I returned to the village of Patrail in Tangail for a few more days of country living. My bamboo reed maker friends this time were very busy organizing a cultural event and I spent my time exploring the nearby craft villages, hunting for saris, and learning about the seed preservation centre and organic farming methods. The cultural event was a huge success and when I visited on the second evening and I was amazed to see the small yard we were making bamboo reeds full with over 500 people listening to music.
I observed workers at the seed preservation centre busy cataloguing the rice seeds and carefully storing them in ceramic pots. There are over 2,000 different rice varieties and in my days there I saw many varieties drying in the sun before they were carefully placed in the pots and sealed with mud to be preserved for the rest of the year. Vast quanitites of rice are heated in pots of hot sand to make pop rice known as mouri. Rice is also ground down to fine rice flour, ideal for sweets (mishit pita). I spent time in the outdoor kitchen area observing my breakfast being cooked on traditional mud ovens. I also saw the farmers meeting, which happens once a month and is an opportunity for the farmers working with Ubinig to gather and discuss issues, socialize and have lunch together.
By foot, CNG, tempo, bus and rickshaws I visited the gold and silver jewelry makers, basket makers, sika makers(jute hanging device), bamboo stool makers (moura), the Ubinig school for the farmer’s children and the organic farmers crops. I didn’t need to travel to see weaving, the traditional tangail silk saris were in different stages of production and yarn dyeing, warp making, card cutting, weaving and finishing was round each street corner.
The warmth and generosity of the people at Ubinig is striking and I feel I have made many new friends.
For more information on Ubinig visit http://membres.multimania.fr/ubinig/nayakrishi2.htm
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