Chandigarh National Crafts Mela at Kalagram
National Crafts Mela was inaugurated by the Home Secretary Mr. Ram Niwas.A 30 minutes presentation of Moksha on Nomadic Tribes of Rajasthan by Meenakshi Vinay Rai, National Awardee Film & Culture Activists couple was performed.
Ensemble of Punjabi Folk instruments of Punjab consisted of Ghara, Sarangi, Bugdhu, Chimta,Dholki, Dufli, Algoza, Damroo; Haryanavi Folk Orchestra consisted of Been and Dholak; Rajasthani Folk Orchestra consisted of Morchang,Khartal, Harmonium, Bhapang, Been etc.; Folk instruments of Manipur consisted of Dhol Cholam & Pong Cholam were played.
Two plays were also staged including ‘Sukhi Kokh’- a powerful satire on superstitions and conversion of women and ‘Patangbaaz’ based on anti addiction by National Theatre Art Society, Patiala by a theatre couple Pran Sabharwal and Sunita Sabharwal.
The hustle and purchasing spree by a multitude of visitors continued on the fifth day of the ongoing Chandigarh National Crafts Mela.
As usual the folk artists brought alive the diverse musical and craft cultures of their respective regions while the artisans and crafts man sold their goods.
Though all the States participating in the Mela has exhibited their bests, but the Rajasthan State which is one of the highly enriched State in the field of art & crafts, have brought 10 artisans from Rajasthan for participation in the 2nd Chandigarh National Crafts Mela. Rajasthan is known for its traditional and colorful art.
The state has contributed with its participation and brought Rajasthan Art and Culture, Kalbelia Folk dance and food stall in the crafts in this mela. Around nine Rajasthani stalls have displayed the artworks. Exceptional varieties of handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, blur potteries are some of the attractions you will find here in the village. Rajasthan is known for its shoppers paradise. All artisans have displayed rare and unique art work. While stall no 20 has items made of camel bone a beautifully crafted train made of camel bone costs Rs 30,000 whereas a chess board costs
Rs. 15,000. According to the artisan, they use dead camel’s bone to make show pieces etc and also export out stuff, foreigners appreciate our work a lot”. One can find beautiful camel bone
jewelry boxes at this stall.
Today’s special feature of 2nd Chandigarh National Crafts Mela is on an Artist Stall no 19 by Prithvi Raj Kumawat, a National Awardee for master craftsman in the year 2006 for his excellence in carving on Ostrich Egg shell lamp. The stall has items made of ebony wood, sandalwood, camel bone, the statues are inclusive of human figurines, flowers, animals, birds, Hindu god and goddess. Carving bone and wood items are available here. The jeweler of carving bone is selling like hot cakes and very reasonable priced. Stall no 69 has beautiful amboge painting. The artisan from Jodhpur has used theme like Meera Bai, traditional art, contemporary art, birds etc on it. According to Manishsa Swami, artisan, “around eight persons are involved in making each piece. We all specialize in this art form, we sit together when make amboge painting. Stall no 89 has gem stone painting a plethora of collection of art work, made up of Rajasthani precious and semi precious stones like Amethyst, Calcedony, Cornelliam Agate, Garnet, Blued Stone, RED Aventurine, RED Jasper, Sodalite, Yellow Agate, and Green Aventuring. The beautiful accessories last for years together because of their Natural colours & these Gem stones range between Rs. 30-1500.
During the day performances, visitors got opportunity to witness Kalbelia dance of Jaisalmer which has international recognition and was liked a lot by the vistors. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds, love stories, and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis and often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc.
Around 8 folk dancers have come to perform here. Dancers dressed in traditional black swirling skirts during Kalbelia Dance. The cuisine of Rajasthan offers a fabulous variety of mouthwatering dishes in the food court. The food is absolutely scrumptious. Rajasthani food is well known for its spicy curries and delicious sweets.
Such crafts melas will go long way in showcasing the skills and crafts of around 150 outstanding craft-persons from different parts of the country.This ten day mega event will provide residents of the city an opportunity to witness the various, energetic folk performances along with art and heritage of the different states participating in the Mela.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Secretary to Governor, Mr. M.P. Singh,Finance Secretary,Chandigarh Administration,Mr.Sanjay Kumar, Director North Zone Cultural Center, Mr. D.S. Saroya, Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Brajinder Singh, Mayor, Mrs Anu Chatrath, Inspector General of Police, Mr. Pardip Srivastava, Commissioner, Municpal Corporation, Mr. Roshan Sankaria, S.S.P Chandigarh, Mr. Naunihal Singh, Assistant Estate Officer, Mrs. Hargunjit Kaur, and other senior officers of Chandigarh Administration.