This week we will visit is spectacular India. Colorful, artistic and sacred… there are not enough words to describe India and its culture. It shakes all of your senses with stunning views, spices and fragrances. India is a country of contrasts: here poverty lives next to the palaces and temples, different religions coexist side by side, and the mountain peaks of the north oppose the golden beaches of the south.
Experienced travelers advice to always choose a particular route and stick to it. India has so much to offer that it’s impossible to fit everything in just one trip. We asked the artisans from Mumbai and Delhi share their stories about India, its areas and traditions.
India: modern and traditional
Vishruti is the creator of Indian Journals, the shop that was born out of the artisan’s fondness of reused fabrics, handmade paper and of her passion to revive and work with Traditional Indian Folk Art.
She comes from Mumbai, the economic capital of India, “the hub of business, industrial and commercial activities”. Currently, Vishruti lives in Powai, a suburb of Mumbai. Mumbai is mostly famous because of its Gateway of India, the country’s oldest commercial and passenger port. Apart from this the city has a lot to offer to the traveler: from heritage sites like Elephanta Caves and Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus to the modern buildings and the bustling Nariman Point.
Vishruti says that this city “welcomes people of all faiths, religions and economic backgrounds with open arms”. Mumbai has a bustling artistic culture with theatre, crafts, documentary films, literary activities, entertainment films, and many other artistic activities.
Indian crafts passed through generations
Meeting Indian locals is as interesting as exploring country’s attractions. “What I like most about India is the ability of Indians to dream and fulfill it. Indians have a very strong backing of culture and a deep determination to perform well. Indians can outdo each other in talent, hospitality and love”, explains Vishruti.
Neha is the creator of the shop MyArtandKrafts. Her shop makes beautiful tapestries, scarves, pillow covers, which are made from organic materials, such as silk, wool, Kashmir and cotton. She believes that art and craft of India are an integral part of their vibrant culture. “With my shop, I try to share with the rest of the world the rich heritage of my country through handmade goods, which have been part of our tradition for generations. For example, the kantha quilts used to be part of the bridal trousseau. Mothers would make these quilts for the time when their daughters would get married. Young girls would learn to sew and embroider and then make pillowcases and bed covers to give as gifts to their in-laws after marriage”. Neha says that she feels happy to be born in a country that is so vibrant and colorful, the country where each region has its own language, food, handicrafts.
Indian handmade scarves
Vishruti also feels proud living in India, “the land where colors do not fear and emotions are worn on sleeves, and where being natural is not difficult. It is still the most basic lifestyle and very ingrained. Reusing and recycling come very naturally and so does the acceptance of versatility. The number of languages and dialects spoken in India, individual religious beliefs and traditions are all amalgamated in this beautiful and diverse land”. Vishruti says that she loves living in India and being a Global Indian because India presents itself as one of the largest democratic and very intelligent countries.
Being a Global Indian, Vishruti since her teen years was interested in organic products, recycling and Earth-friendly way of living: “The idea of saving trees slowly led me to foray into paper products made from recycled and handmade paper. I also started to show interest in reusing and up-cycling leftover fabrics into creations of usable art”.
Handmade gifts from India
Are you inspired by the stories of our artisans? Get in touch with Indian culture and art through beautiful handmade products made by these artisans. The notebooks from Indian Journals are made with recycled materials and can be used for any purpose, even for drawing and sketching. Vishruti says that there is heart, soul and love that can be felt through every handmade journal. Neha’s fabrics and their vibrant patterns represent the centuries of Indian culture and would be an amazing decoration for every house.
Thanks to Vishruti from Indian Journals and to Neha from MyArtandKrafts for their contribution to this blog post! Photo credits: Amruta Mahakalkar, Himanshu Singh Gurjar, Sayan Nath, Shubham Sharma, Jayakumar Ananthan and Swapnil Naralkar