Handicrafts Exhibition – 20 to 24 November 2014 in Kathmandu in Nepal
The handicrafts Exhibition was opened on 20 November 2014 at Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu . It was a side event of the SAARC Summit along with the 12th Trade Fair of Nepal. His Excellency Mr. Mahesh Basnet, the Honorable Minister for the Ministry of Industry inaugurated the Exhibition as the Chief Guest of Honor. The officials from the Federation of Handicrafts Association of Nepal (FHAN), Mr. Hem Ratna Shakya and the Director of SAARC Cultural Centre, Mr. G. L.W. Samarasinghe welcomed the guests and addressed the participants and the invited guests.
A total of 57 participants participated at the Handicraft Exhibition from the Member States :
There were about 200 other stalls for the 12th Trade Fair of Nepal from other countries and Nepali traders at the Exhibitions.
One day Design Workshop was held on 22 November 2014 at the Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap attended by other invited guests and handicraft artisans.
The Resource persons Mr. Chandra Shekhar Shaha from Bangladesh, Mr. Lam Kezang from Bhutan, and Mr. B.B Paul from India spoke on the handicrafts and designs.
Mr. Raj Kumar Shakya, a well known artist and sculptor and Mr. Bikash Ratna Shakya, former President of FHAB and one of the organizers from Nepal and Dr.Buddhi Keerthisena, Chairman, National Craft Council from Sri Lanka spoke on the subjects.
The interactive session was interesting as lots of questions were asked and issues raised regarding the challenges facing the handicrafts industry in the onslaught of modernization.
The review meeting for the Cultural Mapping of the Handicrafts Industries was carried on 23November2014 at the same venue at the Tourism Board Office. It was decided that the next review meeting will be sometime in June 2015 in Colombo with the plan to get inputs from the invited Resource Persons and to come up with a source book on handicraft and weaving .
After the wrap session the SCC staff and resource persons were taken to the Golden Temple and Bhaktapur City Palace in Kathmandu.
The Handicraft Expo was concluded by distribution of certificates by His Excellency Mr. Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Honorable Minister of Commerce & Supplies on November 24, 2014. The highlight of the concluding event was the Fashion Show and dinner at the Hotel Radisson. Along with the well known models and ramp walkers of the Fashion Show, the handicraftsmen also participated to show the SAARC solidarity.
Half day field trip to ACP ( Association of Crafts Producers) at Kupondole in Kathmandu was organized on 25 November 2014. They were also taken to their showroom at Dhukuti. Lunch was organized at the ACP by the organizers. The visit was interesting as many got the chance to learn about the crafts making , the pottery works, glass blowing works and how they make decorative items by blowing gas at the borosilicate glass and then putting into the annealing kiln for maturing to make many decorative gift items.
The artisans were seen off after this visit to fly back the following day.