Modern India takes great care and pride to retain the extraordinary refinement of its many palaces, old temples and ancient forts. We’ve fondly named our newest delivery, Paisley Palace. From the stunning marble dome of the Taj Mahal to the ornate arches of the Mysore Palace to the spectacular paintings that adorn the Amer Fort, there is no lack of inspiration in the architecture in India. Many of our designs in this collection are named after these great palaces! Take a look at the history of these great sites to better understand the story behind the design.
The Amer Fort was built by the conqueror Raja Man Singh who ruled from 1590-1614 AD. On our visit here, we rode painted elephants and admired the red curtains that framed the fort. We were inspired by the elaborate painted motifs on the walls and ceilings in the Jaipur City Palace.
In India, trucks are called lorries and they can be found zooming along streets and highways. Driving in India is a bit hectic… the streets are a symphony of constant horn blowing and busy cars. The lorries are painted in all kinds of crazy colors. The idea is that if you’re loud and bright, everyone will see and hear you coming and get out of your way! We found it all to be beautifully chaotic.
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.
This season as we celebrate the color and culture of India, we also want to give back and make a difference in the lives of some of the children who live there.
Recently, two Tea employees traveled to Jaipur to meet the staff of Gram Bharati Samiti, or the Society for Rural Development. This non-profit organization partners with rural villages in the state of Rajasthan to educate women and girls about their right to information, education and healthcare.
They also restore ancient stepwells so more villages have access to clean and safe drinking water. And they teach girls a craft like how to weave carpets and dhurrie rugs, to embroider saris and sew cholis (the blouses worn beneath saris). When young girls have the ability to earn their own money, they are free from the threat of child marriage and have more opportunity for education and independence.
We recently visited three of the 17 villages that Gram Bharati Samiti works with, and met many of the young girls who have been educated and empowered. (Read more about the girls we met here and here.)
We have been so inspired by the work of this non-profit organization, we asked The Global Fund for Children if all the money donated through our site could go directly to Gram Bharati Samiti.
So this spring, when you donate on a Global Giving Thursday or any day of the month, your funds will be helping Rekha, Buja, Prinka and other girls like them in rural villages near Jaipur.
See this man playing the kaimacha, a bowed string instrument used in folk music from the region of Rajasthan.
The unique and rich music of India spans many genres from fusion to classical with a varied range of instruments. The striking sounds of the sitar have influenced many musicians – even all the way into popular Western music rock & roll music. Check out our playlist to see why the Beatles and The Rolling Stones were so drawn to the mystical sounds of the sitar. Don’t forget to listen to “The Sun Won’t Set” by Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar – sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar’s daughters.
In the Bengali region of India, it is a tradition for a grandmother to make each of their grandchildren a kantha quilt. The quilt is made out of three layers of fabric most commonly, strips of worn sari’s because the material is super soft against the babies’ skin and perfect for nap time or cuddling. The tradition of the kantha quilt is a way of connecting with family, even after the grandparents are gone. It is such an important tradition that the grandmother’s will make extra kantha quilts so that if she passes away before all of her grandchildren are born, they will still have a quilt.
The word chutney derives from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, meaning ‘to lick’. Associated with South Asian cuisine, these “condiments” vary greatly in flavor. Some chutney’s are fruit based while others are vegetable based. Some are chunky and some are smooth. The one thing in common with all chutneys? They’re all originally made by grinding fresh ingredients together. Popular chutneys, just as other Indian foods, vary from region to region as so much depends on the local ingredients. Chutneys are a vital combination to most Indian dishes and you’ll find they always pair well with Indian breads like chapati, naan, papadum, paratha and more!