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Tag: Nepalese handicraft

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Silver jewellery, wooden crafts ‘products of the yr’

The Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan) has named silver jewellery and wooden crafts as Products of the Year 2014.

The umbrella organisation has planned various programmes to promote these products as part of the celebration of its 41st anniversary and the Second Handicrafts Day that falls on Friday.

Fhan started to celebrate the day as Handicraft Day from last year.

Fhan President Hem Ratna Shakya said they had decided to promote the products due to concerns over their declining exports in recent years. “We have planned to promote the products in order to boost their exports that have been on a downward trend in recent days,” he added.

According to Shakya, they will focus on silver products and wooden crafts to promote them at international trade fairs next year. “Besides, we will also concentrate on creating new designs and try to call on the government to resolve the problem of shortages of raw materials,” he added.

According to Fhan, the US, Europe and Japan are the largest importers of Nepali silverware and wooden crafts. However, exports of these products have been dwindling in recent years. According to Fhan statistics, the export of silver products declined to Rs 184.04 million in 2012-13 from Rs 222.06 in 2011-12. The export earnings from wood crafts decreased to Rs 89.05.

Although the government’s Nepal Trade Integration Strategy has identified silver products among the main exportable items, shipments have been going downhill continuously for a number of years. Juni Bajra Bajrac-harya, general secretary at the Lalitpur Handicraft Association, said the drop in exports was mainly due to the inability to create new designs as importers were growing tired of the same old traditional patterns.

“There is a need to promote the latest designs to compete in the international market,” he added. “In addition, the sector has been hit by problems like surging prices of silver and shortages of skilled manpower.”

source: ekantipur, 14 DEC 2013

Christmas items start selling like hot cakes

With less than two weeks remaining for Christmas to arrive, the sale of various decorative and gift items for the festive season has gone up in Kathmandu Valley.

Many gift shops have started displaying Christmas trees, greeting cards, various crafts and other decorative items.

Archies Gallery at Khichapokhari said it has recently brought a new variety of decorative items and gift items for the Christmas season. Anil Jalan, proprietor of the gallery, said the sales have started picking up. “The demand for decorative items like Christmas trees and Santa Claus caps from restaurants, beauty parlours and stationery shops has been increasing.” Christmas trees available in the market range from Rs 1,250 to Rs 4,000, depending on the size, which starts from 1 ft and reaches up to 10 ft.

However, small models of the trees are available at Rs 50 onwards. Similarly, bells, snowmen, drums and stockings are available for Rs 50 onwards, while Santa dresses begin from Rs 325. Santa caps are the most sought after items in the market. Bikash Maharjan, proprietor of Promise Stationary at Lazimpat, said “ Christmas caps, which range from Rs 60 to Rs 125 are in high demand. People are also fast buying another decorative item, stars, which come in various colours like red, white, yellow and green.” The price of the stars ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 150.

The price of the items are, however, higher as compared to the price for the same items last year. “The price of these gifts items increased by 5-10 percent as we have to import the products from China by paying the US dollar, which has become stronger than the Nepali rupee in recent months,” said Prakash Shahi, proprietor of My Archies Gift and Cards at New Road. Apart from the imported items, there are some local handicraft items for the festival, which are luring customers. Dhukuti, a local handicraft gift shop at Kupondole in Lalitpur, has in store various hand-made items that target Christmas shoppers. Manager at Dhukuti Sanjeev Poudel said the number of sustomers thronging his shops is going up by the day.

According to him, the culture of giving locally-made items as Christmas presents is increasing. Poudel said various Christmas items such as ornaments, Santa dresses, snowmen, hanging balls made of felt, metal crafts and glasses are available in his shop.

source: ekantipur, 14 DEC 2013