Monday, July 25, 2011

Exhibition at NEDFI Haat - Guwahati - Intro to local silks

When I was passing by Ullubari, last Friday, I saw a poster at NEDFI Haat advertising "Water Hycinth handicrafts exhibition". So I stopped the car and walked in, only to realise that the exhibition had not yet started.

The polite security guard told me that the exhibition was starting from Saturday. Since the car broke down on Saturday, we visited on Sunday.

There was precisely 1 out of the 25 stalls that had a few earrings and chains made from dried water hycinth. However the designs looked too chunky to wear. I prefer the bamboo jewelry I've seen available in the city. Its more intricate and delicate looking.

The other stalls were selling mostly silk products. Eri and Muga are 2 varieties of silk, that are cultivated only in Assam. Mulberry and Tussar are also cultivated here.

At the stall run by Silkmark, it was interesting to see how the natural color of cocoons and the corresponding silk changed with the seasons and the color of the leaves that the larvae inside the cocoons feasted on.
There was a very interesting and enterprising man who carves utensils out of Bamboo and has been recognised by UNESCO for his totally natural serving cutlery. He is now working on a project to hand carve the tiniest cutlery (0.25") so he can get into the Guiness Book. We saw some of the miniature spoons he had carved - under a microscope - and were quite impressed.

His regular serving spoons (can be used on non stick vessels) were in the 100/150/200 Rs Range, but the carved ones were more expensive at 1500/- onwards.

There were a lot more stalls selling different silk products. But I'm not yet ready to buy myself a mekhela chador. So waiting a bit on that purchase :)

When we came out, we noticed that they had changed the name of the exhibition to "handloom & handicraft exhibition" - they must have realised the futility of the previous nomenclature.

1st North East Travel & Tourism Fair in Guwahati

Popped in today for the last of the 3 day "1st North East Travel & Tourism Fair" at Deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium.

We were hoping to get more information on travel options within the North East - as suggested by the name. The few brochures available at Guwahati airport had just whetted my appetite, not satisfied it.

This trip to the exhibition was quite fruitful, though I'm not sure if it was worth the 20/- entry charge for 20 stalls who would have all paid to be there.

There were a couple of stalls of foreign participants from Turkey, China, Kenya and Maldives. There were stalls for Delhi, and Kerala too. But we ignored all of them and headed only for the North East stalls because of the paucity of travel information for these areas.

Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur had stalls of their own and we gathered a lot of useful data and brochures from these stalls. Bhutan was the only foreign country stall we visited, because of its proximity to Guwahati. I was disappointed that there was no participation from Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim.

Even West Bengal had a stall put up by Ganga Kutir.

Anyway, I've come away with plenty of brochures to help me plan our trips for the coming months.
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