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Cultural Diaspora

While the cultural capital of Maharatstra has oodles of Marathi culture,it is not starved at all on the other front,as the reflection of country's diverse culture is mirrored in city's nook and corner.

Written by RishiIyengar |
June 11, 2009 4:01:41 am

While the cultural capital of Maharatstra has oodles of Marathi culture,it is not starved at all on the other front,as the reflection of country’s diverse culture is mirrored in city’s nook and corner. The diverse culture of the country is flaunted in an array of artifacts from different states. Authenticity is the word for these stores,who import the material straight from the heart of the places. From Kerala and Kashmir to Rajasthan and Orissa,the city stores cover the length and breadth of the country.

Rajasthali on MG Road,as the name suggests,brings authentic artifacts from Rajasthan. The store has associations with craftsmen in Udaipur,Jaipur,Kumbalgarh and Jaisalmer,who directly supply them with merchandise. The artifacts sold at Rajasthali include marble sculptures,brass relics,wooden figurines as well as embroidered cloth and miniature paintings. “Our most popular items are the wooden carvings and statuettes of various animals like tigers and elephants. We also have statues of Indian Gods like Ganesha,” says manager Saifuddin Sirkee.

The Kashmir Gift House on Moledina Road sells authentic Kashmiri artifacts. From ornate wooden boxes and statues,to marble chess sets and jewelry inlaid with precious stones,to intricately embroidered shawls and carpets,they have it all. Mukhtar Ahmed of Kashmir Gift House says,“We specialise in authentic Kashmiri merchandise,and all our stock comes straight from the artisans who create it.” Their store specialises in Pashmina shawls,which Kashmir is famous for.

About the demand,Sirkee says,“We see a lot of people buying these items as gifts,and also get quite a few orders from people who are redecorating their homes. We also receive customers from abroad.”

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Arts and Crafts from eastern states are also very popular in the city. The Utkalika Orissa Emporium on Fergusson College Road specialises in handicrafts and handloom articles from Orissa. Their handicrafts include stone carvings,silver filigree,clay pots and designs using palm leaves. The store also carries original Dhokra work,which is a technique of metal casting characteristic of Orissa. Their handloom section also has very unique silk and cotton materials. Authentic Oriya saris,bedcovers,dupattas and dress materials are what set them apart from other handicraft stores.

“Stone carvings made out of sandstone and nilgiri stone are much popular. Carvings and statues of Gods are also very popular,” says Kailash Chandra Lenka,sales assistant at Utkalika. “In our handloom section,the Shambalpuri Silk Bankai sari and the Kathi sari which are typical Oriya dresses,sell like hotcakes.” he adds proudly.

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First published on: 11-06-2009 at 04:01:41 am

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