Pakistan Arts Council Wins Accolades

Pasadena, CA:  Even the cold weather didn’t dampen the fun at the Pakistan Arts Council booth as they celebrated its annual Family Free Day at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.
This yearly program fosters cultural awareness and understanding of the Pacific Asian cultures such as the Pakistani, Thai, Chinese, Nepalese, Tibetan, Japanese and many more.
The Pakistan Arts Council designed their cultural event to educate and entertain the visitors to the museum. The activities began at noon and went on until four to celebrate Pakistani music, dance, food, and games.
The exhibition included dolls from various regions of Pakistan exquisitely displayed along with other handicrafts. The PAC board members - Atiya Khan, Ayesha Kamran, Gazala Adaya, Zara Shah, Temina Jesrai, Kishwar Jaffar  - and many volunteers strutted about informing, answering questions, and arousing visitor interest in the Pakistani culture. Hundreds of children visited the Pakistani booth to enrich their experience by creating unique gift bags with stamps of various ethnic images from Pakistan. In one corner, stood a long line of children eager to get henna designs on their hands. The young volunteers at the Pakistani booth were: Sara Ali, Mehr Kamran, and Ayla Basit.
The biggest hit was the food stall, elegantly decorated by the PAC members. Visitors were treated to cholay, dahi bhalay, samosay, and many tangy condiments to go with the snacks.
“I didn’t know that Pakistani food was so tasty!” exclaimed a visitor. “Is there a Pakistani restaurant in LA?” asked another. The biggest attraction on the slightly cold and damp day, turned out to be chai that was generously provided for almost a thousand people by the dedicated board of the Pakistan Arts Council.
“It was fun to see so many young people sipping and enjoying chai. It could be Starbucks fever that has made tea so popular in the US,” explained Atiya Khan, the President of Pakistan Arts Council.
The entertainment didn’t end with food; it was accompanied by folk dances from all parts of Pacific Asia. The Pakistani segment was the most energetic of all; the “Bhangra” dance from the Punjab. It delighted the audience who were in awe of the vigor that exuded from the dancers. Many people joined in the fun to learn the Bhangra as onlookers clapped rapturously.
Even though the entertainment was over, many people walked around observing the Museum’s art and treasures, talking to people, and making friends. A slightly increased downpour is what dispersed the crowds from this culturally exhilarating afternoon.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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