South meets North in style
By Express News Service - KOCHI
04th July 2012 10:40 AM
“South India’s tastes have changed,” says Javed Alam, Secretary of Cotton - Fab, the hand-crafted and handloom fabrics exhibition that began at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here onTuesday.
The organisers, who have been conducting their exhibition for decades now, say that over the last decade or so the taste of Kochi has changed.
“Some 10 years ago we used to prepare different sets of clothes for South India and the North.
But now that has changed.
We get the same set all over the country now,” he says.
The change is in several aspects.
Earlier in North India, light colours were preferred while in the South it used to be dark colours like black, Navy blue, dark green and so on.
Now both in the South and North the preference is for lighter shades.
Moreover, the mode of dressing has also undergone a sea change.
In South India, saris used to be sold the most while in the North it was salwars.
Now salwars have conquered the South too,” he says.
Javed blames the electronic media for wiping out diversity.
“I think tastes have become more or less uniform owing to the influence of the electronic media, especially Hindi serials,” he says.
But the choice at the exhibition hardly leaves any doubt about the diversity of India.
From the Punjabi phulakari sherwanis from Patiala to the Mangalagiri saris of Andhra, the exhibition has as many as 78 artisans from 12 states, all displaying the products brought out from their villages.
“It took one whole year to finish the embroidery of this Diwan cover,” says Gopal Raichand Ray, an artisan from Dhatrigram in West Bengal, displaying the Kantha silk and cotton dupattas and Diwan covers from his village.
Even a dupatta takes as much as 6-7 months.
Most of the artisans represent a self-help group of their village.
“The members of the SHG take turns to come for the exhibitions. In the northern parts there are a lot of takers.” says Javed Alam.
In fact fearing that more might go the Kerala way where such traditional art and fabric have gone out of market, the Union government has now provided a number of incentives including health insurance, free stalls, training and other facilities for the artisans.
The show also puts forward a variety of metal works, ornamental bangles, chains including Rajasthani jewellery, Delhi artificial jewellery and so on.
An array of delicacies including Rajasthani Halwa, Pav bhaji and other chaat items is also available.
The exhibtion will continue till July 15.
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