The Crafts Council of India, ever since it was established 50 years ago. As part of a line-up of events to mark its golden jubilee year, the council is bringing to the city age-old carefully preserved tradition of Parsis that dates back to the 10th century.
The event will explore Parsi culture through interactions with experts such as author and curator Pheroza Godrej, designer Ashdeen Lilaowala and philanthropist Tehnaz Bahadurji, who practises Zoroastrianism. Ashdeen, who specialises in gara embroidered saris, offers a glimpse of quintessential Parsi embroidery through his collection of textiles which will be showcased in the city between November 25 and December 3.
Usha Krishna, treasurer, Crafts Council of India, says that there are 250-odd Parsi families in Chennai, are known for their rich artistic skills.
The embroidery they use is beautiful, with satin stitches and motifs of flowers and cranes, which is more of a Chinese tradition. Parsis, who were into trade , are known to have been travelling between China and India. That explains the influence of the Chinese designs. Later, the Parsi families who settled in India, took interest in the embroidery and started making it themselves.
The weaving of tanchoi, is another Parsi crafts. The name originates in the three (tan) Parsi men (choi) who lived in China. These three brothers travelled to China and learnt the art of Jacquard weaving, which they brought home to Surat. Later, this craft shifted its base to Benares, where unfortunately its origins have been forgotten.
The event will also have a Phulkari exhibition that will feature rare pieces from Jasleen Dhamijaâ€™s collection.
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