Season of potés


As nature has turned a luscious green with the rains, even our ladies seem to be copying nature. Decked in their green potés (glass bead necklaces) and green bangles, the women usually keep a fast on Mondays to Lord Shiva in month of Shrawan for their spouses’ long life.

Raseed Uddin, who owns a shop at Poté Bazaar at Indra Chowk, mainly imports these potés from Japan, China, India and Czekoslovakia. He says, “The ones from Japan are the best. The quality is good and they last longer.” He says the quality of potés has certainly increased since the previous years. He is someone who has certainly seen the changes, it was from his grandfather’s time that the family got involved in this business, almost 150 years back.

The glass beads are transported to Nepal in loose pieces and the poté strings are woven here itself. “There are around 10,000 workers involved in the business of making these strings, especially in the villages of Nepal,” says Uddin.

It is mostly concentrated in places like Thankot, Dhading. “Prisoners of central jail also make these strings,” he adds. These people usually earn between Rs 40-100 a day making these poté strings.

The poté is worn only by married woman and Shrawan and Teej are the seasons when women wear these potes.

“Of course we make new poté necklaces every year,” says Sangita Lamsal as she waits for her necklace to be made. “There are new kinds of potés that come to the market and even the way these are woven keeps changing, and we like to have the latest one that’s in,” she adds.

It’s a family affair for her. She has come with Laxmi Lamsal, her mother-in-law and Sangita Sigdel her sister-in-law, who are also choosing potés for themselves.

The potés that are quite famous are Chhadke — the long green ones that are put on sideways, while the smaller ones are known as Saubhagya.

In Shrawan, it’s the green potés that are worn, whereas at Teej, it’s red potés which are favoured and is mainly followed by Brahmins and Chhetris.

Though green, red and yellow are popular, there are a variety of other colours that are found in the market. From soft hues like pink and sky blue to glittering gold and silver ones, it certainly is a world of vibrant colours.

According to Urmila Joshi, “It is not only for religious purposes, we also buy potés for parties and match it with our sarees.”

Its not only limited to the traditional necklaces, chokers, bracelets, earings and rings are also available.