The Phulkari Blog — Phulkari Self Help Groups

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

Caste Dynamics in Rural Punjab Gender Dynamics in Rural Punjab Phulkari Phulkari Self Help Groups Punjab Rural Artisans The Partition of India The Virsā Story World Mental Health Day

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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Virsā Artisans embracing the glorious Past of Sainchi Phulkari

Artisanal Phulkari Phulkari Self Help Groups Punjab Punjab Handicrafts Reviving Sainchi Phulkari Rural Artisans Textiles The Virsā Story Women's Empowerment

Virsā Artisans embracing the glorious Past of Sainchi Phulkari

One of the most important missions of Virsā is: "Helping Artisans Re-Skill Themselves in Older, Historic Patterns. Encouraging them to Explore and Embrace the Glorious Past of the Phulkari Tradition yet again!" VIRSĀ's Artwork "Darshan Dwār" is part of this endeavor and one of our extremely talented artisans, Harjeet Kaur (below), took the challenge and she created a gorgeous Darshan Dwār Phulkari, which is on view at our Singapore Exhibition (August 19-20, 2017). 

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“I want to be a Fashion Designer”

Artisanal Cotton Inspired by True Events Phulkari Phulkari Self Help Groups Punjab Punjab Handicrafts Rural Artisans Textiles The Virsā Story Women's Empowerment

“I want to be a Fashion Designer”

Village near Sangrur (Punjab, India) – 2017 She was excited when her father gifted her a smartphone. The same week, she had received a Phulkari award at the local *Krishi Vigyaan Kendra and had just passed her high school exams. She was so excited. Life couldn’t be more beautiful. Joti's mother is part of a Phulkari group and with her dad’s permission and encouragement, she finally has her own Bank Khata Number now! She dreams of having her own Designer Label one day. "Punjabi and Hindi moviestars wear fusion clothing all the time…Long Indian Kurtis (shirts) with denims and those gorgeous...

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“I teach Ph.D. students”

Anecdotal Encounters Artisanal Inspired by True Events Khaddar Phulkari Phulkari Self Help Groups Punjab Punjab Handicrafts Rural Artisans Textiles Women's Empowerment

“I teach Ph.D. students”

Village near Patiala (Punjab, India) – 2017 Her eye for detail never missed their slips with their stitches and she could tell in a flash if the unfinished side of their Phulkari had too few knots. The martinet that she was, they knew she would undo their entire embroidery by snipping off one strategic knot and they would have to do it all over again. The students were far more comfortable with their University Professors who would undertake theory lectures and tell them all about how Phulkari came to be such an important part of the Punjabi Virsā. But with...

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The Matriarch

Artisanal Caste Dynamics in Rural Punjab Inspired by True Events Khaddar Phulkari Phulkari Self Help Groups Punjab Punjab Handicrafts Rural Artisans Textiles What is Phulkari What is Virsa Women's Empowerment

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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