Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 6, Issue 46, Tuesday, November 29, 2011



Skilled hands at work

Local handicrafts and garments have probably been chic ever since Bibi Russell walked down a Paris runway sporting a gamcha. With her at the forefront of Bangladesh's crafts revival, the industry has received renewed interest over the last few years and tapped into mainstream outlets like Jatra. But considering the depth of talent and creativity available, there are still countless artisans who work thanklessly to uphold our handicrafts heritage.

With the idea of showcasing a few such undiscovered organisations, the French Ambassador Charley Causeret and his wife Madame Causeret held a three-day exhibition titled 'Skilled Hands at Work' at their residence. “So many people in Bangladesh are devoted to making traditional handicrafts. But they do not receive the promotion or appreciation that they deserve,” explained Madame Causeret. “I wanted to bring due focus to institutions that provide employment to people in need. Institutions, for instance, that work with people with impaired hearing who would not be able to find employment elsewhere,” she added.

The exhibition featured handicrafts from six different organisations -- P.I.M.E Sisters, Jute Handicrafts Training Centre, Salesian Sisters Embroidery Centre, Carlotta Centre, PCC and Bibi Productions -- that displayed a diverse range of products including shawls, jewellery and homeware products, intricately hand-embroidered table cloths, bed spreads and cushion covers, jute bags, bamboo boxes, table mats and handwoven satrangis. The three-day exhibition that concluded on Sunday was a noble endeavour in providing opportunities to unrecognised and marginalised talent. We can only hope that more such initiatives are undertaken locally.

By Subhi Shama
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


All you need is honey

Honey, honey… how you thrill me… today I am stuck with this ABBA song and can't get it out of my head; all because I had hot toast smeared in butter and golden fat droplets of honey. What can I say, I am in heaven today. Come winter and honey becomes a staple item on the breakfast menu and a panacea at my house.

If not in my ginger or mint tea, I have a spoonful with a few grains of nigella; I heard that it's a cure-all for all middle-aged health crises. And trust me I have quite a few. Then there is the age-old honey lemon concoction -- a fast relief from sore throats and mild colds. Honey and cinnamon is also another sought-after blend that helps reduce your bad cholesterol, LDL is the one you don't want floating around in your blood stream.

It is said honey is the answer to 101 ailments. Though I cannot vouch for the sources' reliability here, but it's true that honey is a vital ingredient for many home remedies.

Shorsho Prabartana, my favourite shop where I get my organic food stock from, has the best honey in town. You get ones from different seasonal blossoms; I for one like the one from the mustard or nigella honey. But nothing beats the one, if you can manage that is, from Sundarbans. I am not fond of the industrial ones we find in Superstores. They have a weird taste of burnt molasses and I hate the aftertaste.

This year, I decided to do a DIY project and made my own concoction and I am sharing my method here with you: half fill a jar with beautiful local honey. Filter the lemon juice to remove seeds and pulp and add that to the honey jar and give the bottle a great shake and store it in the fridge. And in case you need it, simply add a spoonful or two in lukewarm water to soothe that sore throat; or stir in a spoonful to your ginger infused tea to keep the cold at bay.

My reason for doing this is pretty basic; I don't know about you but I never find the right thing at the right time. I have organised a box and labelled it emergency miscellaneous thinking that in case of any problem I'll find it handy. But that never happens. When I need to clip a broken nail, nail clippers are the last thing I'll find in that box or when I need to staple important tax papers, I'll fish out the nail clippers but never the stapler. Urgent emergencies are always rushed and utterly harassed affairs in my households.

Thus, this time around I made sure that my honey and lemons and grounded cinnamons are within range. So when I hear my daughter cough twice I can run for the honey lemon mixture and make sure that she finds no reason to bunk school or teachers.

And every time I open my fridge I look at that beautiful amber liquid and appreciate it. All I am waiting for is someone to sneeze or cough and find out if my concoction comes in handy or not. But here is one more wish for good health this winter.

-- By Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo courtesy: Apple turnover home made stories



Aneela Haque had recently launched her Bridal Collection "Jamon Khushi Shajo" with a focus on promoting Bangladeshi ethnic, traditional, hand-spun textiles fused with her modern, signature style.

The Bangladeshi wedding, reception or "gaye halud" can be easily transformed into something quite extraordinary with a thematic approach with colours and uniformity in terms of accessories. Solid colour jamdanis with creative blouses, arty silk saris, silk scarves and jamdani shawls for saris can create the perfect ensemble for the wedding. Men can dress up in colourful sherwanis, long sherwani-cut panjabis, uttorio, shawl and leather nagras. Also available is a range of designs for children.

Aneela with “Secret Santa” also comes to town showering all in Santa Red, Green and White, keeping the Christmas season in mind. The Santa Christmas Collection includes graphical, modern ethnic fusion art on long and short winter jackets, party shirts, trendy jamdani and khaadi shawls, long/short khaadi and silk scarves, ethnic ponchos, silk arty saris and silk ties.

Creative accessories include embroidered bags, leather shoes, beaded jewellery and low waste skirt/shirt belts. Creative gift-wrapping with Aneela Signature is also there to create the “Secret Santa gifts” for your loved ones.

For details contact: Z N Tower, Road #8, House #2 (Siemens House, Ground Floor opposite Samsonite, and Pizza Hut), Gulshan #1.

Rangs Anam Plaza, 3rd floor, Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi.

Bay Emporium at Rapa Plaza

Bay Emporium Ltd recently opened a new "Bay Emporium" outlet at Rapa Plaza, Dhnamondi, Dhaka. Footwear for men, women and children are available in this beautifully decorated outlet. Shamsur Rahman M A Qader formally inaugurated the store. Monirul Morshed, Retail Sales Manager, Mujahidul Islam Shahin, Area Manager, Faisal Haque, Advertising and Promotion Officer of the company were also present at the opening ceremony.

Tulip Aroma

Tulip cosmetics has recently introduced a wide range of beauty care products, from fairness creams, to spot creams and facial packs. Complete satisfaction is guaranteed and there is a money back offer with all products, produced from raw materials like neem, chandan, orange, cucumber, strawberry. #01752-408481.

Family World

Family World is presenting a new range of comfortable sandals -- 'Kotto' -- for their valued customers. The sandals are made in Bangladesh with technical support from China and Thailand. Also available is the winter collection, which includes shawls, cardigans, sweaters, and jackets for both men and women. There is also a wide range of designs for children. Contact: #01718699370.

New outlet of MK Electronics

Recently, MK Electronics inaugurated an outlet at Dhanmondi Residential Area. The 6,200 sq ft electronic store is possibly the largest of its kind in the country and that too from one of the top importers of electronic products. "Global Electronics Solutions for Your Home" is the befitting slogan for this venture.

President of FBCCI, A K Azad inaugurated the outlet as Chief Guest. A colourful ceremony was held to celebrate the occasion at Yakub South Centre (Ground Floor), 67/D, Dhanmondi, 156 Lke Circus Kalabagan (besides Lazz Pharma).

Interior Designing at NID

NID (National Institute of Design) is offering a course on Interior Designing at nominal charges. On completion of this course, a certificate will be given to all participants. Only NID is providing all its certificates through U&I Alliance with Dhaka University. Besides, NID is also offering different courses varying from six months to one year duration. The courses are on fashion design, graphics design and apparel merchandising. NID also provides scholarship opportunities for meritorious students.

For details, contact: House #38/1, Road #2, Dhanmondi Rifles Squire. #01715763908.

Pizza Hut Delivery

Pizza Hut, the famous fast food brand has undertaken a new venture, a delivery service. For this they have opened a dedicated outlet in Mirpur section 12, an outlet that is different from the other five Pizza Hut outlets in the city.

“The outlets we have are Enhanced Dining options, where we concentrate on providing a good dining experience,” said Akku Chowdhury, Managing Director & CEO, Pizza Hut. “But this new venture is focused on delivery.”

The Mirpur outlet -- a 24-seater -- will be simpler compared to Pizza Huts we know. Nine kinds of pizzas will be offered for delivery in the three different crusts -- pan pizza, stuffed crust and cheesy bites. Limited appetizers will also be up for delivery, including the favoured garlic bread.

The delivery zone falls within a 2km radius or an 8-minute drive from the outlet. MP Illias Molla and Akku Chowdhury inaugurated the service on Sunday. Customers availing this service will receive pizza within 30 minutes after placing their orders



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