Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Thatta Kedona and the Sisters

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A brief summary in seven points 

compiled by Omar M.Ali, Njini King Caro, Ricardo Coslez / idea: Norbert Pintsch

The dolls project has inspired people in other regions to take similar approaches, according to the motto of Direct Support at Site, subconsciously as a counter-model of the so-called humanitarian aid (as above, - which is ultimately self-help for the donor countries, their institutions and organizations) .

1. Story

When did it start? 

-Start in Pakistan 1993, -start in Cameroon 1998, -start in Colombia 1999, among others.

2. Themes

What were the themes or objectives? 

Combining tradition and the future, supporting the preservation of traditional culture, creating income-generating measures for people in the countryside, using local opportunities.

3. Practice and manufacture

What were the main target groups? 

Preferably women in family-friendly projects:

-Pakistan 120 women, Cameroon 60 women, Colombia 60 women.

4. Sales

Where were the unique items sold?

-Pakistan: Karimabad, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshavar, Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi; Cameroon: Foyer du marine, Handicraft Center Bamenda; Colombia: Saboya, Chiquinquira.

Internationally in: USA (NY UN Gift Shop), UAE (Dubai Shopping Festival), Athens: Benaki Museum, Reykjavik: National Museum, Bogota: National Museum.

5. Museum bazaars

Where was the direct connection between ethnology and traditional culture? 

Berlin: Voelkerkundemuseum, Hamburg: Voelkerkundemuseum, Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Jost-Museum, Stuttgart: Linden-Museum, Leipzig: Grassi-Museum, Zuerich: Museum am Riethberg, Vienna: Voelkerkundemuseum.

6. Museum collections

Have the unique pieces been accepted into museums?

Museum in Herrnhut, International Puppet Museum in Iceland, Lok-Virsa in Islamabad, Children's Museum in Izmir, Dolls and Puppet Museum in Herisau. Between 1995 and 2015 more than 20000 unique dolls were made, which are in private collections in the USA and Canada, Europe, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

7. Internet information

Is there more information available on the internet?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:06 PM, ,

A little about ourselves DGFK-AFA Thatta Kedona

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On the occasion of the turn of the century

by Aaron Pinsker and Norbert Pintsch

The DGFK was founded almost fifty years ago. The practical engagement with cultures was implemented in many projects according to a model which used and demonstrated the various interdependencies in culture.

Projects emerged through initiatives, collaborations and activities, initially in Central Europe and after 1990 increasingly in other countries.

From around 2010, we started to collect results and examples into our own (DGFK) archive and assigned them to topics such as interviews, sounds, movies, slide shows, animations, books, posters, etc.

The year 2000 is a turning point in the DGFK, because at the end of 1999 analogue printing of the DGFK newsletter as well as of Indus-River, Sanaga Rivière, Rio Magdalena and Hekla was discontinued.

The reason for this was increasing digitization of media. This also led to increasing depth of the digital information, so that the DGFK established its own website, sponsored by a company, because one of our projects showed pilot character at the EXPO2000 show.

An eShop was installed for selling certain handicraft products from the projects, but ultimately it was abandoned as it did not appear to be suitable for the individually unique items.

In similar manner some websites were also removed because they were no longer necessary or technically obsolete (for example Internet radio projects). But they are stored in the archive and available to interested quarters.

The partner initiatives had their own websites, which were supplemented early on by flexible blogs:




Other project partners, some of them no longer active, are: (Groenland), (UAE), (Griechenland), (Island).

With the help of DGFK, partner societies in other project countries were established, such as: (Pakistan), (BanglaDesh), (Kolumbien), (Kamerun), (Kolumbien), (SriLanka), (Nepal), (Island), (Polen).

In the course of time, a plethora of active participants, supporters and partners entered into the projects and their names are duly collected in the DGFK archive or can be found in search engines:

If a name (for example (Karola Groch,Werner Schroeder, Monika Kuppler, Renate Perner,Marlis Bartkiewitz-Schmitt, u.a.)) is associated with a certain activity or a certain support organization, e.g. the SES, it can be found there too.

Some friends of the DGFK have separated and put their work in the context of a company or organization (e.g. Fronzeck, Heckes, Klapper, Polzer, Sauter, Christ, Borgmann, Stober) or chosen an art platform for their efforts. We do have one person, who has selflessly devoted all her energy and efforts towards the benefit of the general public around the globe (Siller).

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4:19 PM, ,

Voice Of America report on THATTA KEDONA

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Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka, a small Pakistani village in District Okara, is world-famous for its Handicrafts, especially the ethnic dolls. VOA Urdu reports how this excellent project, which had transformed this village by providing extra income to the women and enabling them to lead a better life is facing financial difficulties these days.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:59 AM, ,

Thatta Kedona Archive

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Mr. Hans-Peter Detmer, a German journalist working at the German Broadcasting Service DW (Deutsche welle) visited the Pakistani village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka (District Okara) in 1999 and prepared this radio feature, which was originally broadcast in DW's German Programme. Later this radio feature was also translated in other DW languages, including Urdu. Here You can not only listen to this feature but also enjoy more than 200 pictures, showing the beauty of this wonderful village and its charming ethnic dolls.

"Thatta Kedona" is part of a wonderful development project in the village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka, District Okara, Punjab, Pakistan, also called Amjad's Village. This project was initiated in early 1990s by a German couple Dr. Senta Siller and her husband Dr. Norbert Pintsch. They were invited by their pakistani student Amjad Ali, who was born in this village and was a student of Lette Verein Berlin at that time. Since then the women and girls of the village are creating beautiful handicrafts, including the best pakistani ethnic dolls. These handicrafts are not only sold in big cities in different Arts and Crafts Exhibitions but also online. Part of the income generated by the sale of these toys is also used to run different health, education and environment related projects in the village. This whole development project is overseen by the local NGO AFA (Anjauman-e-Falah-e-Aama).

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:39 AM, ,

Dr Senta Siller

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Reference to SSA / Senta Siller Archive 
for SSDC / Senta Siller Design Centre

A collection of works for digital publication has been created in connection with the SSDC in TGD, for interested parties and students, including works from an incredible 75 years of efforts by Senta Siller, from 1946 to 2021!

On 36 boards, format A2, there are almost 1000 images of works that impress even without use of words.

Only with a deeper interest and knowledge of history is it possible to make a picture about the personal life of Senta Siller and the accompanying social events which had an impact upon her personality:

Born in Vienna / Austria, arrival in Germany as a stateless person being a child of a destitute refugee family due to events of war, - much later, volunteered in Pakistan for almost 3 years (1963-1966), director in a Berlin art school, selfless initiator of multiple NGO projects, especially the one in Pakistan, efforts in the field of research, teaching and leadership.

Her work on income-generating measures for women in rural areas, based upon local possibilities and incorporating, promoting traditional art, has developed into a global network that shows: Everything can be done!

In the core period, between 1993 and 2007, a staff of around 30 volunteers worked on site, with 16 sales outlets across the country selling products made in the village;

Overseas presence includes EXPO2000 in Hanover, EXP02005 in Aichi, Dubai Shopping Festival, New York Gift Shop of the UN, and much more.

Not just handicrafts, but a variety of works (advertising, painting, lithography, industrial production) and activities (as entrepreneur, as consultant, as school head) lie in these seventy-five years of hard work and give an idea of ​​what a modern and self-confident woman can be: human - with family and profession.

More information is readily available on the Internet and Wikipedia ...

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:07 AM, ,

Book by Amjad Ali

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:02 AM, ,

Thatha Kedona: The Village of the of Dolls

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:14 AM, ,

Visit of Mr AAMIR ATEEQ, the DC Okara

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in the SSDC of the NGO AeFeA
in Thatta Ghulamkha Dhirokha
on 8th of April 2021

Rukhsana Hussain (AFA), Mr Aamir Ateeq, DC Okara, Prof Nahid Goraya (PU), Aamir Rafique (IML)

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:10 AM, ,

Archived for the SSDC

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Chapter D-UNT: Workshops, 1993-2007

Young women in the silk painting workshop

Dr Senta in Silk Painting Workshop
Participants with example

Chapter B-PUS: Dolls and Toys, 1961-2007

Indus series, The Five Rivers, Senta Siller 





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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4:55 PM, ,

Free Medical Camp at Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka

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Local NGO AFA (Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama) of village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka (District Okara) organised  a one day Free Medical Camp in the Village Handicrafts Center in collaboration with Okara City's renowned welfare organisation OPWA (Okara Patients Welfare Association), on 27th March 2021. Around 150 villagers were tested for Hepatitus and other illnesses by a 12 member OPWA team, consisting of doctors, nurses and other medical staff. The villagers got their blood tested and given free medicines. 
Thank you OPWA.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:57 AM, ,

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