Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Rural Urban Divide

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Once upon a time, so begin old fairy tales and stories, the city dweller who are the bearers of the urban culture are filled with pride, particularly when they ponder upon what they have achieved.

The city air gives freedom, one moves from the confines of the village life into the large settlements, finds work and so many new possibilities. The right to education opens new perspectives for the offspring. The progress, in general, makes life easier and creates conveniences.

Gladly accepting what is told, we arbitrarily become the nucleus of misunderstandings. We think we know but actually do not know, we only believe. A theory is produced for this reality, error quotas are multiplied and the distance to the actual reality increases even further in the process. The discrepancies give way to total disorientation, which paves the way for perplexity and false solutions.

The desire of the parents to give their children good education as millions of other parents anywhere is understandable. The investment here is for good and successful future. Parents spend good money for the future and this also serves the education industry: the publishers, schools, colleges, universities and other allied services!

Critical souls would be surprised at what is taught at schools and universalities, what is being achieved? Whom does the apparent diversity help ?

Imagine this: If all drivers would get a car for themselves and drive, how quick would they reach their destinations? If everyone would get a television and watch it with an average of two eyes, how many programmes can be watched at the same time? If the literate public worldwide should read even a portion of the advertised material, how extensive is the multitude of the literature, and in fact the quality. If all learners should absorb the information being fed, how big is the possibility of deviations?

These unpleasant questions could provide food for reflection and ultimately to the question: What can one do against this development?

One answer could be the Learning on the Project. This means as a consequence that the widely propagated comfortable way within given time frame is not taken and laborious way of the individual effort is chosen instead. Experience is evaluated independent of any given structures. Gaining knowledge is not an experience but rather squandering of individual resources.

It is clear that in future the number of industrial friendly consumers will be absolutely in majority. Those who develop new ideas while maintaining their traditional culture will be surely in the minority.

Parents and educationists must seriously ponder upon the question whether the support of the consumption friendly path really brings us further. At an imaginable point of time in future where the city population is in majority, how is the city air is supposed to make one feel free? Where would the public educated on the basis of prestige find work if they are trained to be consumers. How will the pleasantries of progress help us, if they only lead to dependency and loss of self-supporting mechanisms?


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:00 PM, ,

Who Evolves Better?

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A recent study revealed that women are getting better looking through evolution; meanwhile, men are staying the same. After following more than 2,000 people through four decades of life, the study showed that attractive women had 16 percent more children than average-looking chicks and that beautiful people are 36 percent more likely to have a daughter as their firstborn. All those gorgeous daughters mean more beautiful women than in past generations.

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:27 AM, ,

Rural Lifestyle

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Best mud hut in Thatta Ghulamka Dgeroka

Best exterior

Best brick house

Thatta Kedona stall

Growing with Thatta Kedona


Volunteers at work

Some of those who work togather to make all that happen

More images in daily zeitgeist down the sidebar.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:23 AM, ,

Kalash Head Gear

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What do the eyes say?

Related: Changing Chitral


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:43 AM, ,

Extreme Housing and Economy

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Dr Norbert Pintsch

The question is not, what is technologically and scientifically possible, but what is reasonable and sensible from a social point of view.

In the previous article Extreme Housing (Technobiz Dec 2006) already a comparison ha been made between the traditional culture, the current situation and the future developments. The global situation require a completely new approach, because the housing of the future, including the necessary construction structures, will not take place at the current level.

The biggest brake for the future developments is the economy itself, which is today considered to be a solution for all problems and which is characterized by utopian construction models, which are far apart from the expected changes of the future.

New production locations, increasing infra-structure costs in the suburban areas, increasing unproductive sector, increasing productivity of the individual work place.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:52 PM, ,

Dolls of the World

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:11 PM, ,

Students from LUMS in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:36 AM, ,

Top 10 Marital Problems

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Marriage is an institution, though sometimes it can feel like a mental institution. When yet another argument about your unwillingness to have kids follows hot on the heels of a fight about the laundry you forgot to do, it’s natural to feel like you’re going a little crazy. Don’t fret. Spending so much time in another human being’s company will necessarily result in bouts of temporary insanity. The key is to not let these moments of marital madness wreck what is otherwise a healthy and loving partnership with your spouse.

The first step is to recognize that you’re not alone. All marriages are imperfect and most of them are imperfect in exactly the same ways. The list of marital problems you encounter in a healthy marriage isn’t so long and most of them are pretty manageable.

Ask Men has narrowed the list down to these top 10 marital problems. Read here

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:00 AM, ,

Thatta Kedona Links

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action five e.V Bonn
Built Heritage
Cameroon Centre for Appropriate Technology
Die Induskultur (German)
Dolls of the World - Sonopses of a BookDorrit Yacoby Museum
Dorrit-Yacoby-Museum Slide Show
Greenland ProjectInternational Dolls Museum , Flateyri
Joachim PoLzer's [docfilmunit]
Lahore Museum
Landgut Borsig
Light Within
Plot of a DocumentaryTangled Thread
Tanto Mejor Por La Paz, Saboya
Thatta Kedona at ATP
Thatta Kedona at Asian Smiles
Thatta Kedona at Crystal Clear
Thatta Kedona at Desicritics
Thatta Kedona at Education by Sistrunk
Thatta Kedona at Metro Blog
Thatta Kedona at Teeth Maestro
Thatta Kedona at The Organic Brew
Thatta Kedona's photo stream
Tum jo chaho to sunno
Daily KhabarNamaDolls Village
Ny Mafia


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:38 PM, ,

Dolls Toys and More

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Free download Dolls, Toys and More - eBook by S A J Shirazi

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:04 PM, ,

Research at Dolls' Village

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Students from the University of the Punjab carried out research study in Thatta Ghulmaka Dheroka (TGD), a Pakistan village in the back waters of Punjab now famous all over the world as Doll Village.

Research was carried out in cooperation with Social Welfare Office, Okara. One of the total 18 students’ groups that comprised of Gulshan Gloria, Ayesha Latif, Sabiha Latif, Aqeela Fayyaz, Ameena Sehar and Sidra Pervez evaluated living and economic conditions in TGD under the supervision of Professor Tahir Aziz Chaudhry.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:15 AM, ,

Pakistan Mobile Modes

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Double click to enlarge - Images by Dr. Norbert Pintsch

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

Homes and Houses in Rural, Urban and Fully Autonomous Entities

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Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch (DGFK, Germany) & Aaron Pinsker (IPC, USA)
In Cooperation With:
SPARC (Ghayyoor Obaid) & TTTC (Omar M. Ali), Pakistan
CAT (Njini King Caro), Cameroon
TM (Ricardo Coslez), Colombia

This article again refers to “housing”, the architectural, economical and philosophical aspects of which have already been discussed. In this article we will discuss the scientific and technological aspect (Architecture, Urban & Regional Planning) which however are not totally independent of other areas of the culture. As clear-cut diagrams and illustrations mean more than words for the engineer and scientist, the accompanying text may be considered a literary explanation of the important inter-relationship. A very simple text for the illustrations would probably not appropriately describe the total picture.

In the following we will discuss the very basic questions of "housing" and describe the range of possibilities between the Rural Entity and the Fully-Autonomous entities, in the middle of which is the most widely practiced concept of Urban entity. Seen from a total perspective, the Urban entity is the subject as well as the object, because the actors in this system are not able to act freely as they are bound by the compulsions and dictations of economy. The actors are forced to act in the way as they do because the system does not allow any other alternative. And: the actors in the system don’t even realize that they are not acting of their own but actually are being acted upon !

The complexity of the urban infra-structure has reached its technological climax, the innovativeness of which is marginal. Should the human organism be laid out in the manner which corresponds to modern industrial way of production, i.e. with highly differentiated functions, it would require a space of more than 10 cricket fields. This example amply describes the limitations of the so-called development. It is in-effective, wasteful, ruins the environment and leads to over-exploitation of resources.

Dubai as a metaphor of out-dated construction techniques is suitable with its fantastic design-results at all levels and without any logic. The model therefore is: A major destruction of environment and misuse of resources is taking place through short-term investments and the mis-use of foreign labourers, who are even happy and not aware that they are actually contributing to destruction of their own traditional cultures. The transformation actually reflects a successful implementation of a totally-outdated economic system, which becomes possible only when the state actors do not realize their mistake and it is characteristic of the ruling elite.

The terminology used in the illustrations enable us to imagine what is coming and to develop a point of view over it. The "new" is actually not really new, rather it has developed parallel to the existing system without being noticed.

In the existing system, generally named as Urban Entity (UE), there are hardly any logical repairs possible in the system as these under the garb of "Problem Solutions" actually represent a "Problem Deferment"!. Solutions have to be judged according to their making sense because, not everything that can be accomplished also makes sense! Infact, only the least will make sense. The sense is actually made when a self-restriction is imposed. “Luxury” in this sense would be the voluntary sacrifice of the available and restriction of the consumption!

Terms like “Sustainability”, “Resource Protection”, “Environmental Protection” are empty words, as long as they are not filled with logical content, they do not remain without influencing the existing system and the relevant behavior and way of life. “Renewable Energy”, is another empty term, which suggests something, which is scientifically nonsense, because energy actually cannot be renewed (see: Law of Conservation of Energy). At the most, it can be transferred (energy change). In this way we can also explain another phenomena related to the educational sector: The number of educated persons does rise with the increase in population and holders of academic degrees but not necessarily the number of intelligent persons!

Continuous creation of newer models in Marketing of products is a waste of energy and resources. This also refers to sectors, which appear far from the industrial background, namely the health sector, the educational sector etc. In totality these measures are actually a mountain of income generating measures. The residents of an Urban Entity are forced to submit to these measures. In the past when the total number of participants was very limited,, the system still functioned on the limited scale but its deficiencies become immediately evident when applied on a global scale.

Urban Life today means:

- expensive living,

- high density of residents per square kilometer,

- increasing infra-structure costs with increasing productivity of the individual, who
works on more efficient machines

- sinking tax income through uniform and global production (the individuals are
exchangeable, when the same thing is produced globally),

- higher water consumption,

- higher energy consumption,

- increasing environmental pollution,

- increasing social problems,

- unhealthy way of living, etc.

The more affluent here can equalize some of the problems through their purchasing power, but they are actually part of an old system and actually live on the cost of the general public.

The technology therefore needs to avail literary and philosophical help in order to clarify things otherwise it will continue to confuse problem-deferment with problem-solution. It is necessary to prefer voluntary self-restraint over the income generation!

The article can go into more depth in professional literature, where it reaches mostly the specialists. In case of a holistic approach, there are apparently unimportant remarks regarding other areas, which may normally appear not to belong to the subject area, but are helpful in understanding the total picture by the reader. The article about "Autonomous Entity” points out information about a closed system or hides behind new ideas (for example the Zero and Plus energy houses). The transportation system points to the Flettner Rotor in the context of mobility and water and the Savonius Rotor in the context of Energy Transfer.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:48 AM, ,

Distribution of books

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Free books and stationary are distributed among students of two government primary schools in village TGD at the start of academic session every year. Last year (2011) Aamir Rafique (of FPAC) from Lahore was the chief guest on the eve of books distribution. Here are some images of the event:

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:59 AM, ,

Certificate of Merit

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Mehraj Farhan of Thatta Kedona (A-e-F-e-A) was invited by Lok Virsa to attend Innovative Training for Skilled Artisans and Workers workshop that was help from August 30 to September 12, 2012 in Islamabad.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:13 AM, ,

Zephanja Arzt in TGD

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New volunteer Zephanja Arzt is in Thatta Ghlamka Dheroka. The young volunteer is busy in product development at TTTC for men. He is working on Ice Fix equipment that can produce ice, in small quantities in 5 minutes, without using gas and electricity. Zephanja Arzt will also spend time teaching English conversation to the students in Government Primary School.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:20 AM, ,

Harrappa near Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka

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Research by Sonia Saleem

Harappa or “Hari-Yupuya” as mentioned in the “Rig Veda” marked the height of urban development of the Indus valley civilization at 2600 B.C.E till 1900 B.C.E. for 700 years. Harappa is located in the present day province of Punjab, near the city of Sahiwal, and in its full glory was the perfect proto-type of a fully developed city of the Indus valley civilization. It was the perfect reflection of the kind of organized thought which the Rig Veda emphasized. [Wheeler, Kenoyer].[go over page25 at the end].

Harappa has the same humble beginnings as any other large city. It began as a village settlement, gradually growing over the centuries to accommodate renowned craft industries, world accessible markets, and clean residential areas and cemeteries. Harappa is 128,800 hinterland, and 150 hectares in area. Harappa city was so developed and central to the Indus Empire that the name Harappa became synonymous with the dominant culture at the time, followed by all the other cities in the Indus region, right down to Kutch on the coast in present day India. [Rehman, Kenoyer]. Accordingly, the ruins of Harappa are three miles in circumference. The ruins of this city are split up into mounds, labeled from mound A, to G by archeologists, making points easily identifiable. The mounds were common to all Indus cities, and the higher the mound, the more central and important that area was in the city. For example the citadel mound was almost always the highest mound. This archetype Indus city was built on the east-west, north –south axis, and was surrounded by four city walls with a large entrance gate on the western wall. The gate was 2.8 meters wide, and 3 to 4 meters high, [Kenoyer], fixed with rooms or look out posts at the top. [Kenoyer]. Inside the gateway there was a grand space for a market making it easier for goods to be transported in and checked, taxed and sold. The Ox and cart was the method used to transport these goods, and the entrance was just big enough to allow one cart in and out at a time. Once inside the city gate, and past the market space, a network of roads led in to the centre of the city. The north road led to all the shell and agate workshops, the west road lead to the copper-craft workshops. Evidence of a caravanserai is found outside, and south of the main city gate. It contained houses, drains, baths, a wel,l and stables for horses. [Kenoyer 55].

It was a complete and accommodating stop for traveling traders and merchants, as Harappa was an integral part of an ancient trade route. Traders in fact helped the infra-structure flourish in the region. Kenoyer mentions that a modern road used at present outside of the city gates, near the old site of the caravanserai was in all likelihood laid out 4500 years ago by Harappan traders. This caravanserai was used for post transfers along the route as well, serving Lahore and Multan. This caravanserai was kept in use for thousands of years later by traveling traders, again verifying the fact that the city of Harappa was situated in a strategic position for trade routes.

A second gate was located 200 meters east of the first one. This gate led into a suburb of the city which also produced ornaments, crafts and other artifacts for trade. This gate also had a caravanserai approximately 50 meters south outside, to accommodate the traders who came to this part of the city. [Kenoyer 55].

There is no evidence of a palace or a huge residency for a monarch or ruler in the centre of the city. However there is a large building amongst many discernible houses in the northern suburb of the city. But it is thought that it was a storehouse, as there are many circular work-platforms upon which craft work, and ceramics were made. [Kenoyer 55]. According to the map of Harrapa, made by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, besides the carvanserai’s, the granaries, cemeteries, and the workmen’s quarters were outside the city walls. From the map it also seems like the western wall contained most of the gates accessible to the city, as well as the main entrance. The expansion of Harappa was gradual, and migrants from other cities, and nations were not unusual. However one culture was dominant in Harappa, and in fact Harappa culture dominated the rest of the cities too. This ensured peace and harmony throughout the Indus region. Even before Harappa became the epicenter of culture, peace and harmony dominated the Indus region. Non-violence, even in the form of self-defense, was a part of Indus religion, thus all invasions or migrations were not resisted, nor were there any clashes amongst tribes. The gates of the city were not constructed to counter any kind of military attack, nor were the walls made for self-defense. Walls surrounding mounds with in the city just demarcated different areas. [Kenoyer 56]. An imminent threat of war was not even an idea or a thought in the Indus valley. A uniform culture propagated peace. The city catered specifically to the smooth running of trade, and business, another integral of Indus religion.

Mohenjo-daro, or “Mound of the Dead” is thought to be similarly built to Harappa as all Indus cities possessed a common design reflecting Vedic, organized thought. It can also be prided in being the first city in the world to have a full-fledged draining system. A vast draining system for a whole city was invented in the land of the Indus.

The city of Mohenjo-daro is 169,260 sq km hinterland, and is 250 hectares. [Kenoyer]. This also suggests that Mohenjo-daro is older than Harappa. However, the remains of Mohenjo-daro are not all complete as they are at the excavated site of Harappa. There are no physical remains of walls and gateways, but the size of the foundations of these walls surrounding the city suggest that these walls were probably grander than those of Harappa. Mohenjo-daro was frequented by floods, which is the main reason why it did not flourish in the same way that Harappa did, and was probably the cause of its ultimate destruction. The eastern citadel at the time was situated very close to the Indus River. Flooding in this region is still a concern and a problem, even though the nearest branch of the river has shifted 3 miles away to the east. [Wheeler].

A Buddhist stupa and monastery were found on top of the western citadel, and were built there several centuries after the demise of the Indus civilization, in 200 B.C.E. Between the complete demise of the Indus civilization, and the spread of Buddhism, no other city as big as Mohenjo-daro existed in this region. Mohenjo-daro was thus built as a grid, organized on a north-south, east-west axis. It was built as a slope, obviously to counter the floods. The western citadel was the highest mound, which gradually ran down east, making the eastern citadel the lowest mound. Similar to Harappa, the highest mound marked the more important, central part of the city, where dignitaries and rulers lived, and probably was the hub for trade in this part of the Indus Empire.

Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were the capital cites of the Indus civilization, however the Indus River was not the only water-way which was included in this civilization. The Ghaggar-Hakra River was the other river feeding the Indus valley civilization, but dried up over the centuries to become the Cholistan desert. It ran through the areas of present day Punjab and Sindh, parallel and east of the Indus. The capital cities, and the cities of Ganweriwala, Rakhigarhi, were situated on different points of the banks of the Indus, fundamentally to be a part of the trade routes. The latter two covered only 80 hectares each in area, but were just as important for trade. Dholavira covered 100 hectares in area, and was the most furthest away from the centers, but was situated on the Rann of Kutch, which is now present day Indian Gujarat. Thus it served as a good base to import and export goods beyond the Arabian Sea, and fish, and sea shells found to be supplied and channeled around the Indus civilization. These smaller cities were built much in the same organized, grid like manner as the capitals. Indus architecture can be defined as logical, neat, functional, simple, and strives for order and organization. [Kenoyer, Wheeler]. Religion and trade routes were evidently the crux and core of the existence of these cities.

“Life is one long process of getting tired.” [Samuel Butler.] A territorial shift of Indus culture to the Ganges region; .

All things, great or small must come to an end. A great, thriving, and peaceful civilization such as the Indus civilization surprisingly did come to an end. It is thought that environmental changes, and tectonic plate shifts under the earth helped in its demise. Natural causes suggest an evolution, a slow and steady gradual change from the center of trade commerce shifting east to other major water systems in the sub-continent. The entire civilization shifted east, and south.

According to Sir Mortimer Wheeler, the exact cause is ambiguous. He says “Over-ambitious wars, barbarian invasions, dynastic or capitalistic intrigue, climate, the malarial mosquito have been urged severally in one context or another as an over-all cause.” [126, Wheeler.] Thus there is not a single cause for the demise of the Indus civilization. Perhaps it is safe to say that as a civilization that describes a population, it did not really demise, but moved. As a race, the Indus civilization is alive, and has evolved, and the people are known as Pakistani’s today. A history of the Indus civilization as a race is a history of shift and change, but gradual change and evolution, not dramatic upheavals or revolution. The Indus people did not die off. They just simply moved around the vast sub-continent due to unavoidable environmental circumstances. And since the time of the Aryan invasions, the inter-play with merchants from around the Gulf and Mesopotamia, and the rest of the sub-continent, the Indus valley race has always been subjected to changes. It was an area that primarily welcomed foreign influences, for strong trade ties. Racial intermingling and foreign influences were natural features of the Indus valley civilization B.C.E. Vedism developed with Aryan interjection, which eventually developed in to Brahamism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Trade made the Indus region famous, and attractive to foreigners. A history of the Indus region is a history of invasions.

As an Empire, as a fantastic, old, and rooted geo-economical force, the Indus valley civilization did come to an end. Mohenjo-daro was in all probability named “Mound of the dead”, because it was a city that was perpetually flooding, causing reoccurring destruction and reconstruction. There was a point where the population thought it wiser to move in the end, instead of reconstructing. The floods were as frequent as annual; the River Indus would swell each year due to rain and melting snow. It gradually became increasingly undesirable, unsafe and completely uninhabitable. Evidence of extreme flooding was still apparent as silt-clay deposits lay over the entire city; over the debris at the time of its excavation. Underneath the mass slush of clay were buried layers upon layers of brick platforms upon which the residents of the city kept rebuilding their homes and shops after a recent flood. [Wheeler]. According to research done by Dr. Dales in 1960, sea trade had actually stopped along the Makran Coast with the Persian Gulf around 1900 B.C.E. because of frequent flood-destruction making Mohenjo-daro unfit for international trade, and markets. This meant that the demise of Mohenjo-daro was inevitable. [Wheeler]. In fact residents of the city who could afford to move and rebuild their lives in other cities had found it more feasible to leave, consequently turning the affluent city of Mohenjo-daro in to a desperate slum. The focus of trade thus shifted to Harappa and the Rann of Kutch and its urban city Dholavira became the sea route for Persian trade. Harappan success was thus also inevitable.

Harappa did not demise as a city, as natural calamity did not hit its path. However, the importance of Harappa as the hallmark of Indus culture did shift.

It is mentioned above repeatedly that Harappan culture defined Indus culture as a whole, by 2600 B.C.E onwards. This period was marked by the height of the Indus region’s success as a flourishing, and progressive civilization. However 1900 B.C.E onwards saw a gradual shift of the territorial centre of culture from the Indus region to the middle, the Ganges River region. This was also known as the late Harappan phase. Indus culture, also known as Harappan culture shifted a long with its people, giving space for it to evolve into a new civilization, by accumulating new beliefs. Harappan unity broke down in to fragmented, smaller societies, spread-out as far as Afghanistan, and Central Asia in the north-west, and the Ganga-Yamuna Rivers in the south-east. Opportunity cost? Or just plain opportunity? Buddhism evolved around 600 B.C.E and spread though-out the sub-continent, whilst continuing to endorse the importance of trade. Most traders and merchants were Buddhists, as this knowledge system believed in equality, as opposed to the Aryan tradition of social hierarchy. Trade routes thus spread, resulting in more invasions, more political upheavals, more trade, more migrations, and a spread of Buddhism. Most caravanserais were also Buddhist monasteries, where Buddhist monks were ready to serve the weary traveling merchant by 300-200 B.C.E. Alexander the Great arrived in 326 B.C.E. only to begin a new era of culture which was a mixture of Greek and Buddhist culture known as Ghandara culture. Indus culture had evolved in to a more mature school of thought, as well as holding on to the importance of trade, and was more wide-spread. It allowed for the development of areas, such as Gujurat, and other water systems, such as The Yamuna-Ganga systems by being included in the ever expanding trade-routes. [Kenoyer].

Other smaller cities and villages around the Indus region demised simply because of a shift in the direction of the mighty river, causing most river beds to simply dry out completely. This left agricultural development in the pits. People had to move east. Besides trade, and agriculture, Indus art and craft practices were also kept alive. Pottery technology flourished, and saw more animals being included on these pots for decoration. It thus became easy to tell how far Indus culture spread and evolved. [Kenoyer].

This new tradition came to be known as the Indo-Gangetic tradition, a very valuable link which has determined the course of history through-out the sub-continent, and still defines the culture of these two regions today. This link marked a new level of development for the settling communities by 300 B.C.E. However, it was a new kind of development which saw the rise of small city-states run by monarchies, armies, metal weapons used for combat, horse-drawn chariots instead of ox-pulled ones, and of course, politics became the game of power.

The Indo-Gangetic link unarguably defines the main-stream cultural atmosphere of Pakistan today. It is intrinsically a territorial link; the people of the Indus River established it with the Ganga River, out of the sheer human instinct to survive. The Indus valley civilization did not demise in entirety. It lost a part of itself in the form of the city of Mohenjo-daro, as well as smaller cities in the south, and Gulf trade along the Makran coast. But by shifting east, it gained another water system which helped develop Indus valley culture, thought, religion, and trade. The history of Indus culture is a history of territorial shift. It naturalizes the idea of diverse ethnicities, not only existing together, but inter-breeding to make new ethnicities. All this has taken place over the course of 5000 years, and in one land. To ignore this, is to ignore our fundamental cultural history. Our culture is an indigenous culture by virtue of our changing landscape. The people of the Indus influenced the Ganges River region primarily, and not vice-versa. The culture that is practiced today is the culture that has been practiced over the centuries in the Indus valley. It is safe to say that the history of the sub-continent began in the Indus region.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:30 AM, ,

Dolls Shop

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For Questions contact Dr. Norbert Pintsch and for appointment at Lahore Show Room, Call Ilyas (0301-8456986).

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:51 AM, ,

Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch back in Pakistan

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Prof. Dr. Norbert Pintsch, the seniro German expert and one of the founders of Thatta Kedona, is arriving in Pakistan on September 13, 2012.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:42 AM, ,

This is Pakistan - Slide Show

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Pakistan Slide Show
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:00 PM, ,

Stars of Thatta Kedona

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The cluster of mud and brick houses in the plains of Punjab, Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka (aka dolls village) looks like a typical Pakistani village about 80 kilometres away from Lahore and 40 kilometres from Indus civilization ruins in Harappa. There is no gas or telephone in the village. No asphalt roads lead to it. Yet it is different, the beautiful dolls and other handicrafts made by the village folks are collectors' delight all over the world. Influencers from Indus civilization from nearby Harappa and modern techniques brought by the German volunteers can be seen in the village together.

The dolls made in the village are on display in international doll museum in Iceland, prestigious galleries and showrooms in Pakistan and abroad. TGD village doll project was one of the 767 worldwide projects presented in the "Themepark" at expo 2000 in Hannover (Germany) as an example of thinking of twenty first century. Earlier, the dolls from Pakistan participated in international toy fair in Nuremberg. These dolls show how culture goes beyond simple work of art and becomes collaboration among applied and natural sciences as well as other forces that affect our lives.

Thatta Kedona is a project, first of its kind, in rural area where handmade quality dolls and toys are crafted using all indigenous material and traditional designs based on cultural and folklore themes. The workmanship of the dolls and toys has acclaimed international recognition and clientele through their participation in numerous international events, exhibitions, fairs and display at International Doll Museum Iceland and Deutsche Gesellschafr zur Foerderung der Kultar, Germany. These toys are the embodiment of dreams, hopes and most of all self-reliance of the hands, which breathe a part of the soul into them.

How all this started? A Pakistan studying in Germany, Amjad Ali who is a native of village TGD invited his German teachers Dr. Senta Siller to visit his village back home. Dr. Senta Siller along with Dr. Norbert Pinstch came to the village where they were presented a doll made by a local woman. Dr. Senta Siller was impressed by the doll and liked the natural and simple village life. She decided to work for the village; established NGO Anjumane-e-Falah-e-Aama and started community based Woman Art Centre in TGD in 1992. The aim of this centre is to involve local womenfolk in productive, creative and healthy income generating activities. For men Dr. Norbert Pintsch established Technology Transfer and Training Centre (TTTC). This created awareness and built confidence among the village folks and they started making dolls and toys on self-help biases that are marketed all over the world. The village and its residents are benefiting in the process.

This is a holistic project. Handicraft is in the spot on the stage but the project has a cultural philosophy. Education, science, agriculture, hydrogeology (drinking water project), appropriate technology, public health, economy (marketing, distribution), tourism and communication, are all in practice.

TTTC is concentrating on improved agricultural techniques and other suitable jobs for men. Also, carpenters, blacksmiths and tailors in the village are profitably involved in production for the TTTC for men. On Dr. Norbert Pintsch's arrival in Pakistan this time (November 2007), Nation took a chance to ask him about goals, the motives and motivations.

"The goals of the project are self-help activities at a grass roots levels, holistic village development, empowerment of women, income generation, and literacy and vocational training, says Dr. Norbert Pintsch. The philosophy working behind this selfless work is "preservation of cultural heritage, reduction of migration to cities by creating additional income in the village and future is in the rural areas," he added.

Dolls from Pakistan in authentic attires of the specific tribes, communities and areas and thematic toys tempt tourists and diplomats. They collect these dolls as a souvenir of the time they spent in Pakistan. "During last seven years, the Pakistani dolls have travelled in suitcases of our client to 40 different countries. They (dolls) sit in the ambassadors' residences not only in Islamabad, but accompany them to the next and second next posting. I have met TGD dolls in the Japanese ambassador's home in Jakarta and also in the German embassy in Damascus," tells Dr. Norbert Pintsch with pride and pleasure. "Part of the artists go where ever the dolls go," says a young artist. Each doll has a small plate attached carrying the name of the doll maker.

Doll making is one of the oldest and popular folk art in Pakistan. Simple stuffed dolls are made for children particularly in rural areas where people are still striving for the attainment of basic needs. The main difference of previous doll making and the modern techniques taught by Dr. Senta is that she has introduced variety in size and shapes and dresses them in colourful costumes with attentions to details. This has resulted in high quality soft toys to cater to demands of the gift market.

Work of Dr. Norbert Pintsch and Dr. Senta Siller has not only moved the people of area but also raised a spacious and simple building for the Women Art Centre and TTTC with the help of different donors. Now there are as many as 120 women from the age of 24 to 40 working in both the centres making dolls dressed in regional (Punjabi, Sindhi, Pathan, Balochi, Kashmiri and Kalash) embroider costumes, miniatures, hand knitted shawls tin rickshaws and other toys and earning their living. They are making their own lives better and strengthening their families. "They (the women) are moving towards true equality and independence" says a doll maker who has twelve year of schooling, is married in this village and working in the Centre.

Village TGD is changing. The relative prosperity has beginning to show. Villagers are putting their children, particularly the girls in school. The Woman Art Centre is also playing a part in the well being of the villagers. The Centre has provided furniture and other equipment to the primary school in village and opened a well equipped health care centre. An annual quality of life competition is held in the village when best houses are selected in three different categories.

This seems to be one of the unique and best self help project anywhere in Pakistan.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:55 PM, ,

Thatta Kedona Stall at Alhamra Art Gallery

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:40 AM, ,

Celebrating traditions

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I am glad to be a small part of beautiful tradition of one child one tree being practices by Thatta Kedona in remote Punjab village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka (aka Dolls' Village) located at the bank of River Ravi near Gogera. The NGO AFA presents one fruit tree on the birth of a baby and one flower tree on a wedding. Results: almost every household in Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka has a fruit and flower tree in their yards (in addition to their own kitchen garden). And it looks so good; refreshing.

This year the beautiful ceremony of handing over fruit and flower trees and celebration of 18 years of tradition was held in BHU. Here are some of the images of the event. Everyone missed Dr. Senta Siller, the originator of the tradition, who could come due to her engagements in Germany. Thanks to Dr. Norbert Pintsch who is still carrying on the work and traditions in the village.[X-posted from Light Within]

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:21 AM, ,

Global Village

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A possibility for the participation of a Pakistani NGO at the Global Village of the Dubai Shopping Festival for exhibiting and offering its outstanding handicrafts products emerged in 2000 on the invitation of the consulate general of Pakistan in Dubai.

The first participation in the fair followed in 2001 and was quite successful right from the start, -reports of the local media also confirmed the success of advertising and media attention.

The stand in the Pakistan Pavillion through the courtesy of the pakistani commercial counsellor however required careful organization, transport, resolution of visa matters and schooling of the the village NGO staff as well as locating cheap accomodation in Dubai.

Two young women as well young men from the village NGO have participated in the festival uptill now. A german volunteer was also found as a temporary arrangement to bridge the staff requirement at the stand. Additionally, we also succeeded in winning a permanent customer for the products at this temporary forum so that it became possible to sell the products over the whole year.

An arabic pair of dolls was specially developed by the pakistani NGO for the arabian market, which can be purchased on the spot as well as orders cab also be placed. Local volunteers are also helpful in the order processing and they have also participated in village project in Pakistan.

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:59 PM, ,

Thatta Kedona Dolls Makers

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The idea behind the Dolls of the World took birth in Pakistan when Thatta Kedona - a self help project - started in small Punjab village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka in Pakistan and NGO Anjuman-e-Falah-e-Aama (AeFeA) was registered in 1999. The rest is history as they say.

AeFeA has grown multidimensional over time. Now AeFeA cooperates with six local NGOs all over Pakistan from Karachi to Hunza and in many countries around the globe. In Pakistan, the project also enjoys cooperation of prestigious educational institutions – Bahaud Din Zakriya University Multan, Indus Valley School for Art and Architecture, Karachi, School of Visual Art, Lahore, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi – interested in heritage, culture and or agriculture.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:40 PM, ,

Pakistan Truck Art

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:00 AM, ,

Internet Radio

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Internet radio is essentially the same as regularly broadcast radio, with a few distinguishing characteristics. Whereas there is a minimal lag time with regular radio because it broadcasts through the air, Internet radio has a lag time of 2.5 to 10 seconds or so, depending on the server. Internet radio is streamed, and so does not involve downloading. You simply log on to the particular site and in it comes.

Receiving the stream is much like listening to your MP3 player, as the format is the same. Several formats are on offer, but the MP3 and ACC formats are currently the most frequently used. As the medium continues to find its footing, there will likely be modifications, which are difficult to predict today.

Coming to village Thatta Ghulamka Ghulamka Dheroka known as dolls village, Internet Radio will empower the rural community in the rustic village and also offer them information on the subjects of their interests. Stay tuned, the regular broadcost is scheduled to start here soon.

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:43 AM, ,

Pottery Workshop with Monika Kuppler

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:00 PM, ,

Thatta Kedona Success Story 1990-2010

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TGD Success Story-Dolls of the World-International NGO project
Income Generation for Women and Men in Rural Araes

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:00 AM, ,

Dr. Senta Siller with Sabohi Jamshed at PTV

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Dr. Senta Siller with Sabohi Jamshed from PTV News. Thatta Kedona footage will be run on PTV on the eve of International Women’s Day.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:01 AM, ,

Difference between NGO and GO

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Even if generally and in the meanwhile the term NGO has degraded into Sham-NGO, an effort is made to describe the most important functions of such an entity.

Contrary to a GO (Government Organization) and a Firm (prive or public limited company, etc.) the offices of management in an NGO are honorary positions, i.e. the president, treasurer etc. do not receive any remuneration for their work. The members of the NGO are not salaried employees, rather they work according to their own possibilities and necessities of the NGO, because contrary to the above mentioned entities, the NGO posesses neither the annual budget nor can it operate in a perspective.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:34 AM, ,

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