South Asian handicraft festival kicks off

Writer: 
by News Desk

KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) - The highlight of the festival will be the launch of ‘Nepal Ko’—a new brand of exquisite handicrafts produced by Nepali artisans.

Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) Nepal is set to kick off the South Asian Festival on Handicrafts in Kathmandu from Friday. The three-day festival is aiming to provide a marketing platform to showcase the artisan livelihood initiatives implemented by PAF Nepal and similar initiatives from neighbouring countries, reads a press release.

The highlight of the festival will be the launch of ‘Nepal Ko’—a new brand of exquisite handicrafts produced by Nepali artisans. The organiser claims that around 200 products categorised under 10 different skill sets will be displayed at 20 stalls—18 Nepali and one each for Indian and Pakistani crafts.

A wide range of handicrafts produced by Nepali artisans will be promoted during the event. They are part of a PAF-implemented project called ‘Making Markets Work for Conflict Affected in Nepal’.

Another aim of the festival is to facilitate a dialogue between different stakeholders in the region and is expected to promote cross-cultural learning and interactions, states the release.

PAF Executive Director Nahakul KC said, “The objective of the project is to increase the share of rural artisans—especially from the poorest, landless and conflict-affected communities—in the crafts and cultural market”. KC added, “The project has benefitted poor and disadvantaged people including women and persons with disabilities, particularly from the areas affected by the conflict and social unrest”.

The handicrafts produced by the PAF-supported artisans will be showcased and sold during the festival, which will be inaugurated by Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki. Visitors can explore a variety of handicrafts made with Allo (Himalayan Nettle), Lokta, wool, moonj grass and recycled papers.

The festival will also be a platform where craft and art aficionados can meet and interact with more than 100 Nepali artisans, craftsmen and Mithila painters, who will be promoting their authentic indigenous products.

Another key aspect of the event will be high-level panel discussions among some of the best minds of the region on a wide range of issues like village economy, women entrepreneurship and cultural industries and South Asian integration.