VIDEO: Pakistan family keeping centuries-old sitar-making tradition alive

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M Kashan learnt the art of making sitar from his father Ustad Ziauddin. The art has been part of his family tradition for almost 200 years.

“My grandfather and great grandfather were also in the same field. My grandfather Ustad Sher Mohammad was famous for this art,” says Kashan.

“My father learned from him and I am learning from my father. I wish to keep this family tradition alive,” he says.

Kashan’s father, Ustad Ziauddin, has been working to keep this family tradition alive for almost 50 years.

“Now I am 72 years old and I am about to retire. I am passing on this art to my children so that it doesn’t end. If no one continues after me this art will vanish,” he says.

Professional sitar

According to Kashan, it takes almost 10-15 days for a sitar to be made and almost a month to make a professional sitar.

“My grandfather and my father earned fame for this. Both received “Pride of Performance” awards. This is the main reason I am working here, otherwise there are many ways to earn a living,” he says.

The instrument presented on stage is the classical one. Others are used alongside instruments such as Tanpura, Sarangi and Saroz. Saron and sitar are played on stage as individual instruments.

“This is an ancient instrument, which is undergoing revival now. Hopefully it will gain prominence again,” says Kashan.