Tuesday, 22 October 2013

embroidery, pickles and papadums

Pratima's embroidered priest, photographed in the Hindu Temple

On Thursday whilst at The Hindu Temple (working on the project making memories) the ladies gathered round the table to embroider.  A buzz of conversation, laughter and activity filled the room. There is something magical about a shared creative activity, a chance to gossip, let your hair down and forget mundane everyday tasks for a while. I asked the women for their thoughts on the topic.

Sushila's embroidery in the temple

You don’t feel the same when you’re stitching on your own. It becomes more interesting when you’re working together- you feel more like doing it. We even start singing sometimes when we are doing it.

We used to do the saris together, put sequins on the saris and metallic thread, whatever was the fashion. Friends, family would all get together. Embroidery, making the pickles, papadums, all sorts of things we would get together to make. 

Shashi's embroidery in the temple

In the olden days women would have stayed at home, never work, so there was more time to look after the family and embroider. Cooking was done early in the morning, the main dinner eaten at lunch. Men came home unless working further away, then they’d take tiffin. We’d have a get-together in the afternoons, exactly like this, but in peoples houses- looking after the children at the same time. At a young age girls would be forced to sit down with us, you have to learn all these things. All taught from a young age. We’d serve tea and savory things.

Before marriages we would all sit together and make arrangements and rituals, sit and talk together. So many ritual before marriages. We make one colour scarf for everyone, embroider the boarder, a duppatta. When we’re in prayer, in front of God we cover our heads.

Chandra's embroidery in the temple

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