Our grandparents in Belgium, live near the “kattekensberg” or the “cat mountain”. In the 19th century the inhabitants of the city of Antwerp, were attracted to this beautiful green region with its prairies, birch woods and sand mountains, to relax. My cousin and I play in our camp in the forest of the cat mountain and afterwards eat my Grandad’s pancakes!
My brother and I explore Tarragona, a city in the north of Spain where the Romans (200 BC) built impressive “bread and circuses” infrastructure to please people, we came across this statue of a mommy wolf. We have heard stories of bad wolves chasing pigs or red riding hood, but this one seems to be feeding two little brothers. We would not want to exchange our mom for a wolf. But we are pretty good at building stuff, like these two brothers boys Romulus and Remus who eventually built Rome.
We were very luck to find Gouthami for our trip to India. Before she started her own travel company – Travel Another India – she spent 20 years working in social development and had made many great connections with craft people all over India. Gouthami introduced us to so many artisans and we had the pleasure of meeting many President Award winning craft people in remote villages. Here, she shares her knowledge on crafts in India with our readers!
Craft is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture. In most villages you will find some form of craft – the potter, the weaver, the basket maker. It is still a way of life rather than an art to be practiced for its own sake.
In this picture you see just that. I visited the village of Nuapatna in the state of Odisha in Eastern India with the Tea Collection team.
Nuapatna is famous for its intricate Ikat weaving. In the background you can see the spindles of yarn casually stuck into the pile of sand, while the woman in the picture is wearing a hand-woven ikat sari as she goes about her daily chores.
In Hinduism, the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength and abundance. Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted on the subject, explaining that “one can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.”
We’ve teamed up with papaya+post to bring you a Holi festival giveaway fit for a party! As we kick-off the giveaway, we’ve asked Mugdha and Avni, the brilliant ladies behind the brand, to help explain the history of Holi and share their favorite ways to celebrate the colorful festival.
At papaya+post we believe in “Traditional, with a Twist”. Basically celebrating the world’s festivals in a way that respects age-old roots but that adapts them to our modern lives. Holi, the Indian festival of color, is one of our very favorites.
Everywhere we went in India, we passed women dressed in beautifully vibrant saris. You could not help but be in awe of their beauty, our pictures do not do them justice! We were very inspired by the colors and embroidery seen on the saris.
A garden of marigolds…. orange, yellow and rust, Bright, soft and rich, touched with golden dust. Quiet and regal, sun kissed and fair, Basil – citrus fragrance that mellows the moist air. A thousand smiling marigolds, a thousand smiling suns, Sweet nectar, ambrosia, for natures gentle ones.
Woven into garlands, yellow with tips of red, Woven into memories with many a words unsaid.
Ginger (or adrak in Hindi) is grown on farms throughout India. On our trip, we came upon a ginger farm and stopped to take a look. The landscape was very vibrant and green – the leafy green stalks of the ginger are reed-like and can reach up to three feet tall. We saw the farmers harvesting ginger rhizomes (the underground root part of the plant) and piling them up. It was amazing how much was harvested!