Sugar and spice and everything nice
To celebrate Teej, Ramailo Teej Mela, a women’s crafts fair at the Annapurna Hotel began on August 27. There are about 20 stalls piled high with the fruits of the feminine mind. The organiser, Nikita Poudel opines that the purpose of the fair is “to promote culture and make people aware of our festival.”
Many women produce wonderful handicrafts out of their homes, but have no venue in which to showcase their wares to the public. “It makes sense to celebrate Teej by celebrating the accomplishments of women in the home,” says Poudel. The fair/mela showcases the works of many women in different fields. Most of these women started their business out of their homes and due to their skill and ingenuity, these businesses have blossomed. Chandri Battarai, founder of Rewas Nepali Handloom Collection, runs one of the stalls.
In addition to the production of beautiful fabric, the goal of this organisation is the self-sufficiency of women. Many of her twelve employees are single, widowed, impoverished or handicapped women. Through working with Rewas, they are no longer helpless and are given the tools to help themselves.
Another stall is run by Neera Rana of Rana Creations. It started very simply out of her home before becoming an international business. She originally began because she likes “creative works” and now has 11 women under her employ, although she still retains creative control. She enjoys participating in Ramailo Teej Mela because Teej is an important tradition, and also because “It’s fun!” And these are only two stalls out of the dozens designed to titillate the senses that dot the hall.
To appease our bodies there are homemade pickles and packets of spice, while other stalls ply soft handmade quilts. To appease our vanity there are jewellery, clothes, beauty products and shoes. In fact, all things womanly can be found at Ramailo Teej Mela, glistening under the lights of the hall.
Ramailo Teej Mela is on until August 28.