A beautiful city of Islamabad is often unable to provide more entertainment opportunities to its citizens due to the changing political situation. Although there are many governmental and non-governmental institutions specifically created and resourced to promote art, literature, culture, music and fine arts but they failed to fulfil their purpose. Sometimes, the power struggle and political conflict dims the splendor of this city of power. In this situation of political chaos, the organizing of a beautiful and diverse cultural event by the international community was a big surprise for the citizens of Islamabad. On Saturday 29 October 2022 in Islamabad, EU TeamEurope organized EuroVillagePK at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Islamabad.
Thousands of people, especially families, participated in the EuroVillagePK-2022 Festival. The annual event, organized by the European Union and its member states after a three-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, provided the residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi an opportunity to enjoy a unique European art, culture and culinary experience. A few days before the program, the embassies of different European countries kept giving special invitations to the families of Islamabad through messages on social media. Dr. Reena Kavinka, who is the Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Pakistan, said in a video message that “We are all set to welcome you today. Come along with family and friends and enjoy a day full of music, culture, food and a lot more!”
EuroVillage is a family fun-fair hosted by the European Union and its member states. Its special feature is to introduce the Pakistani community to the European community and provide an opportunity to meet each other. There was free entry for all families at the EuroVillage, where TeamEurope showcased its rich culture and traditions through food, art, culture and heritage and offered Pakistanis an opportunity to join the European community. This year’s EuroVillage was distinctive in that the European Union was celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations with Pakistan. Six decades of partnership in social development, trade and political engagement show how the EU-Pakistan relationship is strong together. To commemorate this long period of relationship, EU-Pakistan friendship truck was also prepared, which was presented to the public at the festival, this truck will be taken to all the provinces of the country to connect with Pakistanis to present the friendly relationship between European Union and Pakistan.
Culture has always been an integral part of the foundations of the European Union.
It is a powerful tool of diplomacy, a means of connecting with people around the world by identifying universal values and common heritage. Adviser to Prime Minister on National Heritage and Culture Engineer Amir Maqam, who was the chief guest on the occasion, hailed the event as an effort to promote Pakistan’s relations with European countries and improve people-to-people contacts. He said that we hope to further strengthen cooperation with the European Union and its member states. EU Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Riina Kionka said that the EU delegation in Pakistan valued the diverse cultures, languages, religions, histories and identities in Europe which are part of their prosperity, they formed their shared values, linked them and gave them a shared sense of purpose. It is this common understanding of shared values and diversity that is at the heart of our relationship with the world, including Pakistan.
The Euro Village Festival was full of entertainment and information for families, with stalls set up by European countries being greeted by diplomatic personnel themselves. There are 27 countries in the European Union and all of them use the Euro as their currency. Stalls from the European Union and Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden were set up at the festival, where citizens could participate in games, quizzes, interactive information displays, and various activities. The visitors observed what the EU motto ‘Unity in Diversity’ means in practice and how it applies to Pakistan. These stallholders from European countries offered souvenirs and delicacies from their respective countries to the visitors, who answered questions about their national heroes, monuments and places. Thousands of gifts like shirts, caps, bags and water bottles were distributed among the participants.
EuroVillage Pakistan Festival was hosted by renowned artist Faizan Haqi who is a VJ, voice over artist and anchor and is known for his travel and digital shows. Pakistani artists Natasha Ejaz, Asim Azhar and Shai Gul performed live at EuroVillage. The audience was also enthralled by the spectacular performance of Katamita, the freestyle football champion from Hungary. The participants showed great interest in all the stalls and got first-hand information about the European countries. The entire EU team deserves congratulations for organizing such a wonderful event in Pakistan. We are grateful to the European Union in Pakistan for organizing a wonderful, fun-filled day.