BHAKKAR: Instead of expensive branded shoes, most people here preferred to wear traditional footwear produced in Bhakkar on Eid.

Dr Tariq Mustafa said he had come here from Faisalabad to buy the traditional chappals for his children because he wanted his family to celebrate the occasion in a cultural way.

He said that while other people were moving towards international brands, he wanted his children to be conscious and proud of their cultural identity.

These shoes are affordable ad well as beautiful, he added.

Saleem, a local resident, said he had bought the shoes along with his friends. He said he also gifted the traditional shoes to his other friends.

He said the traditional shoes matched well with shalwar qameez , thus they were an essential part of Eid dress.

He said the local artisans prepared shoes in a variety of designs that showcased the art and culture of the area.

He said local people also gifted the traditional shoes to others. “We prefer the traditional shoes because we find them note attractive than the modern products.”

Muhammad Hayat, a traditional shoe maker, said he had been in the business for 40 years.

“We also make shoes on order. People from Bhakkar, Mianwali and Layyah come to us to buy traditional sandals. It takes about four days to make the traditional golden shoes. Charsadda-style shoes are ready in a day. They take a lot of hard work,” he said.

However, he said his earning was low as compared to the hard work. “We supply our shoes to different parts of the city after preparing them with our own hands,” he said.

A pair of shoes sells here for up to Rs1,400. If you buy from any other district, you will get the same traditional shoes for more than Rs2,000.

Hayat said he and his brother had inherited the craft and had been involved in the business since 1980.

Some people visiting the country from abroad also bought the traditional shoes for their foreign friends, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2020.

source: tribune