LIFE

Festival shops

MONSOON FAILURE, government staff strike and a wet spell during the last week of October are not the only factors that have made festival trading a dull affair in the Temple City. The businessmen, especially the textile traders, feel threatened by the `temporary' shops and `bazaars' that have sprung up at hotels and marriage halls.

Organised by traders from outside Madurai (in many cases from outside Tamil Nadu), these shows have started attracting people in large numbers. Alarmed at the increasing patronage for these `festival shops', the Tamil Nadu Textile Merchants Association has cautioned the public against the purchase of ``damaged and old material of inferior quality'' at these stalls, by falling prey to announcements of fabulous discounts and prizes. The association feels that the people of the Temple City should aid the growth of the local economy by purchasing goods at traditional shops. But the popular craze is for cheaper goods, albeit inferior quality.

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