minorities. He also said that such events are organized to promote peace and harmony among different communities living in Pakistan”

 

Mr. Wazir Zada, member Provincial Assembly also talked about the importance of organizing such events for minority’s communities. He said that such events spread the message of peace & love. Such celebration cherish the spirit of fraternity among different communities irrespective of their religious beliefs thus creating a sense of tolerance among different religious groups.

 

Performances

One of the major component of the event is to engage audience through performances. In order to show full devotion, Hindu devotees performed different religious songs accompanied by different performances on cultural and religious themes. Artists were especially invited from PCNA Islamabad to perform on different religious songs such as Ganish Vadana, Arrti, Diwali dance, bhjan choir, Raam Leela and various skits on interfaith harmony & unity. Moreover, youth dressed in colorful attire performed Bhangra that made the event colorful and entertaining for the audience. Participants highly appreciated the efforts of the department and its consulting partners for making the event of Holi extremely entertaining and colorful.

 

District Wise Detail Summary of Participants of “HOLI”.

 

Sr.No. Province No. of Participants
1. Abbottabad 2
2. Chitral 2
3. Bannu 13
4. Charsadda 1
5. Dir Lower 2
6. Kohat 44
7. Tribal District Khyber 2
8. Mardan 13
9. Peshawar 178
10. Hangu 3
11. Govt Officials, Guests, Advisory Committee, Security Officials, Media Officials, Management Team, Production Teams, Volunteers, Performers, Nishtar Hall Security, Vendors, Department Officials. 250
Total 550