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Monday Oct 3, 2022

18th Handicraft Trade Fair starts


Nepalnews
2021 Nov 19, 18:02, Kathmandu

With the objective of gathering national and international buyers and sellers in one place, the Federation of Handicrafts Association of Nepal (FHAN) organized the 18th Handicraft Trade Fair and 16th Craft Competition from November 19 today at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Boudha. The three-day trade fair was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. High government officials, exporters, and ambassadors of different countries were present to observe the fair. 

The fair was organized with the hopes of reviving the internal and external market of Nepali handicrafts, which have been weakened due to the pandemic. “The fair also aims to promote both domestic and international markets of Nepali handicrafts and other manufactured goods”, said fair coordinator Rabindra Shakya.

Around 120 stalls of different items and types of handicrafts are in the fair. It provided some market access for budding entrepreneurs. The main attraction, however, was a competition between two genres including natural fiber and filigree. A program to honor senior artists over 70 years of age and the best exporters exporting handicraft items to foreign markets was also a part of the handicraft fair. 

“We aim to develop business relations between Nepali entrepreneurs and foreign handicraft importers”, said Hari Senchuri B.K, Chairperson of Nepal Hastakala Kaligad Sangh. “We also want to take this opportunity to spread the message at an international level trade fair will be organized in Nepal on a yearly basis”, he added.

Ramkali Khadka, Executive Director of Women’s Skill Development Organization says, “I have been attending FHAN’s fairs for many years. It feels really good to be back”. The organization helps women develop skills so they can be financially independent. Different products manufactured at the organization were exported to different countries before the pandemic. “I am certain that with the help of this fair, handicraft makers of Nepal will benefit in many ways”, she says. 

Laxmi Sharma, Chairman of Laxmi Wood Craft Udyog expresses his gratitude towards FHAN for the opportunity to gain exposure in the handicrafts market. Sharma displayed intricate woodwork and bone handicrafts in his stall. “The buttons are made up of buffalo bones and horns. It costs Rs 6 per piece”, he says.

Balkishor Chaudhary, an artist was also present at the fair. He displayed numerous acrylic art pieces in his stall. “I started my career as an artist 20 years ago. It was a childhood dream of mine to become an artist”, he says. Chaudhary also hosts exhibitions displaying different forms of his artworks. The pandemic had affected the artist too. Being able to attend the fair this year meant a lot to him as he got a lot of exposure. “This fair means a lot to me and my business. I have hoped that this will help boost me and my art more”, he says.  

Numerous Thanka paintings from different artists were also displayed in today’s handicraft fair. The word ‘thanka’ means scroll painting in the Tibetian language. It is deeply meaningful and holds a lot of religious significance as it holds stories of different religions and philosophies. Surendra Khadgi a thanka painter from Maitidevi says, “Sometimes, thanka tells stories of Hindu gods and goddesses. But mostly it depicts the life of Budhha, Green Tara, White Tara, and the Wheel of Life”.

According to Khadgi, learning thanka art is a long process. To begin, one must start from pencil sketching and slowly make their way up. “A few years ago, youngsters showed very little interest in learning this ancient art and keeping the tradition alive. We had started to worry about it being extinct slowly. However that has changed”, he says. “A lot of young people are interested in art. There are many who want to learn thanka in particular”, he adds. 

The handicraft fair will end on the 21st of November. B.K says, “Handicrafts are very important for our nation as it provides employment for our citizens and also utilize raw materials available in our country. Therefore is extremely important to promote handicrafts”. “We hope this fair will boost up business for handicrafts. It is especially important now as everyone struggled during the pandemic”, he added.

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Sher Bahadur Deuba Handicrafts Association of Nepal Nepali handicrafts Women’s Skill Development Organization Thanka paintings Nepali entrepreneurs
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