We LOVE telling artisan stories. It’s what connects us deeply with the individual people behind each rug that comes and goes through the doors of Bunyaad. Each one of them has their special skill and their unique story.
Take a moment to get to know Parveen, a rug knotter, and Anwar, a rug designer.
In our digital world many of us can easily work while on the road or move cross country and still be able to do our job. Working on a heavy duty loom doesn’t seem to provide you that flexibility. Or does it?
So it was the first day at the Ten Thousand Villages Rug Event in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I was staying at the manager’s house for the event. I came down ready to leave and saw Val Weaver intently concentrating with an egg on the kitchen counter.
It’s a family tradition, she told me. Every year on the first day of spring her entire family, regardless of where they are, balance an egg and send photos boosting of their skills to the rest of the family. “Actually, every year my dad always buys a carton of eggs and gives them to the office staff so we can compete!” said Danielle, Val’s youngest daughter and a pro at egg balancing.
I had never heard of this tradition but I was oddly touched by this Weaver family tradition, and the great fun that they have with it every year. So last year I sat down and tried it myself…
Artisans go to the local sweet market and grab their favorite mithai (sweets), maybe hot gulab jamun soaking up the sugary sweet cardamon syrup or to the local jalebi vendor who is busy lifting hot, orange mini funnel-cake-like rounds out of their copper pot of bubbling oil as the jalebi head to their own bath of heavenly syrup.
One woman carries a carafe of chai made with her water buffalo’s milk. Another grabs more tea cups from her home. It’s time to celebrate.
We enjoyed a great time in Pakistan. Everywhere we went we met friendly, helpful and incredibly hospitable people. It seemed like everyone wanted to shake our hands and give us a hug. On Sunday afternoon, while touring the old Lahore Fort, a number of people wanted their pictures taken with us. Contrary to what we hear and read in the media about Pakistan, it’s a great place to travel – safe, friendly, hospitable and very scenic.