Rubies and gold and spices…
…are why the British claimed India for a while and stole its riches (at least that’s how I explained it to a teacherless VII Class that I visited). I know salt and mercantilism and whatever, but rubies and gold sounded more exciting!
India’s independence didn’t end the continued “borrowing” of India’s wealth by the West. Indian fabrics, jewelry, and designs have now become of the part of the “exotic” look sold in suburban malls and upscale boutiques.
I find this picture an interesting example of the East meets West continuum.
I think this is an interesting style choice(?) given that this photo was taken in a country which continues to be at the center of a debate on the free expression of religion. I am not to judge whether this young lady is Hindu or not, but the perception of this “stylish” bindi stands in contrast to the views of the strikingly “not-French” burqa seen in many growing neighborhoods in Paris. Please take a moment to read the comments on this photo then look up the latest news on immigration in France. Think on it and we can chat over chai (probably via skype).
Here’s another example of the Western fashion world combining with Indian traditions. I have to thank Emily from Voyage-On for sharing this video - it is a great example of the weaving and fabric traditions throughout India. Also, please note the ridiculous scenes in the textile factory…oh the lusty attraction of sweaty, overweight textile workers.
If you’re stilling looking for more Indian artistry please check out this article. The artist grew up in Hyderabad - yeah! - and has created amazing installation art in an attempt to bring contemporary art down from its elitist status.
Another organization working to making contemporary art accessible to students, teachers, and the Hyderabad community is the Daira Centre for Arts and Culture. They are supporting IDEX schools this year, and are going to host an exhibit of our students’ work! You’ll learn more about them as our exhibit date approaches. For now just remember that they are part of the Hyderabad art scene that is reaching out to students that have never stepped foot in an art gallery…exciting!