The mind-boggling variety of crafts in India stuns the world. However, we at home are a little cold to this part of our heritage. Thankfully there are forums that have been helping us warm up to the rich legacy of Indian handloom and handicrafts. To this end, Dastkari Haat has been relentless and they bring an assortment of colorful traditional handicrafts and textiles to people in Delhi NCR during their Annual Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar. The fair is happening right now at Dilli Haat, INA during 1-15 January, 2018.
It is impossible to bring all varieties of Indian textiles and crafts under a single roof. But, after our round, we felt Dastkari has done a good job in capturing many genres of craft products. We found all sorts of clothes – sarees and dresses for women; kurtas, jackets, scarfs and shawls for men, kidswear, winter wear, fabrics for clothes and upholstery, traditional artifacts made from a host of mostly natural material, light furniture, traditional lamps – table as well as stand lamps, packaged food – the list is endless. While we did not have any plan for shopping, we were amazed to see the colorful moora stools made with dyed bamboo strips from West Bengal and got a few pieces for make-shift sitting. We also bought a painted leather lamp shade and some pillow covers.
Israel is the collaborating country this year and a host of workshops sharing Indian and Israeli craft forms are being held during the bazaar.
In addition, the organizers have brought performers of many traditional art forms to enrich the event. Folk singers from Rajasthan were humming soulful tunes while selling some beautiful embroidered fabrics and shawls.
Concurrently, a troupe of Chhau dancers was marveling the audience at the amphitheater with their regaling rendition of Mahisasur Mardini. This was the shutterbug moment for us.
Dastkari Haat under the able guidance of ex minister Jaya Jaitley has been instrumental in the reinvention of traditional craft and weaving skills in India. Everything available at the Crafts Bazar beautifully fits into our urban lives in Delhi NCR. In fact, they have a store at Meherchand Market where some such products are available.
Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar – go for it – you may fall in love with India all over again.