Thousands of music fans cheered their favorite musicians and singers at a music festival in Bamiyan province on Friday. The festival will continue for two days.
Dambora Festival is amid attracting the attention of tourists to Bamiyan and preserving Afghanistan’s cultural values, local officials said.
The first day of the festival was held in the center of Bamiyan and the second day will be held at Band-e-Amir, the first National Park of Afghanistan.
TOLOnews’ reporter Nabilla Ashrafi, who is in Bamiyan covering the festival, said thousands of people including men, women and children attended the first day of the festival from different parts of the country.
Ashrafi said the festival was opened by local women handicrafts, paintings and book exhibitions at about 11:00am and a number of youths and families visited the exhibition.
The second phase of the festival was local music that was started at 3:00pm.
Local officials and organizers of the event said they have the preparations to welcome 20,000 participants.
In this festival, 11 local music bands and 50 local singers and musicians have been invited from five neighboring provinces.
The bands performed folklore music on Friday event. The musicians and singers include men and women singers.
“The girls were excited seeing girl singers singing. They encouraged us a lot,” Aziza Akbaryan, a singer, said.
In part of the festival, a group of youths from Daikundi province performed traditional dances.
Asiya Bibi, a young Pakistani woman, who has married with a man from Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, was an audience of the festival.
“This is the first time that I have attended Dambora Festival. Everything is new to me. I came here to know the new cultures and local music,” she said.
“We are not from Bamiyan, we are from Badakhshan and this is the first time that we attended this festival,” Parwin Farahmand, a resident of Bamiyan, said.
The organizers acknowledged the local music and Dambora musicians.
“Although the situation is not good, but still we should encourage our musicians and singers. Singers are voice of government and voice of the people,” Safdar Tawakoli, a well-known singer, said.
Bamiyan governor Tahir Zuhair said Bamiyan will host four festivals this year.
Zuhair said more than 300,000 local and foreign tourists visited Bamiyan last year.
He said he hopes the number will rise to 100,000 tourists this year.
Three other festivals will be organized this year in the province that include local songs, handicrafts exhibition, poem reading, storytelling and theatre.
Last year’s Dambora Festival was criticized by a number of members of Bamiyan Ulema Council.
However, this year some conditions were applied that include women and men should not perform in one group, the festival should not be held in open space at night and men and women should stay in separate places.
“The festival is aimed at improving women’s abilities in local music. Still Bamiyan women singers and musicians are not able to perform alone,” Mohammad Ali Shaida, an organizer of the festival, said.