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Artistic fantasy comes alive with Uzbekistan at Surajkund Mela



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Faridabad Hindustan ab tak/Dinesh Bhardwaj : Uzbekistan has participated in the ongoing 34th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela as the ‘partner nation’ in a big way. A number of artisans, crafts persons and performers have come to this mega event and presented a bouquet of their art and craft.

Uzbekistan has a unique position in the world of handicrafts, as the Uzbeks themselves say that their crafts are the soul of their identity and culture. Artistic crafts occupy a special place in Uzbekistan’s cultural heritage. After meeting a few crafts persons one gets a feeling of how these artisans have passed the age old secrets from generation to generation. From wood work to decorative items the ethnic patterns have been carefully preserved by these masters of art.

The artisans have brought ceramics which can easily be considered one of the best applied arts from this central Asian country. The intrinsic designs and ethnic patterns make for the most attractive show pieces one can buy from these artisans. The oriental and Persian styled designs, bright turquoise colours reflect an infinite beauty which these ceramic decorations hold. Azure, turquoise and white colors are often used in the ceramic designs. Blue and white colors represent sky and water and are believed to bring happiness and prosperity.

Nigmatov Mirsaid from Uzbekistan is displaying his intricately designed wood work in the form of pencil boxes that secretly turns into a vanity box with its hidden features. Many other wood crafted items are painted with scenes of everyday life, quotes from famous poets and Islamic inscriptions often appear in their art work. Their cheerful colours, fine lines and delicate forms highly impressive.

Clay toys depict life of the country side in Uzbekistan and often illustrate the simplicity and happiness. Each region in Uzbeskistan produces its own range of toys with original motifs.

Carpet making is an age old craft in Uzbekistan and many craftspersons have brought these masterpieces for the tourists at the Surajkund Mela. The high level of weaving technique, fabulous natural dyes and ethnic patterns make these Uzbekistan carpets highly popular among visitors at the mela.

The ancient traditions of Uzbek weavers are embodied in carpets, each of which is a real piece of art and have increased in value over the centuries. A pride for its seller who claims that once bought, it will prove to be an indispensablepiece of art for any home décor.

Akbarov Zafar specializes in fabric handicraft and is offering a number of hand woven fabrics and dress materials from his native land. The ‘Adras’ or the fabric is an intricate work in silk. The patterns are representative of the native traditions and colours bring to life the ethnic heritage of Uzbek culture. The fashion show – ‘Ferghana Fantasy’ directed by Ritu Beri showcased dresses made out of the same fabric that Akbarov is displaying in the mela.

One of the most intriguing displays at the stalls is the ‘Shakhmat’ or the chess board a wooden handicraft, where each piece on the board is a tiny figurine depicting various titles of a typical chess game.

Handmade Jewellery has always been important as it reflects the lifestyle of the Uzbek people. Among many Jewellery schools of the country, the Bukhara school is more popular and more defined than others. Traditional jewellery include head wear “Tilla Kosh”,  chest jewellery, earrings of a leaf type “barg”, and many others.  Bracelets decorated with laced carvings in islimi style are also being loved by the visitors.

The souvenirs and decorative items here come in the form of plates, wall hangings, paintings, caps, chess boards, book stands and much more. The traditional gowns made with ethnic fabrics especially for women are catching attention and being lapped up by many tourists and visitors alike.

If you wish to experience central asia in its most traditional form, make sure you visit Surajkund International Crafts Mela.

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