The multicultural charm of our country is evident at the ongoing 4th edition of the Chandigarh National Crafts Mela at Kalagram.
An annual event organised by the Chandigarh Administration and North Zone Cultural Centre Patiala (NZCC), the fair, themed as ‘Tribes of India’, is seeing a good participation by artisans and is pulling crowds too.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) alone has put up around 37 stalls showcasing tribal art and heritage besides displaying organic food products.
Visitors are evincing interest in stalls that have art and crafts, including textile, cane and bamboo handicrafts, paintings, metal craft, jewellery and pottery.
Fascinating pottery items from Manipur, famous bluepottery of Rajasthan and tribal jewellery of Rajasthan are the centre of attraction, while woollens, including loom shawls and textile items from Himachal Pradesh are another hit.
Also available are colourful dry flowers from Manipur, ‘swai’ grass and chik mats from West Bengal.
Those looking for traditional yet trendy tribal jewellery, there are items from Odisha and Manipur, and the minakari jewellery from Rajasthan. The Negi and Bodh tribes of Himachal Pradesh have beautiful pahari jewellery.
Handicrafts from Nagaland, jute products from Andhra Pradesh, silk from Jharkhand, cane
and bamboo products from Assam, dhokhra art and brass statues are a staple too.
Bhil paintings by Sachin Batra and Gond paintings by Chhoti Tikam reflect the cultural ethos of Madhya Pardesh.
A special food stall has been put by TRIFED for the health-conscious people. Another sought-after product is organic tea from Darjeeling, which is being sold at Rs. 1,000 per kg.
Mat grass products are available is a vast variety such as curtains, storage baskets, bags, fruit trays, tissue boxes et al.
The dance and music activities were subtle on Saturday as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister IK Gujral.