Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Say it with flowers

Flowers bring people together. Blossoms can fuel a flaming passion, calm a raging jealousy, comfort a living being or earn a living. Presenting flowers or sticking a flower in someone's hair or on lapel is a romantic and cherished social folkway. Aside from romantic and literary delights, there is commerce in flowers too. Now florists are seen in posh neighborhoods in most big cities. In Lahore, from single rose to bouquets are on sale on every corner. Rates of flowers vary from customer to customer and from time to time. Where the flowers come from?

Patoki town is famous for flower growing and has one of the ‘biggest clusters of flower, fruit and decorative plant nurseries in the country. Growing flowers and tree plants and selling is a major business concern in the sleepy town situated in the suburbs of Lahore. Town famous for flowers all over the country is dusty with all problems of small towns: power outages, water shortages, lack of sanitation and management. Single bazaar in Patoki where one can buy most utility items is congested due to excessive encroachments of all sorts. Residential area in town is a mixed cluster of houses widely varying in size, style and quality. But, you cannot see many flowers grown in Patoki nurseries in the houses. Instead, people keep their cows, buffaloes and goats in the streets.
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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:15 AM, , links to this post

One Product One Village

Dr. Norbert Pintsch

The village project of the NGO A.F.A. in TGD with its image brand of TOY VILLAGE represents an income-generation method for the village population, which is based upon the traditional culture of the area.

The main local buyers are diplomats, experts and managers of international companies as well as tourists and other travelers.

The products are being successfully marketed within the country and even have excellent reputation in foreign countries. There are customers in USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Nuezeland, EU und the UAE as well as collectors in ethnological Museums in Stuttgart, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig and Berlin.

The village NGO has in the meantime integrated members from six other villages. Furthermore, it has sub-contractors in other parts of the country through six other NGO’s from Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karimabad.

New products are being developed in order to integrate further women from other villages into the project.
It is very important to proceed in a particular way for such a project to be successful:
For developing new products in other villages (One Product – One Village) specially qualified staff is needed which is also ready to work together with the village population. Members of city culture may be more qualified but the preparedness to work in the village and to develop with the local residents is more important –this point is apparently the most difficult to overcome in order to achieve success.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:30 AM, , links to this post

Volunteers in TGD


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

Fine art of skin painting

Art seems to have been important to almost all human societies since before recorded history. Art expressions have been, and still are, used to record, to explain, to interpret, to predict, to gain awareness, and to express those things cultures find important,” wrote by Turner Rogers, an associate professor of art education at the University of South Alabama.

This assertion is truer in case of Pakistan where some of the medieval arts have originated, and have not only been preserved but are practiced till date. The history of Pakistani arts and crafts – Kashi work, painting of skin, woodworks and painting on wood items -- goes back to medieval period.

Among the various arts that are practiced in Pakistan, skin painting has attained a higher state of refinement and Pakistan is famous this art around the world. The use of foliage or branches and leaves of trees and superb richness of colours (mainly blue) in skin painting is an evidence of Persian influence. As Persian arts themselves have been under Chinese Mongol influence, therefore some historians are of the view that skin painting had originally come from Kashghar China. Over a period of centuries Pakistani work has matured and developed a unique and distinctive style of its own. The finest quality work is done on the camel skin in southern Punjab (Multan, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan) and several products are exported.

The tedious technique of shaping the camel skin crafts and decorating them with indegenously prepared lacquer colours is an age old tradition that has withstood the test of time. This is a part of our ancient cultural heritage and needs to be preserved. Not only that, there is always a room to bring into the art new innovations, endow it with fresh spirit and set the science as its guide. The range of possibilities in the field of ceramics is very vast. The whole world is there to appreciate the work.

How to preserve the craft for our next generations?


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

Churail in Dolls Village

Ramla Akhtar

The lives of the residents of this village changed 15 years when a German art teacher took up her student Amjad's invite and visited his village: Thatta Ghulam da Dheroka.

An enterprising spirit, she asked the villagers about their craft. The women showed her hand-made rag dolls. The art teacher, Dr Senta Siller, told the villagers she could teach them to make refined hand-made dolls.

Thus spun off a social enterprise in this 200-house strong village that has changed the way of life and living here. Women have a school. The village has a road. They experimented with alternative energy very early on, and now are undertaking community energy & food projects.

The women from this conservative village now go on study tours with the Germans. The villagers have learned about sanitation, childcare, and eco-friendly living. Cleanliness is rewarded here.

Above all, these changes were brought within the system, without breaking down the structure violently.

The whole village participates in the making of the dolls, which represent the four provinces of Pakistan. The original doll is called, "Churail."

This is my peek into their lives. More here!

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:15 AM, , links to this post

Online Shopping on Katoti.Pk

Shopping is a collective responsibility in our joint family. But mainly my wife does the family shopping and she calls herself shopping expert and takes pride in whatever discount gets. She might have spent thousands in her shopping sprees without any botheration and will not talk about that. But she will keep on and on about whatever discount she had been able to get.

With growing Internet users’ base, trend to consumer shopping online is increasing exponentially. Millions of consumers across the world are using coupons for shopping as a source of source of savings and convenience. The online coupons culture is also fast growing fast. In order to facilitate online shoppers Katoti.Pk - a new online coupons web site [in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi] - is playing an important role. This discount coupons site offers great deals from huge selection of stores has become the first place to start while looking for great deals. While exploring I found some wonderful things that are already on my wish lists, particularly I loved that flower offer. 

Aptly named Katoti.Pk is neatly laid, easy to navigate and users' friendly site. Online users can fine the coupons easily. Also on the home page, there are featured coupons and deals. Explore the site and see what they are offering and how. Better still indulge in discount shopping with online discount vouchers.


posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:12 AM, , links to this post

Fun with Fluegge

During her visit to TGD, Mr. Fluegge worked together with the young students in their school and carried out some fun activities, which are otherwise not part of the schooling program. These colorful activities included every thing from ball games to magic games to juggling and a lot in between. Apart from fun, these activities sprout new ideas in the minds of young students. In addition to regular music lessons in the evening at the village museum site, these activities doa lot of good to the students.

Mr. Lutz als had brought along his guitar and he as well as the boy students had lots of fun together.

posted by Omar M. Ali @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

About project developments with example BHU der AFA in TGD

By Omar M. Ali

BHU is the basic health unit of the NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (AFA) in the vilage of Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka. The BHU is now existing since almost 25 years.

The story begin with the work of the young German-Pakistani doctor, Dr Leila, who saw the documentary film Amjads Village, produced by DGFK in 1991 and wanted to work in the village on voluntary basis. This was a big challenge at that time because none of the facilities of NGO were available.

It was in this phase, i.e from 1991 till 1999, that also Dr. Leila Masson from New Zealand and Dr Elizabeth Carew-Reid from Australia worked on the project in the village. The aim was, that the project should itself provide the basic health facilities using traditional as well as western medicine.

In the next phase, 1999 till 2008, Dr. Karola Groch and the nurse Marlies Bartkiewitz-Schmitt looked after the project, during which however, there were certain erroneous developments, due to which Marlies pulled herself back, as traditional medicine and self financing of the effort through treatment of village patients become disturbed.

The main initiator of the project, Dr. Senta Siller, was later able to win a Canadian organization for supporting the project and needed for this purpose a doctor, who unfortunately misunderstood many cultural factors, which ultimately endangered the health project.

In the next, the current phase, from 2008 on wards, the voluntary and regular support of Dr Leila Masson helped to settle the financial misunderstandings and from 2014 on wards, the traditional approach, i.e. use of alternative and traditional remedies, were again able to be used in the project. Other experienced volunteers provided by SES also helped in this regard.

Health is not improved through suggestions and giving of medicine only, but rather a complete effort, i.e. clean drinking water, looking after the school children by approval of the parents, disposal of waste and sullage water, etc. is needed.

AFA is now again very active and has recently joined hands with another NGO to strengthen its work, in which the nurse Marlies from Switzerland is once again gladly participating.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 9:32 AM, , links to this post

Activities in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka

Activities in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka by f560415578

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 8:17 AM, , links to this post

Pakistani Handicrafts

Pakistan Handicrafts are very famous all over the world. They are collectors delight for those who value unique, handmade and cultural items. Thatta Kedona has played important role in providing handicrafts in the world market. Success of the project has also attracted researchers on the subject.

Recently, Gwendolyne Kulick, an assistant professor for Designing in BNU, Lahore, since more than 10 years, is writing her PhD thesis about ‘Handicraft projects in Pakistan, their results and future.’ She has visited the TGD village project in several times with her students.

Gwendolyne Kulick with her German Professor Doktor Brigitte Wolf has also had a workshop with 16 students from universities in Lahore. Within the frame work of her research work she has had a meeting with Mrs Farzana from WAC in TGD and Dr Senta Siller from SES, as a consultant for the recent cooperation between AFA and AFWA.

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posted by Omar M. Ali @ 1:46 PM, , links to this post

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