Art, shared culture helps people retain cross-border bonds at Noida’s int’l trade fair | noida | Hindustan Times
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Art, shared culture helps people retain cross-border bonds at Noida’s int’l trade fair

An owner of a boutique-cum-garment shop in Lahore, Faraz claims that she has been visiting India for business purposes for the last 10 years. She claims that formal, semi-formal and casual wear for women are fast sellers even in tier-2 cities such as Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

noida Updated: Aug 08, 2017 16:05 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Entrepreneurs said that trade surpasses borders as Indians share cultures and interests with their Pakistani counterparts,
Entrepreneurs said that trade surpasses borders as Indians share cultures and interests with their Pakistani counterparts,(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The distance between Ghaziabad and Lahore might be over 400 kilometres but seems negligible when looked through the spectrum of art, shared culture and personal bonding.

Nansy Faraz, an entrepreneur from Lahore, Pakistan, who is attending the 12-day India International Mega Trade Fair (IIMTF) at India Expo centre in Greater Noida, perfectly illustrates this point. She has brought along some of the finest works of Lahore-based weavers, which includes chiffon, cotton and silk work.

An owner of a boutique-cum-garment shop in Lahore, Faraz claims that she has been visiting India for business purposes for the last 10 years.

“My customers in India are extremely pleased with the fabric from Lahore. Similarly, Indian fabric is a big seller at my store in Lahore,” said Faraz.

However, it was after much deliberation that she decided to spill the beans on her Indian connections.

“I belong to Ghaziabad and settled in Lahore after marrying a man from Pakistan 10 years ago. However, soon after the wedding, I opened a boutique-cum-garment shop to sell fabric work from Lahore. I have been visiting India every other month for the last 10 years. It is my home,” said Faraz.

Faraz has displayed her Lahore-inspired works at several trade fairs in Delhi and other metropolitan cities of India. She claims that formal, semi-formal and casual wear for women are fast sellers even in tier-2 cities such as Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

Another woman entrepreneur, Nafeesa Aslam, a veteran of 25 years from Karachi, echoed similar sentiments. She claims that her ‘lawn cotton range’ fabric works are a hit in Indian metropolitan cities and even the US, Canada, and United Kingdom.

Aslam says that though she is currently based in Pakistan, Mumbai, the city of her birth, will always remain her second home. “I belong to Mumbai and I have been coming to India for the last 25 years for business as well as personal visits,” said Aslam.

Indian entrepreneurs were also selling decorative items that were manufactured in Karachi. “We sell decorative items made from a base of the onyx material, which is extracted from rocks in Balochistan and polished in Karachi. These items range from Rs50 to Rs3 lakh and they are a huge hit. These items require no maintenance and they last a lifetime,” said Shaukat Ali, owner of Nadeem Enterprises.

Faraz and Aslam are an example of the deep, shared history of India and Pakistan and how business and personal interests have kept bonds intact despite tensions between the two countries.