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    Weaving Workshop in Mandalay, Myanmar

    A weaving workshop is located in Mandalay, Myanmar. Most works are migrants from Shwebo Township and neighbouring places which are located in Sagaing Region near Mandalay. The owner provides lodging and meals to each worker at the workshop.

    The innovative designs of the Kachin traditional lower garment since ancient times (Hta-main in Myanmar) are created by the owner and the designer collectively based on the market demands. All products are sent to various local shops in Yangon.

    Innovative designs of the Kachin traditional lower garment

    These photos are the innovative designs of the Kachin traditional lower garment (Hta-main in Myanmar) by creation of the owner and the designer collectively in terms of market demands. The first photo combines five lower garments through folded styles and it shows how to evolve and innovate the designs since ancient times. When the Kachin lower garment was created, the width of the line was only three inches and it was worn in behind the waist (the first one, green colour of the Figure (1)). However, nowadays the line is about six inches (the third one of the Figure (1)).

    Storing fermented tea leaf

    In the past, fermented tea leaf used to be packed tightly in bamboo containers. It was put in the containers layer by layer. It was kept for at least six months. Nowadays, fermented tea leaf is packed in Penang sacks one layer after another. Then they are well pressed by big pieces of stone. They are left like this for a long time. Then they are ready to be sold. While they are kept in sacks and pressed, the superfluous juices drain outside. It can make the place dirty. However, it cannot affect the quality of the fermented tea leaf.

    Torvehallerne, Quality and Dialogue

    Torvehallerne are food halls which are positioned in the center of Copenhagen which sell a large variety of food. This includes fresh vegetables, cheese, fish, and freshly baked bread. The prices are high and the focus is on quality and ecology, rather than price and quantity. The shops are specialized in offering a selection of products from their respective shops. In conversation with cashiers, they explained to me that the dialogue is what sets apart Torvehallerne from regular supermarkets. This is the conversation around the products being sold.

    Frybread, colonialism and resistance

    Native American populations in the US have long been subject to stereotyping and destruction of their respective cultures. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Native Americans often found themselves at war with the colonial settlers; however, war did not just manifest physically. American colonists waged war against Native culture itself, attempting to assert the cultural superiority of the white man largely through Christian missions and the capture and destruction of Native lands and landmarks. Another facet of the cultural war was through food.

    Threats to Fish Market, Goa, India

    Nestled in the Western Ghats on the coastline of the Indian peninsula, is Goa- a small state that was colonized by the Portuguese around 500 years ago and became a part of the larger Indian State in the 1960s. The confluence of this Indo-Western heritage amalgamates into a fascinating melting pot of culture. Goa, which is now a renowned tourist destination, has always been for me, home.

    Farmers in Nepal

    Image: Woman with Cane Basket, Crates filled with oranges from orange orchards in Panauti Nepal. These orchards are sold by the farmers’ families while the profit goes to the landowners and they only earn a part of the profit made on the crop since they do not own the lands anymore due to brain-drain, high taxes and the push for privatization by the government.

    The Variety of Hospital Food in the Netherlands

    This is breakfast at HMC Westeinde hospital in The Hague, the Netherlands. Every morning, the ‘breakfast cart’ comes along to each patient’s bedside, where the patient is offered a choice of white, wholegrain or raisin bread with butter, margarine, cheese or jam. Alternatively, patients can opt for a cereal (only one choice, an off-brand cornflake) with milk. Alongside this, you can choose to drink tea, coffee (both with or without milk, sugar and sweeteners) or apple or orange juice. You are also offered one hard-boiled egg.

    Gochujang Making in Sunchang County, South Korea

    Gochujang, a type of red pepper paste is one of the key ingredients in the South Korean cuisine. It is made from gochu-garu (chili powder), glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean) powder, yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. It is produced through years of fermenting in earthenware. Sunchang County is the main producer of Gochujang in South Korea and holds a distinctive recipe comparing to elsewhere in South Korea.

    Red Tomatoes, Green Houses

    At an altitude of 3000 meters, Khamje is a tiny village with a handful of houses in the Solukhumbu region of north-eastern Nepal. The mountains in Nepal are not considered hospitable to a variety of food, and most of the country’s food production is centered in the hilly region and the Terai (Southern Nepal). Dawa Phuti Sherpa (woman pictured here) is seasoned in mountain farming and animal husbandry, and has spent most of her life in Khamje. The red tomatoes, and the large pumpkin shown here are grown in her recently-built greenhouse.

    Women's pottery of Keur

    Pottery made by Senegalese women of the blacksmith caste. Competition from manufactured products has led to an innovative reorganisation of their activity: pottery with sophisticated shapes and shiny decorations now rub shoulders with traditional pottery, still using the ancestral know-how.

     

    This photo taken by Bruno Diomaye Faye is selected for the LeidenGlobal Photo Exhibition: Crafting Cultures 2022.

    Tea leaf : Eating habit

    Some food can be eaten by chewing, others can be eaten by licking and swallowing. As for pickled tea leaf, it is eaten by nibbling and swallowing. If the fermented tea leaf is pickled in peanut oil or sesame oil, it becomes soft and tender. Ancient Myanmar people used to eat pickled tea leaves by

    sandwiching them between the thumb and forefinger. Almost every household entertains the guests to pickled tea leaves and green tea. It shows that it is the way how Myanmar people especially those who live in districts entertain the guests.    

    Picking style

    Tea pickers mainly use their thumb and index fingers, which are stained black from the repeated exposure to tannin from the tea leaves. To avoid this, the pickers now use gloves. For storing the picked tea leaves, tea pickers mostly use wicker baskets called paline in Burmese. After the paline are filled with tea leaves, they are brought back down from the tea hills on a shoulder yoke. Tea picking starts from sunrise and continues through until sunset. 

    Myanmar proverbs regarding eating pickled tea leaf

    There are several proverbs regarding the taste of pickled tea, Myanmar’s traditional food. The proverbs concerning pickled tea are well-known cultural norms and people like to use them. The table shows the proverbs in two languages, Myanmar and English translation.

    In the proverbs concerning pickled tea leaves, Myanmar people’s culture, thinking, belief, and social value can be seen. They use proverbs when they would like to express their ideas and emotions.

    Seasonal tea cultivation calendar

    Tea cultivation and production in a four-stage yearly cycle. From December to February, the villagers tend their tea plots. In the second stage, which is from March to April, they harvest and produce a type of dried tea called the shwe hpi variant. The third stage is the 4-month fermented tea-making season from May to August. The type of tea harvested and fermented in this season is called khat kant tea. The last stage is the hnin tat dried tea season from September to November. 

    The day we met

    First day of our course.

    travels, stories, memories, belongings, research.

    so many parts of the world in the room, meanings and cultural belonging, in textiles and their histories, textures and colors, paterns and representations.

    We'll work together for one week, discovering each other and thinking together. Cloth, fabric, textile. Weaving our work with attachments, intentions and future endeavours.

     

    Share & Tell: Warp to Weft

    My chosen object is a woven shawl that began from a failure. The weft here, composed of baby alpaca wool, was originally the warp of another weaving. My good friend picked up this soft brown wool in Bolivia some years ago. She has since passed.

    "Hidden" Meanings

    Pha hol is the name for an ikat-patterned silk cloth woven among ethnically minoritized Khmer communities in today's Thailand, especially in Surin and Buriram provinces. Hol is "the Queen of Surin silk" many say -- the most beautiful, locally meaningful pattern. Calling hol a Queen draws attention to its creation and use primarily by women.

    Share & Tell: Patrick Kelly Pin

    At our first meeting for the In Situ Graduate School, Textile and Dyes as Transnational, Global Knowledge in Leiden the Netherlands, each participant shared an object, image, textile, etc. that holds meaning for particular reasons. I decided to share a pin that I purchased in Chicago, IL at the Silver Room boutique. The pin features Patrick Kelly (1954-1990), an African American fashion designer who came to fame in France, and was the first American designer to be admitted to the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode.

     

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