The Phulkari Blog — Caste Dynamics in Rural Punjab

The Phulkari Trinjans: A Heritage Lost, Thread Therapy and How You Can Help!

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The Phulkari Trinjans: A Heritage Lost, Thread Therapy and How You Can Help!

All the women vied to look at the deep burgundy patterns of Simran's bridal mehandi. Shy and new to the Trinjan of her husband's village, she held out the palms of her hands to show the intricate floral pattens her sisters had lovingly drawn for her wedding just a week ago. "Your mother-in-law will love you a lot and so will your husband" - declared one, alluding to a common superstition that "darker the mehandi stain, more the love that you're likely to receive from your in-laws". Simran just smiled, still unsure about the beginnings of her new life but...

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The Matriarch

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The Matriarch

Village near Nabha (Punjab, India) - 2000. It wasn’t until I saw some men beat up my uncle that I realized there were “rules” in the village that my Caste needed to live by. We were what they called, ‘Meheras’ – a caste lower than the predominant Jat Sikhs, farmers who owned land. We owned, well, next to nothing! Living on the outskirts of the village, our women were only summoned to help do the dishes & other domestic work when the higher caste women needed us. I think I am almost sixty years old (chuckles; her toothless smile is...

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