Mela Phulkari: celebrating the spirit of Punjab | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Mela Phulkari: celebrating the spirit of Punjab

A cultural festival in the Capital celebrates the spirit of Punjab by taking the traditional route of Phulkari.

art and culture Updated: Apr 08, 2014 15:48 IST
Aakriti Sawhney

There is something joyful about


– the traditional odnis that are made with colourful silk floss on cotton. Women in Punjab drape them during special occasions. Phul means flower and Kari, craft. In the older times, women in Punjab used to weave phulkaris for weddings and other important occasions, such as before the birth of their kids.

For them, it was more of weaving their dreams and desire, and telling a story than just producing a pretty cloth. Over the years, the tradition and the textile have become popular all over India.

A cultural festival at

India Habitat Centre

aims to bring alive the many traditional facets of Punjab through Mela Phulkari.

"One of the main motives behind this festival is to sensitise people towards the Punjabi culture. We wish to do so through a very iconic image of Punjab, which is phulkari," says art curator and historian, Alka Pande, who is putting together the show with a popular label that runs a store on the same concept.

Read: Women restoring Sikh art at Golden Temple

The festival, that begins on April 11, will see the Open Palm Court getting converted into a Punjab house. There will be an art installation made of gagars (pitcher), a Punjab kitchen that gives out the look and feel of how kitchens in Punjab are, and a whole lot of Punjabi music.

On ­display will also be ­colourful hand fans, cots and some 150-year-old phulkaris, some of which belong to the label, while a few have been borrowed from the personal collections of royal families for public ­viewing.

"The festival will have items on display that will take phulkari to a completely new level. The idea is to ­contemporise Phulkari and save this rich and old tradition," says Pande. The festival will also see cultural performances and a book launch.