The Asian Age– With a bamboo kalam and golden watercolour, calligrapher Ali Kheyri sits absorbed in his art, demonstrating the penmanship of beautiful Persian calligraphy. One of the nine award-winning artisans at the ongoing Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar, Ali along with Indian artisans is working on a book about folk stories for children.
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. Titled ‘Namayeshgahsanaye-e-Dasti Iranva Hind’, the exhibition, organised by the Dastkari Haat Samiti in collaboration with Iran Culture House revitalises the art and cultural ties of both nations.
Talking about Persian calligraphy, Mohammad Nekouei, supervisor, Artisan Group International Fair, Handicraft Association of Isfahan, says, “Calligraphy is one of the most important Iranian crafts.” He mentions that the motifs, techniques and forms of Iranian calligraphy can be difficult to teach to Indian artisans because they are very different. On being asked about the dominance of calligraphy in Iran, he says, “There are very few excellent full-time calligraphers in Iran now. As part of the academic curriculum, very few universities teach calligraphy.”
With his first visit to India, Mohammad is excited to work with Indian calligraphers and states, “I really feel honoured to be part of this unique festival. We are utilising this platform to learn Indian style of calligraphy, as it is very different from our style.”
‘wonderful’ being here and interacting with the Indian artisans and craftsmen. “. It is a wonderful feeling to be here with people who are so friendly and helpful,” says Mohammad.
The Annual Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazar is currently taking place at Dilli Haat, INA, from 11 am to 9 pm.