Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 6, Issue 38, Tuesday, September 27, 2011




Knorr Fest

With throngs of visitors surrounding the makeshift platform and yet more looking on from the floors above, a group of dancers, dressed in green T-shirts sporting the Knorr logo, performed a dance number as the introduction stunt of the Knorr Fest at the ground floor of Bashundhara City on 23 September, 2011.

The launching program of a three-month long campaign by Unilever, to promote its brand Knorr Soup, was conducted by famous emcee Sharmin Lucky. The campaign consists of offering people samples of Knorr soup, free of cost, and will be held every day at various places in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Speaking of Knorr Soup, Sharmin spoke about the health benefits of the soup. Especially aiming her speech towards the mothers, fathers and elders of the family, she said how this was a nutritional substitute to fried snacks and was a perfect choice as a “7 o'clock” snack for children.

She further added having it as an evening snack would not lead to children losing their appetites for dinner and would rather be a healthy as well as tasty alternative. Sharmin personally endorsed this product saying it is a favourite at her home and perfect for working mothers like herself.

Easy to cook Knorr soup is available in four different flavours: Classic Tomato, Sweet Corn Chicken, Chicken Mushroom and Chicken Ginger.

Celebrities including Shimul, Farhana Mithu, Shirin Bokul, Topu, Rinku; Lux Superstar winners Toya, Rakhi and Suhani were also present at the ceremony endorsing the product.

At the end of the program, free samples of Knorr soup was given from the Knorr booth to the mall visitors.

By Karishma Ameen


The return of gorod

The shop shelves are not yet empty. Although Eid has bid us adieu the shopkeepers are quick to react and cater to the customers of the next big festival -- Durga Puja.

This Puja season the attention is definitely on the return of gorod. Gorod, which originates from West-Bengal, has swept over the sari stores as the new favourite after going through some extreme rejuvenations.

It had been customary for Hindu women in the past to wear this particular sari during festivals which marks tradition and holds high our ethical values. Its simple design on base with coloured borders and explicit work on the aanchal gives it a perfect, aristocratic look.

In bygone eras this specific silk sari was a raging hit but it went out of style because of its rough texture and difficulty of management. That problem has successfully been addressed in the new gorod saris, now holding its head high in any silk shop.

The new gorod is softer in texture because there is a portion of polyester added to it. Another method for softening the gorod is by using heavier silk, which makes the sari of a higher quality. Although the latter method increases the price of the sari, it protects the essence of this garment -- that of being produced from 100 percent silk.

G M Alamgir, entrepreneur and owner of Doyel Silk, an award winning establishment which has been promoting silk garments and silk heritage for 21 years, frowns upon 'polluting' this traditional garment by adding polyester to it.

“You can test for pure gorod by asking the shop-keeper to burn a string of it,” he says before doing the demonstration, “It will immediately turn to a fine ash and give off the smell of burning insects.”

The markets now have gorods in two styles; the traditional red paar kind and the new blue paar variety. These saris are preferable for the Puja shoppers because of the traditional Bengali-Hindu spirit and culture it upholds.

Bowing to Maa Durga dressed in a red paar gorod seems to add a special sincerity to the whole act of the celebration. The blue paar variety is more for those who like to experiment while staying within the boundaries of traditional glamour and sophistication.

Gorod saris will cost you from Tk 3800 to Tk 5200 depending on whether you buy the polyester mix variety or the 100 percent silk variety. Between the silk varieties the price again differs according to the weight of the silk used to produce that particular sari. “440 gram is the best quality of silk gorod, beyond this the sari stops being a gorod,” informs G M Alamgir.

Apart from gorod, the shops do have other offers for the Puja season. Starting from the price of Tk 1500 up to Tk 5000 there are muslins with red hand paints, endi handprints, shaat maku (a beautiful weave of seven threads) and hand done batik.

So for all the traditional sari lovers out there, this is the ideal time to restock your sari cupboard.

By Raisaa Tashnova
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Model: Chaitee


Signature Pieces of Manick Banarashi

Since time immemorial Dhaka has been a hub for the production of exquisite saris, both in terms of quality and design. The lore of Muslin still remains a fond memory in our minds, even after the passage of centuries of its untimely extinction. The traditional jamdani, which still survives today, comes a close second.

Although the scenario is ever-changing, there has been a revival of this classic weave, as we now find a sense of pride in wearing something that is essentially Bangladeshi. On the wedding scene, the once popular katan -- another heritage piece of Dhaka -- witnesses a revival. And to facilitate this growing demand, producers of the katan now offer great variety in their products.

Manick Banarashi Ltd of Benarasi Palli at Mirpur 10, a house renowned for quality katans has recently introduced their "Signature Piece", a collection of unique sari pieces.

The secret behind the production of these unique saris lies in the production; the frame for production of these saris wear after making the piece and can not be used in further productions. The weaver himself cannot make a second copy, even if he tried.

This signature collection is essentially party wear and wedding trousseaus. Besides saris, Manick Banarashi also presents 17 pieces of Signature Lahengas. The price range of the party wear is from Tk 20 to 50 thousand, bridal collection is between Tk 40 to 90 thousand and lahengas range from Tk 35 to 80 thousand.

The saris and lahengas are the result of a combination of sober taste, colour and design. Tassar and silk are the base fabric for this collection in ivory, purple, green, orange and other colours, further accentuated by detailed designs. The Signature Piece, bridal collection makes use of gold plated threads in its weaving. The lahengas too are of superior quality and can compete with any foreign product available in the market, both in terms of quality and design.

Beside these exclusive saris at Manick Banarashi in Mirpur, you can also get a wide assortment of saris suitable for other occasions. You can procure the best quality wedding saris of local heritage at Manick and the other shops at the Benarasi Palli. Those who are looking for exclusive saris ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, Durga Puja or even a formal dinner, Manick Banarashi can be the solution. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Contact: Manick Banarashi Ltd, Section 10, Block-A, Lane-9, House-1, Mirpur Benarasi Palli, Mirpur, Dhaka. Phone #8031320, 01711406767.

By Mahtabi Zaman


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