International Festival of Kites-Jaipur

While on our quick travels through Agra and Jaipur, we got to experience many sights that we did not see every day in Delhi. We were exposed to vast land and huge mountains and we landed in Jaipur which after Delhi, seemed to be a city of less people and more character. Something that I found interesting in the city of Jaipur were the vast amounts of kites I saw flying from people’s homes and roofs. After seeing a kite on almost every home, I figured there must be a festival of sorts and I did a little more research.

The kite flying ended up being preparation for the International Kite Festival that takes place January 14th-January 16th. The festival takes place in Jaipur every year and is one of the most attended festivals in all of Rajasthan. The festival begins on January 14th which is also known as Makar Sankranti. On the 14th, people come from every corner of the country and take part in the simple pleasure of flying kites from their rooftops. The reason for the kite flying comes from the passing of winter. People fly kites because of the benefits of the sun exposure that it will bring to their health. This festival acts as almost a start of spring or warm weather season and gets people outside again.

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Makar Sankranti-International Festival of Kites, Jaipur

What we saw of the kites were simply people preparing for the festival and showing their excitement. The actual festival in Jaipur is located at the Jaipur Polo Ground and is divided by kite competitors and “friendly” kite flying. At the end of the festival, people leave the kites tied onto their rooftops for as long as they can, sharing food and music with family, friends and neighbors.

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Jaipur “The Pink City” at night

Works Cited

Enjoy the Festival of Kites in Jaipur. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2017, from https://alsisarhotelsrajasthan.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/enjoy-the-festival-of-kites-in-jaipur/

International Kite Festival, Jaipur 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2017, from https://www.indianholiday.com/fairs-and-festivals/rajasthan/international-kite-festival-jaipur.html

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Gender Roles: India

Analytical Blog Post: Gender Roles in India

When looking at the gender norms that are typical in India, we look at traditions that have been culturally significant for some time but also the changes that have been taking place in the last 50 years. As the world evolves, the genders norms that have seen as cemented in Indian culture also evolve. India still does mostly exist as a male dominated culture but there are areas in which this is being transformed. Examples of the male dominated culture is men establishing themselves as the head of the household by simply holding the title of a male, being the breadwinner of the family and having more lucrative higher paying jobs. In the patriarchal Indian culture, simply being a man is enough and has a stronger presence than a woman.

Looking at Indian culture and gender norms we specifically see clear discrimination of women. Women are looked to as a second class citizen next to males and are typically in charge of the household and taking care of the children. This presents an issue because women are not able to represent themselves in areas like politics, the educational system and other roles of power.

Another way in which women are oppressed in Indian culture is within their dress. A study came out in 2014 which had males rate themselves on a “masculinity index” and were then asked questions about their female partner. Part of the study was the fact that 1 in 3 men said that they did not allow their wives to wear the clothing of their choice. Along with this, 66% of men said that they had a greater say over women in their household. Although there has been considerable attempts to take down violence and gender birth preference in India in the past few years, there is still room for redefining policies and views on equality.

Although we see a very strong male presence in Indian life and family life, in the last 20 years we have seen an emergence of strong powerful women who are embracing a more equal life. Now more than ever, women are able to accept jobs outside of the house to be able to contribute financially for their family. While these opportunities were limited in the past, with technological and educational advancements, there is a bigger need for women in the workforce and a personal need to feel empowered and important.

In looking at gender roles in present day India it is essential to look at the differences between people of middle class and high class. Since India bases many beliefs off the idea of the class system, you are able to see that women of middle to high class lives are able to embrace more opportunities like these professions that are heavily male dominated. Since these harsh gender roles have become so ingrained into Indian Culture, it does appear to be a long fight to achieve and establish equality. There are so many subtle nuances like women’s dress which get labeled as a traditional or cultural piece where in turn it might be a tool of oppression. For equality to flourish in Indian culture policies must be changed and a new sense of empowerment and freedom must be restored to women.

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BORGEN Magazine-Gulabi Gang Protest
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GUMPTION Magazine: Commit2Change is an organization that seeks to provide education for girls who don’t have the opportunity. They begin to try to break the cycle of poverty.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Beedy, K. (n.d.). Gender Roles in India. Retrieved December 30, 2016, from http://www.borgenmagazine.com/gender-roles-india/

Gender Equity Issues in India. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2016, from http://www.fsdinternational.org/country/india/weissues

Hays, J. (2015, June). Families and Gender Roles in India. Retrieved December 28, 2016, from http://factsanddetails.com/india/People_and_Life/sub7_3d/entry-4174.html#chapter-8

Sonica Sarna-Ethical Production and Design

January 14th-Choice Blog Post

For my choice blog, I decided to focus on the trip to Sonica Sarna’s factory and her advice for ethical sourcing and textile production. As soon as we got to the factory and began talking with Sonica, we could tell that this establishment was really a culmination of all the sustainable practices and handcrafts we had been learning about prior. Sonica’s words about ethical production and artisan crafting were not only a good influence for the careers we are moving into, but also good guidelines for where we are now as young designers.

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Hand cut patterns at Sonica Sarna Design-January 14, 2017

A piece I really appreciated and took away from this visit was Sonica’s immersion into artisan handcraft and really being part of the revival or continuation of these handcrafts. Something very inspiring was not only the uses of these villages crafts, but the time she and other employees take to train and empower artisans so these people can have a better quality of life and jobs can grow. Even though the establishment is not a non-profit, there seems to be a lot of ethical integrity to the work they perform.

Another bit that was a good takeaway was her words about being introduced to this type of ethical production and sourcing at a young age. Sonica’s words were “You know this now and you can never not know it.” I think that this really rang true for the experience as a whole. When you learn things like being able to source from a village that offers the traditional and quality handcraft, why would you go anywhere else for that? I think that researching about the crafts you are trying to foster in a design is vital because you learn why it is so important to source from artisans themselves.

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Woodblock printed silk-January 14, 2017