The Baloch Culture Day

Baloch men, dressed in their traditional attire, are dancing on Baloch Culture Day

The Baloch Culture Day was celebrated wherever the Baloch live with national fervor and pride. However, Balochistan, the beloved motherland of the Baloch, remained the focal point of most of the celebrations.

Baloch culture day is celebrated on March 2 every year. It’s an occasion that gives the Baloch a sense of pride and also proves to be an elixir for their values and traditions that face extension due to other dominant cultures in the country (other cultures are dominant because they enjoy state patronage and the Baloch culture doesn’t).

Given the political unrest and an air of mourning of families who have lost their loved ones in the recent past due to the violence that grapples the whole region, celebrations had more to do with showing solidarity with the bereaved families than rejoicing on the occasion. However, observing this felicitous day manifested the resolve of the Baloch people that they are united and cannot be cowed by any threats whatsoever.

Cultural events in Balochistan have always been a target of anti-nationalist elements whom the nationalists allege to be the proxies of intelligence agencies of the country to counter insurgency in the province. One instance of such an attempt to stop people from celebrating their culture was on the very same day (March 2) last year when a cultural show at the Khuzdar Engineering University was attacked with hand-grenades that left two students dead and 35 injured.

The Baloch Culture Day is followed by another historic cultural event that has been held in Balochistan for centuries now—the Sibi Fair or Sibi Mela in the local parlance. The latter started today in the historic city of Sibi. Sibi Fair is an event in which cattle-owners from across the country participate to sell their cattle. The fair continues for days, but it is not limited to buying and selling of cattle only. Different traditional sports and other activities are arranged to entertain the visitors who come from different parts of the country.

These people need special applause for arranging such events at a massive scale to keep their distinct culture alive—despite a surge in violence as insurgency gains ground in the region. Their effort is a proof that no matter how hard the times are, they are a people who love their culture.