Happy Basant Panchami folks! This festival heralds the onset of spring, and is celebrated with fervour in various states of India. Punjab has a long-standing tradition of festivities to mark this date. Clothing brand ‘1469 Workshop’ hosts an annual art show called “Mela Phulkari” to mark the occasion. Read on to know more about this interesting exhibit, whose theme this year is “#JaagoPanjab”.
The stage is set for a fabulous art show
This quirky clothing brand has been conceptualised and spearheaded by Harinder Singh. He channeled his expertise of 30 years in the clothing industry, into creating a modern brand that resonates with the youth. Now this brand is a wonderful platform to promote Panjab and its vibrant culture, through sale of merchandise steeped in Punjabiyat, organisation of various events, as well as collaborations with celebrities.
Stand-up comedians “Sanu Ki” and singer Himani Kapoor performing at the cultural show
MELA PHULKARI 2019- #JAAGOPANJAB:
Harinder Singh and his wife Kirandeep Kaur, were keen on publicising the traditional arts and crafts of Punjab. They organised the first Mela Phulkari in 2014, in collaboration with Dr. Alka Pande, an art historian and curator. Now in its sixth edition, this fair has become immensely popular and is a must-visit.
Phulkari literally means ‘making flowers’ on cloth, a metaphor for a young girl blooming into a woman. The female members of the household collectively stitch Phulkari garments for the trousseaus of the young ones, and pass on the craft in the process.
Every year, the Mela Phulkari is curated around a unique theme. This year’s theme “#JaagoPanjab” (the awakening), marks 550 years of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. The theme highlights the ‘awakened state’ of Panjab, through which they hope to stimulate a heightened sense of tradition and culture amongst young Panjabis.
Jasbir Jassi takes the stage
THE CULTURAL SHOW FOR BASANT PANCHAMI:
Every year, a special cultural show is organised at the India Habitat Center to celebrate Basant Panchami, and flag off the Mela. This function hosts multiple performers in an intimate open-air setting. This year, the line-up included a Bhangra Fitness troupe, stand-up comedians “Sanu Ki”, singers Himani Kapoor and Harshdeep Kaur. The show culminated with a power-packed performance by Jasbir Jassi, who had the entire audience dancing and clapping to his tunes. Gur and chanas were liberally passed around to keep everyone sated.
L-R: A packed audience at the cultural show. Chanas being passed around.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE ART SHOW:
You should visit this wonderful show to educate yourself about Panjabi culture. If you’re already familiar with it, you’ll appreciate the variety and quality of the artistic display.
The exhibits include:
Jewellery painted on jute
A tribute to the village milkman
Massive fans that would’ve been a part of every Panjabi home back in the day
Stunning Phulkari fabrics, digital prints and paintings
Stimulating photography by famed photographer Bandeep Singh
A host of interesting artworks, including those of Arpana Caur
A book that encapsulates this year’s theme through informative and interesting articles, is also on sale. Entitled #JaagoPanjab, the book has a colourful visual design by Harpriya Kaur. I particularly liked the article on the advent of Guru Nanak by Arvinder Kaur, the essay on the traditional symbolism of thread-work on cloth by Gopika Nath, and the personal recollections of Jaskiran Kaur Kapoor.
I highly recommend a visit to the Mela Phulkari, whether you’re Panjabi or not! I’ll be returning with my son soon.
INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MELA/ ART SHOW:
Dates: 9- 17 February 2019
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center, New Delhi
Contact on email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
*All photos have been clicked by my friend Harpriya Kaur. Check her out on Instagram here.
**This is not a sponsored post.