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Showcasing textiles and floral embroideries from Punjab

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur after inaugurating a Phulkari exhibition in the Capital last year.– File Photo
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur after inaugurating a Phulkari exhibition in the Capital last year.– File Photo

Phulkari , the hand embroidery technique from Punjab, is now set out to display here at a special exhibition, which aims at reviving the traditional art and bringing a “fresh whiff” of all pretty and popular things from Punjab.

Curated by art historian and cultural theorist Alka Pande, the festival “Mela Phulkari” puts on display colourful pakhis (hand fans), madanis (butter churners) tilla jutis (footwear), Manja (village cots), parandis (a festive hair accessory) as well as rich textiles and embroideries.

The fest, which opened on Friday, is scheduled to be held till April 24, at the India Habitat Centre here with free entry for visitors.

Apart from a visual feast, the event has also lined up a musical component with traditional musical instruments like sarangi , nagada , dilruba and dhad as well.

“Clearly the concept is aimed at serenading urban Delhites and pampering their senses. The event will see a revival of art, craft and culture in the feistiest form,” says Ms. Pande.

Collaborating with a Delhi-based store 1469, Ms. Pande has put on display 150-year-old phulkaris including a few that have been borrowed from the personal collections of royal families for public viewing.

Harinder Singh, the creative head behind 1469, points out that the floral art is slowly vanishing from the place of its origin.

“Marriage ceremonies would be incomplete without the ornate phulkari work. It was customary for all married women to wear their choicest phulkari dupattas for all auspicious occasions. In fact the intricate work could also be seen in their batuas or pouches” recalls Mr. Singh.

He says his store 1469 is actively developing centres in various belts of the city to promote and popularise the art of phulkari . The company works with woman artisans in Fatehgarh, Sangrur and Malwa.

The exhibition also provides a peek into Punjab through wide-angle lens.

“From agriculture to the handmade, from the interiors of a Punjabi household to the by-lanes of the glorious city, and from the literary to the musical traditions, all objects on display will give an insight into the rich Punjabi heritage,” says Mr. Singh. - PTI

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