Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Rural Environment

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Pride of Doll Makers

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Women Art Center

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Women Art Center


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Thatta Kedona Summer Camp in Hunza

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Related: Altit Baltit Forts Hunza

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:55 PM, ,

Soft Tourism

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"Soft Tourism" is also a very vital part of the NGO activity since a long time. Volunteers, who are not engaged full-time in the project, spent a part of their time as "Tourists." What is more, thy pay for their own boarding and lodging which contributes to small income for the NGO. Some other guests also pay for the complete boarding and lodging expense and take back with them impressions of the village life in the rural Punjab.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:54 AM, ,

My Cup of Doodh Patti

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Pakistan is one of the best travel destinations in the world – desert expanses in Thar and Cholistan, Lush green plains in Punjab, mighty mountains in Northern Pakistan, Chitral and Swat, so many unexplored and just to yourself places, what else. Start of some of the world history can still be traced down to Pakistan – Indus Civilization. Moreover, Pakistan being one of the cheapest countries in the world is best for budget travelers. Which is why it is said that Pakistan has a lot to offer to every one; not only to travelers, hard core adventurers, mountaineers, and rural tourists, vacationers but also to anthropologists, archeologists, and researchers? (Also for those who want to sit back and enjoy the ride from the comfort of home). Read about my travel experiences at Doodh Patti (Doodh Wali Cahi)- My Cup of Tea.


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Volunteer at TTTC Tiles Workshop

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:52 AM, ,


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"If you steal from one author, it's plagiarism - if you steal from two, it's research," Read the article Plagiarism, Prove it!


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:12 AM, ,

Invited to Join Fine Art of Blogging

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Internet is a lonely place without Blogging; a fine art, science, also economics. Blogs are different to different people and everyone blogs differently. How You Blog asks you to share your views on the phenomenon, blogging style and techniques that have worked well for you.

Join Fine Art of Blogging or read what those able bloggers are writing there.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:24 AM, ,

Dolls Have Aways Been There

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Proof of this is found in the excavations in South America, the Subcontinent, Japan, Italy, Greece, and other sites all over the world. Made out of number of materials like wood, wax, clay, cloth etc., they were not only a toy but used also as religious symbols and cult items for example as miniaturized images of persons.

Even today they are used by many people as fetish. Today, the experts are not sure what was the first purpose of the dolls; as a toy, out of which the cult figure developed or the cult figure which became a toy.

Over and above their value as toys with educational value, dolls are realistic documentation of past and present times and therefore important source of our knowledge about the games, life, living and work conditions and economy. They are important cultural carriers.

Dr Senta Siller established different projects in Pakistan, Cameroon, Columbia, etc., in which small but long-term progress was made towards development of rural areas, help towards self-sustained development, discouragement of urbanization by way of income generating projects in the rural areas through production of certain types of handicraft items. Dolls are manufactured here lovingly and clothed in traditional dresses and accessories. Fabric design and types of clothing are revived and take an important place in daily life.

Dolls from Pakistan: The women project established by Dr Siller in 1993 in the pakistani province of Punjab, which has in the meanwhile also added a men centre, has 120 women members and it is generating income. The women here work not on full-time basis but in a traditional way so that family and field work is not compromised and festivals of different types, common in villages, can be celebrated as usual. The village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka has about 1200 residents. The villagers established the NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama in 1991, which co-operates with the DGFK e.V. (German Society for Promotion of Culture). The Anjuman itself co-operates with six further projects in the country.

Dolls from Cameroun: Three co-operatives (Akwatinuighah, Akaankang, Handicraft CAT) are functioning since 1998 in Bamenda, the capital of the North-West Provinz in Cameroun, which is located near the border to Nigeria. Also this NGO co-operates with the DGFK, Germany. Bamenda has about 60000 residents living on seven hills, who speak eight different languages. Apart from the men of CAT, over 100 women manufacture a variety of handicrafts.

Dolls from Columbia: The co-operative Tantomejor was established in 1999 in Saboya and it works in the meanwhile with three other initiatives. Saboya has about 6000 residents near Chiquinquira, the capital of Departemento Boyaca, north of Bogota. Also this NGO enjoys cooperation of the DGFK. Over 100 women are engaged in the manufacture of handicraft items.

Project discription in other languages


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:52 AM, ,

Thatta Kedona at BBC

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Listen Arjum Wajid from (BBC World Service) Interview; Download.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:31 AM, ,

World's Heaviest Woman

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A New Jersey woman is waging a campaign to become the world's heaviest living woman, admitting that she is as hungry for attention as she is for calorie-rich food.

Donna Simpson, 42, weighs more than 600 pounds (272 kg) and aims to reach 1,000 pounds (455 kg).She is mother of two children, ages 3 and 14,

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said Simpson has submitted a claim for the title of world's heaviest woman to give birth, a claim that is being reviewed.

Among the heaviest women ever recorded was one who reportedly weighed 1,800 pounds (816 kg) and another who reportedly weighed 1,200 pounds (545 kg) at the time of their deaths.

Simpson spends as much as $750 a week on groceries, suffers from Type 2 diabetes and struggles with basic tasks such as cooking and taking a shower.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:52 PM, ,

You Following World Cup?

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Bafana Bafana's merry dance as draw puts a smile on the face of Africa South (Africa 1 Mexico 1)


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:38 PM, ,

German Connections

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Some people live for others. Three honorable German ladies have been living in Pakistan and working to make the life of others better. People of Pakistan passionately recognize the services of these honorable ladies.

Prof. Dr. Annemarie Schimmel (April 7, 1922 - January 26, 2003) was a well known and very influential German scholar who wrote over 500 books and left deep impression on the people of Pakistan.

Annemarie Schimmel received a doctorate in Islamic languages and civilization from the University of Berlin at the age of nineteen. At twenty-three, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburg (Germany), where she earned a second doctorate in the history of religions. A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara (Turkey). There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country. She was a faculty member at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992 and became Professor Emeritus upon her retirement. She was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonn. She published more than 50 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture, and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.

For her work on Islam, sufism or mysticism and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the government of Pakistan honored her with Hilal-e-Imtiaz. She was showered with many other awards from many countries of the world, including the prestigious Peace Prize of the German book trade.

Similarly, Dr. Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau (77 years), commonly known in Pakistan as Leprosy Lady is the founder of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre Karachi and leprosy adviser to federal government. She has spent more than half of her life helping the leprosy patients in Pakistan, a country that is now her own.

“The intensity with which she has worked towards the alleviation of suffering in the northern areas of Pakistan has not changed since the day it began. Subsequently, she moved her efforts to the northern areas of Pakistan, basing herself in Muzaffarabad. Since the Oct 8 earthquake, she has been focusing all her efforts on providing for those still suffering from the disaster,” reads a citation.

The government of Pakistan has conferred Sitari-e-Quaid-i-Azam upon Dr. Ruth Pfau to recognize her selfless work for people in our country.

Annemarie Schimmel had been working in Pakistan in the field of Literature, Dr Ruth Pfau works in Medicine and the third German lady Dr. Senta Maria Anna Siller is working in rural areas of Pakistan to create additional income through self help projects.

Dr. Senta Maria Anna Siller (71 years) studied Graphic Design at the School of Art in Berlin. She did her MA in Archaeology, Philosophy and Education and received a degree of doctorate in History of Arts from the Technical University of Berlin. She served as lecturer and later as Deputy Head of an Art School in Berlin.

Earlier, she earned her first money with silhouettes and illustrations, which along with design became her passion for life. Besides bringing up four children, she continued various activities as a designer (for exhibitions and fairs, children’s cloths, toys and book illustrations) and ran a textile company before she came to Pakistan for the first time in 1965.

After having left civil service and design consultancy, Dr. Senta Siller became honorary manager of self help project in rural Pakistan in 1993 [also in Cameroon (in 1998) and in Colombia (in 1999)]. Main country of her activities is Pakistan from where she is networking with other projects in different countries.

Dr. Senta Siller has organized over five hundred exhibitions, shows and events for income generation for women in rural areas. The focus of her work is “Income generation as a tool of help for self help, poverty alleviation on grass root’s level by ethnic applied arts, the future is in the rural areas and how income generation is necessary there, production of internationally marketable unique and thematic handicraft, eco technology for the independence from central solutions, and the use of communication and information solutions giving chances and opportunities to the people in the rural areas and promotion of rich traditional culture of Pakistan.”

Civil servant appointed for life, Dr. Senta Siller has been conferred different awards like “Floriade” (the Netherlands), “Gestaltetes Spielgut” (Creative Toys-German Toy Industry), “Bundesverdienstkreuz” (highest civil order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) to name a few. Pakistan recognizes her relentless and untiring work in the field of income generation for rural women through self help projects.

Making difference in lives of others is a great accomplishment. I am returning back a part of what life has bestowed upon me,” says Dr. Senta Siller.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:39 AM, ,

Geek Women Who Rule the Web

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The boys’ club of the dot-com era is officially closed. Meet the women launching the websites, starting up the networks, and building the blockbuster blogs of tomorrow. By Joyce C. Tang.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:47 AM, ,

WAC Silk Painting Workshop

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:52 AM, ,

Chitrali Artists at Lok Mela

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Lok Virsa [National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage] was set up to promote research, collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of folklore, oral traditions and regional cultures, raising the awareness of cultural legacy via the above means. Legends, romance, songs, games, rhymes, festivals, rituals, sufi and saintly sayings are systematically collected and preserved in a national archive, which features a separate section for Chitrali culture.

Chitral’s cultural group is comprised of artists and artisans from the remote valleys and villages of Chitral. Included are 4 highly-skilled Kalash ladies representing the ‘artisan at work’ sector of the festival, tasked with making indigenous Kalash handicrafts such as ‘kapu’, chehari, cherao, copesi and shiman. ‘Kapu’ is a conically-shaped bucket made from goat-hair that the ladies carry on their backs for collecting twigs from the forest. ‘Cherao’ is the traditional bucket skillfully and delicately woven from locally available straw. ‘Chihari’ is the waist fastener that is customarily presented to guests as a welcome gesture. Last but not least, copesi is the headdress crafted by the Kalash ladies’ from colorful beads and oyster shells and worn during special festivals.

The orchestra of folk singers and dancers is led by Hazratuddin Wafa and the folk musicians directed by the renowned reed instrumentalist from Chitral, Ustad Hameed Khan from Sonoghoor village in upper Chitral. Their festival repertoire includes old, classical songs that convey messages of love and friendship. These folksongs have been passed down from generation-to-generation for over two thousand years. Aside from providing entertainment and pleasure, they also impart a rich reflection of the culture of Chitral.

Chitral’s pavilion features a pictorial backdrop of the red tinged mountains of Reshun village where the legendary Baba Syar claimed to have taken ‘the color from the red lips of his beloved’. The large-format banner also promotes Chitral as an attractive destination for visitors and it has become popular with tourists who relish posing for photographs with the picture in the background.

The Chitrali artists, who perform several times a day and in the evening, are seated on traditional Chitral carpets placed on a small wooden platform. The artisans, meanwhile, busy themselves at their stalls, where visitors can see displays of traditional Chitrali chugha, pakol and waistcoats being made and displayed.

Mr. Farman Panah, the famous sitar maker from the village of Bang and Muhammad Khan, the traditional Chitrali carpet weaver, are also participating in the festival and have received many visitors. The people, artists and artisans from Chitral district are most grateful and would like to thank the Ministry of Culture and management of Lok Virsa in Islamabad for enabling them to participate at the 2006 Lok Mela. Not only does the festival offer the occasion to promote the talents of folk artists and artisans, but it also provides an opportunity to showcase our culture to those living in cities.

Lok Mela 2006 will go a long way in translating into reality the vision of 2007 as “Visit Pakistan Year,” besides promoting harmony and friendship among different cultures.(report by Shams Uddin, Project Manager CAMAT and Liaison Officer, Chitral Cultural Group).


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:58 AM, ,

Official Beginning of the Strawberry Harvest in Northern Germany

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:09 AM, ,

Pak German Connections

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Pakistan will make its presence felt in every football match of the month long FIFA World Cup beginning June 9 in Germany.

"Pakistan will almost be in every match through their footballs," the Dawn quoted German Ambassador Dr. Gunter Mulack as saying while addressing a press conference at the German Embassy.

Mulack said that despite exporting quality footballs, the Pakistani manufacturers needed to make efforts to promote the game within the country.

The ambassador said that if ever there was a serious initiative from Pakistan seeking German assistance in football, it would be considered positively. "We can look into the possibility of sending a trainer," he added.

World Cup Fever in Pakistan

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:28 AM, ,

Poupées du Monde (French)

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Poupées du monde

Les poupées ont toujours existé. La preuve en est qu'elles ont été découvertes dans des fouilles en Amérique du Sud, dans le Sous-continent, au Japon, en Italie, en Grèce, et sur d'autres sites partout dans le monde. Faites de matériaux très divers tels que le bois, la cire, l'argile, le tissu, etc., elles n'étaient pas seulement un jouet mais étaient aussi utilisées comme des symboles religieux et des objets de cultes : par exemple comme des représentations miniatures de personnes.

Encore de nos jours, elles sont utilisées par de nombreuses personnes comme des fétiches. Aujourd'hui, les experts ne sont pas certains de l'usage premier des poupées : un jouet duquel furent développés des objets de cultes ou une figure de culte qui est devenue un jouet.

Au-delà de leur signification comme jouet avec une fonction éducative, les poupées sont des documents concrets des époques passées et présentes, et sont donc des sources substantielles de connaissance sur les jeux, la vie, les conditions de travail et de vie et l'économie des temps passés. Ce sont alors d'importants vecteurs culturels.

Le Docteur Senta Siller a établi différents projets au Pakistan, au Cameroun, en Colombie, etc., dans lesquels des programmes légers mais à long-terme ont été mis en place pour le développement des zones rurales, durable et autonome, et le découragement de l'urbanisation par des projets permettant de générer des revenus dans les zones rurales, à travers la production de certains types d'objets artisanaux. Les poupées sont ici fabriquées soigneusement et revêtues d'habits et d'accessoires traditionnels. La conception du design et des différents types de vêtements sont renouvellés et prennent désormais une place importante dans la vie quotidienne.

Poupées du Pakistan

Le projet pour femmes, auquel depuis lors s'est ajouté un centre pour hommes, établi par le Dr Siller en 1993 dans la province pakistanaise du Punjab, comporte 120 femmes et génère déjà des revenus. Les femmes ici ne travaillent pas sur une base de plein-temps mais d'une façon traditionnelle pour ne pas compromettre la vie familiale et le travail dans les champs ; les différents festivals, souvent communs à plusieurs villages, peuvent également être célébrés selon l'usage. Le village de Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka a 1200 habitants environ, les villageois y ont créé l'ONG Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama en 1991, qui coopère avec le DGFK e. V. (Association allemande pour la promotion de la culture). Anjuman elle-même, coopère avec six autres projets dans le pays.

Poupées du Cameroun

Trois coopératives (Akwatinuighah, Akaakang, HandiCraft CAT) sont en fonctionnement depuis 1998 à Bamedia, la capitale de la Province du Nord-Ouest du Cameroun, qui est située près de la frontière avec le Nigéria. Cette ONG coopère aussi avec le DGFK allemand. Bamenda comporte environ 60 000 habitants, répartis sur sept collines, qui parlent huit langues différentes. A part les hommes de CAT, plus de 100 femmes fabriquent une grande variété d'objets artisanaux.

Poupées de Colombie

La coopérative Tantomejor a été établie en 1999 à Saboya et fonctionne simultanément avec trois autres initiatives. Saboya a environ 6 000 habitants et est situé près de Chiquinquira, la capitale du département de Boyaca, au nord de Bogota. Cette ONG reçoit également la coopération du DGFK. Plus d'une centaine de femmes sont engagées dans la fabrication d'objets artisanaux.
Related: English Version


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:02 PM, ,

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