The Phulkari Blog — What is Virsa

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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