London, March 17 (IANS/RAY) The northeastern region of India entered London’s cultural scene this week, with an exotic exhibition of organic textiles and trendy made-for-the-west designs, as well as lively music and dance from the region.
The phenomenon was a refreshing change from the diet of garba, bhangra and Bollywood entertainment that pummels Londoners and is mistaken by the uninitiated as the ‘be all and end all’ of Indian arts.
The four-day event was staged at the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian High Commission in Britain.
It included live weaving of silk cloth by a woman from a remote village in Meghalaya. She sells her creations to Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House in Shillong. Syiem with his partner Janessaline Pyngrope designs niche western as well as Khasi style outfits.
“We understand the hurdles faced by our artisans in sustaining their craft, therefore sharing their story with the world is our contribution to enable them to conserve their art,” the couple said.
Eri worms or silk worms are reared in the Khasi-Jaintia hills. Silk is then extracted from cocoons, leading to spinning and reeling, yarn production, dying and eventually weaving. Natural vegetable dyes provide the colour.
The garment display was capped by music and dance from Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya and Nagaland.