The Pakistan Cultural Festival 2011 and Pakistan Food Festival will be held on 5 June 2011 at Zyuiderpark Mr. P. D. Fortuynwg 79, 2533 SP Den Haag. The two events are being organized with the support of the Embassy of Pakistan The Hague and Gemeente Den Haag.
The Festivals this year are a sequel to the first Pakistan Cultural and Sports Festival (Mela) in The Netherlands held last year on 6 June 2010, which had attracted thousands from various communities living in The Netherlands.
The Festival 2011 aims to provide a welcome opportunity to Pakistani and other communities living in the Netherlands to come together and promote inter-cultural understanding through a fun-full day of sports, culture, food and music. Pakistan Food Festival would present mouth savoring selections from the rich delicious Pakistani cuisine.
Last year, the Festival 2010, organized under the patronage of the Embassy of Pakistan, was inaugurated by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. The Festival showcased Pakistan to a wide audience who were enthralled by the richness of Pakistani culture, sports, music and cuisine. The Festival had something for every one. There were sports fixtures (football, volleyball, kabaddi, kite flying and Rassa Kashi), a wide variety of Pakistani food, and attractions for children and women. Music was played throughout the day, culminating in a musical evening featuring the legendary folk singer Shaukat Ali (Pride of Performance). The programme ended with the gala dinner.
Despite the intermittent showers, the Festival venue remained jam packed with audience throughout the day. Families turned out in large numbers to feast themselves on the Pakistani food, enjoy traditional sports, and shop Pakistani products e.g. ladies garments, home textiles and food items. The ladies got an opportunity to get the hina tattooed on their hands. The kids had fun with slides and pony rides.
The Mela reached its climax in the evening when the famous folk singer Shaukat Ali accompanied by the award-winner Tabla Nawaz Shabbir Hussain Jhari, mesmerized the audience with their popular numbers. The local music talent also entertained the audience throughout the day.
Gemeente Den Haag (City Government, The Hague) also extended its support. The Alderman, Mr Rabin Baldewsingh, was the guest of honor at the gala dinner. He appreciated the high quality and turn out of the event, especially the wonderful Pakistani music and delectable Pakistani food. Speaking on the occasion he said that with this Festival Pakistani-Dutch community has made a strong statement about its valuable contribution to the multicultural identity of the Netherlands and the City of The Hague.
H.E. Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Ambassador of Pakistan, who was the moving spirit behind the Festival, gave away the prizes to winners of sports fixtures. Addressing the Pakistani Dutch community, he greatly appreciated the positive spirit and energy displayed at the Mela by Pakistani Dutch community. In particular, he commended the organizing committee, sponsors, and coordinators of various events.
The Pakistani Dutch community has whole heartedly welcomed the convening of the first ever Pakistan Festival in the Netherlands and expressed the hope and confidence that the Embassy will help organize similar festivals in the years to come.
The Pakistan Food Festival 2011 is an inviting event that highlights the rich tradition of Pakistani food. The festival is being presented by the Commercial Wing of Embassy of Pakistan, The Hague as a co-located event of Pakistan Mela 2011.
In the natural, picturesque setting of Zuiderpark Den Haag, the food festival will bring together friends & families in an outdoor social setting for a fun-full day out. Besides, the host of cultural and sports activities in the Pakistan Mela 2011, the aroma from the food festival will add an appetizing color to the grand Pakistan festival.
The best Pakistani restaurants in the Netherlands will be offering the mouth-watering Pakistani culinary delights in the festival. Besides, the famous brands of food products will be running special offers and brand promotions.
The food-festival, a non-profit event, is aimed at promoting the Pakistani food products and their traditional preparations in The Netherlands. The festival will be instrumental in marketing the major Pakistani food products (basmati rice, mangoes and processed/packaged food) through their savory preparations. The festival is expected to attract 8,000 to 10,000 participants mainly from the South Asian community – the core consumer base of Pakistani food products. The festival will also demonstrate the richness of Pakistani cuisine and the food preparation to the Dutch consumers at large.
The Festivals will start at 1200 hrs and conclude at 2000 hrs.
|Mela 2011: Sunday, June 5th|
|1630||Rassa Kashi (Tug-of-War)|
|1800||Abrar-ul-Haque (the lead singer)|
|1955||Milli Naghma by all singers|