Calligraphers Ali Kheiri from Iran and Rajeev Kumar from Delhi, and miniature artist Jai Prakash Lakhiwal from Rajasthan are working on a book about folk stories for children. In the next stall, a tribal couple from Madhya Pradesh are displaying their creations, made using rare papier mache technique. In another corner, an Iranian carpet weaver is working alongside her Indian counterpart.
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At the 31st Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar in Dilli Haat, artisans from Iran and India are holding live demonstrations, offering visitors a chance to interact, learn, and explore Iranian handicrafts and textiles. Nine award-winning artists and calligraphers from Iran have been specially invited to engage with their Indian counterparts. Their collaborative designs will be on display on January 14.
The focus is on the rich crafts tradition of Iran, which is known for its creative metalwork, blue pottery and exotic carpets. They sit alongside 200 popular art, crafts and textile forms from India. “I do not see any difference between Indians and Iranians. In fact, Iran was the first country to initiate cultural exchange with India after Independence,” said Iran Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari, while inaugurating the exhibition in Delhi on Wednesday. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, who jointly inaugurated the event, affirmed the partnership. “As we are celebrating 60 years of India-Iran cultural ties, the exhibition and workshops will craft a new chapter in increasing cooperation between India and Iran in the textiles sector.”
Meanwhile, the calligraphy book stands as a testimony to the collaboration. “It will look like an old manuscript but will have contemporary stories, to be published by the end of the festival,” said Jaya Jaitly, Dastkari Haat Samiti President.
Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar is at Dilli Haat, INA, till January 15