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July 27, 2018

Heartening to see traditional items making come back!


July 27, 2018

Rawalpindi : Many changes takes place over time – what’s ‘in’ at one period of time may be ‘out’ in another. With the import of items from abroad and easier travelling facilities that allow you to bring home items from the places you visit, tastes change as well. Does this lead to fading traditions and a cultural style we can call our own? There are varied opinions on this subject and the debate will go on with each generation having its own outlook.

If you are the kind of person that notices what’s happening or what is available as you drive around, you may have seen a number of shops selling indigenous clay items like the ones pictured above. Beautifully hand crafted they are reminders of when we used these items on a regular basis, as they used to be very useful besides looking good. Stopping at one outlet I asked “Do people still but these items?” The reply was in the affirmative but a few small items of plastic were also available – just in case! A person has to earn a living.

The onslaught of plastic in our lives has changed many aspects of the way our houses and kitchens looked. Instead of clay items, plastic ones now rule the roost – one example are plastic coolers instead of ‘suries’ and ‘gharas’ but it can be said with certainty that the clay models which have been fitted with taps do a much better job of keeping your water cool for a longer period of time and are better for your health!

There are of-course clay items which are indispensable. Flower pots both plain and fancy, are still very much in demand, other items like cooking pots are also used by many people, especially in restaurants serving local specialties. And who can forget how we, as children, used to have clay pots (known as piggy banks) in which we used to drop our coins to save up for a toy or other item of use we wanted? It was exciting to see you can still find them in some outlets.

All is not lost. It is heartening to note that these items, which are very much part of our cultural traditions, are making a kind of ‘comeback’ shall we say, by being used as decoration pieces even in the best of homes. Innovative means are being used to make them look even more beautiful with fancy carvings if you like them without embellishments; or then painted in different colours and added items like mirrors etc; Some of the persons dealing in these crafts have also made replicas of popular items made of china since they are less expensive than the original but look just as good!

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