October 28, 2015

Dussehra (Maha Navami) in India

One of our Fair Trade orders has been delayed because of Dussehra (Maha Navami) in India.

Well, I have no idea of what this is about so on Mr Google I found some info, pasted here (reading up on it, I think I want to go - sounds like celebratory fun apart from the importance of it):

What do people do?

Many people of the Hindu faith observe Dussehra through special prayer meetings and food offerings to the gods at home or in temples throughout India. They also hold outdoor fairs (melas) and large parades with effigies of Ravana (a mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka). The effigies are burnt on bonfires in the evening. Dussehra is the culmination of the Navaratri festival.

Ref: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/india/dussehra

Durga Puja symbolises the commemoration of good over evil. It is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety by Oriyas and Bengalis residing in Orissa.

Durga Puja is celebrated in every town and city of Orissa. But mainly the celebration takes place in Cuttack, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Raurkela, Sambalpur, Balaswar and Jaipur.

The three major Pujas of the state are the Chandi medha ("Chandi" means Silver) of Cuttack, Shahid Nagar's Durga Puja and Nayapalli's Durga Puja.

Life comes to a stand-still in the city of Cuttack, Berhampur,  Raurkela and Bhubaneswar as crowds pour into the Puja Mandaps to enjoy the festivities.

Ref: http://www.puribeachresorts.com/festivals-in-puri/dasahara.html

October 15, 2015

The Story of the Andean Girl, Fair Trade, Finger Puppet

Andean Woman Finger Puppet

Our friend Jo who does most of the writing for our products, found some interesting information on our Andean girl handknitted finger puppet.

Andean woman and girls wears a puffy purple polleras with colourful stripes.  In Peru, they wear traditional skirts called "polleras" or "melkkhay". Peruvian skirts are puffy because several are usually worn at the same time. 

Locals can tell a lot about a woman by her hat - whether she is from the city or the country; what region she is from, or even the village.

I wonder what village our Andean Girl comes from? Perhaps its the same village from where we get our finger puppets are produced?


October 13, 2015

Creating Opportunities for Economic Disadvantaged Producers

Fair Trade Blog

People often asking me - what is Fair Trade?  It has taken me many years to really understand this notion, because it just does not have one meaning. The most common perception simply put by people is "oh, it means people are paid fairly".

This is right. But Fair Trade is a lot more and the depth of the topic, its meaning and actions, has led me to the 10 years of working in the "Fair Trade industry".

I thing the most authoritative explanation, as a summary, is the World Fair Trade Organization's document on their webpage - 10 Principles of Fair Trade .

We have produced a summary PDF also for you to look at.

The first Principle is - Creating Opportunities for Economic Disadvantaged Producers. If you read that statement several times, you can start to absorb an essence of what Fair Go Trading does.

How do we do that we will follow up in future blogs.