January 25, 2013

The Post National

An Argentinean artist, Mariano Akerman has been striving to bridge the gap of culture and customs among people. “I think of myself as a bridge between various cultures and traditions,” Akerman said to The Post. Akerman told us he was delighted to be in Pakistan. His major concern is education. He is here to open the window of cultural diversity. “Pakistan is a country rich in culture and traditions,” he observed enthusiastically. Recalling his first impression about Pakistani art, Akerman remembered that “Lok Virsa Heritage Museum was my first introduction to Pakistani culture. It was indeed a marvellous experience and impressed me a lot, due to its multi-traditional dimension.” Commenting on the local population, Akerman thinks that “In general, Pakistani people are nice and I feel comfortable here. Not even for a second I had the feeling of being an alien in this country; I come from a multi-cultural one, it’s name is Argentina.” Sharing his experiences about Eid ul fitar in Pakistan, he commented that it was a simple and wonderful event, as lots of people invited him to their homes and offered him sweet dishes. Describing a most attractive thing of Pakistan, Akerman prized its natural beauty, which he says gives him peace of mind. He also likes the variety of the seasons here, “One can enjoy bright sunny light, heavy rain, drizzling, hailstorms, amazingly beautiful autumn and springtime. In this sense, nature has blessed the country.” Referring to the local food, he said he finds it delicious and a bit too spicy. Considering the actual situation in Pakistan, Akerman rejects its portrayal as a problematic country, for “good things and bad things can be seen everywhere in these days.” Mariano Akerman respects every nation and every religion. He values life. Being aware of the differences between the East and the West, he observes that they still need to learn from each other. “The East,” for instance, “may adopt modern technologies from the West and simultaneously spread part of its spiritual wisdom there.” Akerman explained his view about the fundamentals of relationships world wide, noting that they should be developed on the basis of dialogue. He added he liked many of the traditions of Pakistan. He believes a dialogue between tradition and modernisation is both possible and necessary. According to him, Pakistan on one hand is moving towards modernisation while on the other tries to preserve its culture and heritage. As an artist, Akerman abhors the idea of a world without diversity. “Imagine a world which is uniform. Would you like to live in a place where all people look identical, speak the same language, do the same things and think the very same way? Such a world would be a terribly poor world. It would also be terribly boring. I am for cultural diversity. God has created a world based on diversity, not uniformity. You only have to contemplate nature for a while. There is diversity everywhere.” Paraphrased source: Anwer Abbas, “Artist’s Endeavours to promote Cultural Diversity,” The Post, Islamabad, 02.07.08, sect. B, p. 2; source has been modified and rectified in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.