The best thing about Dilli Haat — the Capital’s arts and crafts destination — is that everytime you visit it, you spot something new and exciting. But this time there’s a reason why we are asking you to make sure you go there. The annual Crafts Bazaar that showcases the best of India’s art, craft and handlooms is opening on January 4. The current edition is special. Besides showcasing works of Indian artisans, there will be handicrafts from SAARC nations like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. And many of these guest artisans will be women.
Expect exotic carpet embroidery and pottery from Afghanistan, handmade paper products from Bangladesh, bamboo weaved furniture from Bhutan, silk specialties from Myanmar (although it’s not a SAARC member) and wood work from Sri Lanka. Titled ‘Crafting Friendships’, the 24th Crafts Bazaar will have 200 craftsmen.
“The focus of the exhibition is on handmade products with strong contemporary designs,” says Jaya Jaitly, founder of Dilli Haat. “We help the artisans contemporarise their products according to the needs of customers.” The Bazaar will display experimental products as well as traditional: steel mache along side paper mache, Madhubani paintings on trunks and boxes instead of just on the usual paper, carvings on wood but also on lamps and mirrors.
The other highlights will be the Gond paintings from Madhya Pradesh, terracotta displays from Rajasthan, Tussar silk sarees from Bihar, handloom shawls from Gujarat, Kantha work from Chattisgarh, Patti Kaam (leaf work) from Uttar Pradesh and crystal glass from Delhi.
“When you buy something from Dilli Haat, not only you get a unique handcrafted product, you also actively participate in preserving Indian arts and crafts and in sustaining the livelihoods of the artisans,” says Jaitly.
Besides the stalls, there will be folk dance performances and puppet shows. A children workshop will teach the willing students how to make paper craft products, wire toys and bamboo mugs. All proceeds from the sales will go straight to artisans.
The bazaar is on from 4th — 17th January at Dilli Haat, 10.30am to 7.00pm
Entry: Rs 15 Nearest Metro Station: INA Market