Monday 28 September 2020

A folk musician performing at the festival

Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage showcased

MANAMA, April 24, 2015

Cultural heritage is being highlighted at an annual festival being held at Arad Fort in Bahrain.

Bahrain's culture, such as handicrafts, traditional architecture, and artistic folklore are on display at the event, which features a traditional suq, coffee shops, crafts, and folk music, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Organised by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, the Heritage Festival is being held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad.

"I'm an engraver and I've been working in this field for 32 years," Abdulla Isa Abdulla told the GDN.

"I have a good feel for wood, so I use that mostly.

"I joined a programme by the Social Development Ministry about 10 to 12 years ago, where their aim was to revitalise Bahraini heritage in order to save the families, taking them from a place of poverty to a place of productivity.

"As engravers, it encourages these families and ensures we try to work and try to move to productivity.

"As you can see, we're trying to improve our output aimed at both local and international markets.

"These boxes were used between the 1930s and 50s to gift brides, and in recent years, from 2010 until now, there has been an increase of interest among people to buy these boxes to use as gift boxes for weddings and dowries.

"The importance of the festival is that it gives a good impression of Bahrain.

"For citizens, it is an opportunity to know more about their heritages apart from passing them to the next generation.

"We also have Gulf nationals and expats and we're proud to have them see what we have on offer."

Another kiosk displayed the art of blending spices and making Arab chutneys.

"Every year, when the festival is held, it reminds people what we have both old and new," Batool Hussain Akbar told the GDN.

"I take part in the festival every year and I've even been sent to Doha.

"The important thing is to make sure that things change every year and we have been working to improve the spice mixes.

"In special occasions you get people asking for different things.

"For instance, Ramadan is coming up, and people will start to ask for corn flour to make kebabs, more turmeric for some dishes, the Bahraini spice mix and so on.

"Every week, I give 100 of each of my spices and flours to different supermarkets in Bahrain."

Jaffar Abdulredha is a weaver who said he had inherited his work from his father.

"Both my brothers and my son, who is 21, are weavers too," he said.

"This is an old trade in Bahrain and dates back to hundreds of years, but now it's only in one village, which is Bani Jamra.

"We want it to be expanded again.

"My father taught me how to weave, his father had taught him and my grandfather learnt from his father.

"It's a trade we inherit.

"The easiest thing to make is a scarf that's one colour, because it's a simple weave.

"But you have other ones with lots of colours, which take time.

"We also do material for the traditional jalabiyas.

"We sell our products locally and I work at the Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre and they also sell our products at the Duty Free."

The festival hosts different kiosks showing local products exhibited by residents, including the building of dhows, pottery, traditional local outfits, traditional games, and a photo gallery depicting the local heritage of pearl diving.

It also offers events for children, such as workshops on pottery, dhow building, sewing of local garments, and competitions in traditional games. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | arab | Heritage | cultural | fort |

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