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Cuisine Competition / Musical Show Held
Chitral -- Tourism Corporation Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (TCKP) sponsored festival of indigenous cuisines and the evening musical show was organized through the arrangement of Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) on March 21, 2011, in Chitral town.
The slogan of the day was ‘our culture is our identity; its protection is our need’. The objective of the activity was to protect and promote the traditional food of Chitral and to link the same with tourism industry for the economic empowerment and welfare of women—who are normally involved in cooking at household level—in the entire region.
It is to be noted that the young generation has almost had forgotten the names and tastes of their cultural cuisines, which means they could disappear very soon without adding economic incentives and linking it with tourism industry. This was the overarching objective of the event.
The food festival implemented in collaboration with Girl Guides—a voluntary organization of young school students in Dolomoch, Chitral town. The event was planned, monitored and supervised by community representatives and judges.
The cuisines showcased on the occasion i.e. shoshp, chhira shapik, ghara, shoshpalaki, chamborogh, sanabachi, mol and lazhek were cooked at household level. They were highly appreciated and categorized in respect of tastes by judges, who were assigned with the task. The participants were awarded with per dish-based cash awards.
Needless to say, the traditional hospitality and local cuisines of Chitral could go hand in hand so far as tourism development matters. However, much work needs to be done to improve hospitality and taste of the cuisines without compromising on its originality. This could be possible through formal cooking training and hospitality courses.
Meanwhile, the evening musical event was also organized in Chitral town to be participated by a wide spectrum of community members from different valleys in addition to folksingers, folk dancers and instrumentalists.
Some forgotten folk dances i.e. anaphari, tatali wawali, chong rigishi and barwazi were performed by expert folk dancers. The musical event mostly focused on the participation of young talented artists hailing from rural background, which made the programme culturally more colorful and vibrant. Occasion like this could be used to give exposure to the young artists to groom up the laden potential of music.
The music of pasture flutists also featured in the musical show. The instrument is played by nomads as they tend cattle in the summer pastures. Its plaintive notes echo in the rocks and makes melancholic resonance that enthrall the listeners.