Well, not a very shiny day here in Hong Kong, its been raining since yesterday, is cold and very hazy. So, with the hubby travelling and I sitting with my cup of coffee and wanting to write, and looking out at the oh so gray sky– no happy thoughts coming about. What should I write? What should I discuss? What will help me cope in this depressing gray weather? And the only thing that I could think of was BRIGHT COLORS… yes, they can generally lift every mood.
So, bright colors?? I can find so many of them in my ‘closet’ 🙂 ; but when you are out of your country you tend to miss the land and its traditions and culture a tad bit more so i thought of ‘Colors of India’ (how patriotic.. i know, i know). The first thing that came to my mind was a traditional punjabi embroidery called ‘Phulkari’ (or Baagh). It is so rich and colorful, you need to hold it in your hand and feel it to believe. Phulkari literally means flower work and if you look closely, it is all about flowers in this embroidery (and yes, i love flowers– real ones, paper ones, painted ones… you name it). A majority of Punjabi women wear Phulkaris and baghs during weddings, festivals and other joyous occasions. It is a big part of Punjabi culture and one of my most favorite embellishments on a piece of cloth 🙂 . Production of one single piece involves a lot of time as it is hand embroidery, and there are particular places in Punjab that are very famous for this rich embroidery and I remember getting a lot of pieces of the same during my wedding (how lucky, I know 🙂 ).
Today you get a lot of versions of phulkari on footwear, sarees, jackets, skirts and also on home furnishings. Just looking at it makes you proud of the people who put in their countless number of hours making it.
Over the years I have found this love for Indian handicrafts and I so value the people, who put in their vigorous hours, labor and method into one single piece, they are the true roots of India and true designers in my mind.