Thursday, April 26, 2012

Introduction: Namaste

Garlands.
This journal was written for personal use, but I would like to share it with friends and family (and whoever else may be interested). As a result of being scratched down in the wee hours of the morning, it is not polished or necessarily properly written. I apologize for any roughness of style or improper grammer, etc. I have made some minor edits or added details when necessary, but otherwise, this is my journal as it appears in hard copy. Whenever you see "Note:" I am adding something in at a later time.

Bicycle cart.
You will also find here photos and short videos taken with my little Canon Powershot (it is useless indoors, so apologies for the poor indoor pics). These photos are completely unedited and are not cropped. I also had a little dictaphone with me so that I could record sound clips without video (they are the red boxes). I hope you enjoy this multi-media experience! Please contact me at bohoknits@live.ca or leave comments here if you wish - I would love to hear about other Nepal experiences.
The offices.

Preface

I live in a small Canadian town in the Rocky Mountains and I recently found my wildest dreams coming true when I spent a week teaching knitting in Kathmandu, Nepal. I design knitted hats for a locally run company, Ambler Hats. Their Himalayan line of hats are all hand knit in Nepal through a company called Everest Fashions who manufacture wholesale hats, as well as tons of other knit, crochet and felted items for many customers around the world. They employ local women in surrounding villages to work from home, making extra money for their families while still being able to care for their households and children. The company is over 90% females. 

The house.
Everest Fashion is a family run business, owned by a grinning gentleman, Maheswor, located right in Kathmandu, in an area called Sadhu Batu. Although many members of the actual family work there, they also treat all of their workers as close family. While I was visiting, I stayed in their gorgeous guest room, ate huge delicious meals with the family, played with their children (the house always seemed full of raucous kids) and was treated to some local sights like markets, temples and festivals. They are the most hospitable, generous people in the world. I was treated like a Nepali goddess. Truly while you are in Nepal, "Guest is God" (a local saying).

Ganesh.
Their "factory" and offices are made up of about three buildings and is next door to their house, creating a large type of homestead-complex that has lovely courtyards and vegetation (a very nice escape from the pollution and bustle of the city proper). I hesitate to call it a factory because that calls images of sweat shop-type spaces to mind. This place is spacious, open and well-lit - a wonderful space to work in. The workers seem so happy and joyful all the time, eager to exchange greetings (namaste), and smiling must be their favourite thing to do besides knitting. 

Read on for the whole story!

Patan.

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