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[GD Expats] Indian artisan brings traditional art to ICIF

2015-May-15       Source: Szdaily.com

Visitor to the annual ICIF, which opened Thursday, had the chance to meet an interesting Indian artisan, Iqbal Sheikh, who displayed the multicolored bangles he made in Hall 4 of the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. The bangles get their colors from lac, he said.

Visitor to the annual ICIF, which opened Thursday, had the chance to meet an interesting Indian artisan, Iqbal Sheikh, who displayed the multicolored bangles he made in Hall 4 of the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. The bangles get their colors from lac, he said.

“Lac is a resinous substance secreted by an insect called kerria lacca, which hosts on the branches of certain trees and forms a red encrustation around it,” said Sheikh, who has worked in his family’s traditional business since childhood. “The coated branches are cut and the material obtained is washed to remove all impurities,”

Bangles are traditional ornaments worn mostly by women in India where they are considered good luck. Bangles are traditionally red and green.

Sheikh had his workstation inside an Indian booth at the fair. He said he is a “choori-wala,” a producer of hand-made bangles.

“The people are keenly watching me form the bangles in front of their eyes, and many watch, some buy,” he said.

The traditional method of shaping the bangle involves the use of charcoal. Due to fire regulations, Sheikh used a hot plate to make the items. It takes approximately 20 minutes to make one bangle and the cheapest bangle is 10 yuan (US$1.64).

“This is a traditional business and my great grandfather did this and it passed on from generation to generation,” said Sheikh, adding that his wife and five sons are also involved in the business.

This is the first time Sheikh has participated in the ICIF. In the past years, Sheikh, who is in his 50s, traveled to more than 20 countries to show lac-related products at different ceremonies and festivals. In 2012, he won the State Merit Award for his lac paintings. He has performed in front of Hillary Clinton and a former Indian prime minister.

 

Editor: Steven

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