Well when we talk about ethnicity in Pakistan, there’s always a negative response from people residing in different ethnic regions. Witnessing our elders the Y-generation also caught up by the ethnic fire and it burnt their harmonic feelings for each other. They’re forced to do riots for the sake and respect of their particular regions. Not many governmental or non governmental organizations aren’t taking such initiatives to bring youth from different shades of culture under a single umbrella. Youth’s energy is not channelized to work as a unit.
Channan Development Association (CDA) in collaboration with Y-peer Pakistan and Punjab government arranged Asian Youth Conference and Peace festival 2011 in Lahore, which I believe is one of the major initiative took by Young people of Lahore and across Pakistan . National Delegates (from across Pakistan), including me , Speakers (across Pakistan) and International delegates (across Asia) were invited to gather and talk about peace. To spread love. And to eradicate all the hatred that we’ve taken in our hearts for each other since a long time. The event was based on the theme “Together we are the solution” as I named the blog on this theme.
It was three day fun and interactive festival .Many noted personalities and inspiring speakers accompanied including Ali Moeen, Sarmad Tariq, Amara Anwar, Usman Shahid, Umair Jaliawala, Nazia Ramzan and many Asian young models .I personally interacted with the people of Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Quetta , Islamabad, Gilgit and almost people from every region. I felt very much common among ourselves, and the common thingy was that we all belong to one nation Pakistan. At that time no one was Sindhi, Balochi, Pakhtun or Punjabi.We get to know so much about the cultures of each other and even we had interaction activities and workshops in festival.
I never knew anything about the people of Gilgit, just knew that its Pakistan’s paradise. Never wandered of how talented and passionate they are. I met and heard some gilgitis and they simply inspired me. Even there are not much awareness, and there is lack of education since there not much schools and colleges there, but the youth of Gilgit is taking equal part in political and social activies.
Cultural night was conducted on the second day of the event. Basically it was a concert of noted musicians which turned out into a Cultural night at the end. Experienced the real importance of Pakistani culture. On one side I was extremely overwhelmed to come by variety of colours, dresses and songs depicting different cultures including Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis, Pakhtuns, and Gilgitis. On the other side I was grieving inside because we have forgotten our identities by ignoring our culture. We’re strayed by the bright colours of western culture. In a while we just lost ourselves. We over leaped our own culture. I also have no identity because I don’t follow my customs any more. One of the major factors of why Pakistani youth facing problems is that there aren’t much awareness among them to revive our customs back. So I believe it was a great initiative took by CDA
I was a little bit sad on the third day because I didn’t want the event to end. In such tough time as Lahore was all caught up by Dengue and viral infections, the delegates showed up and came to the festival. team of CDA, volunteers and executive committee gave their level best even in the chewy time. It really seemed to me that ” Yes together we are the solution”. All of us gathered on a single platform, danced , sung, questioned-answered, and left with tons of memories. Hats off all the young people who organized such an event. I hope to witness such festivals in the near future, and we will make peace instead of war among us Inshallah .