Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
Art mixed with daily living, art created within the home, art that cannot be separated from the people or purchased – that art evokes a unique fascination and respect.
Indian hospitality is well-known but in the big cities, the incidence of crime has diminished the trust and goodwill that people had towards strangers.
In small towns it is heartening to see that the old ways of India, the times that I saw in my childhood are still alive.
Nothing in Jaisalmer is hurried or stressful. The residents have probably learnt that if one has to survive the heat and the sun, the community itself must help each other out and stay bonded. And as a tourist I find the shade of their hospitality as welcoming as the shade provided by the buildings of this town.
Hospitality is expressed in many ways. In Jaisalmer people still have the time to chat, to treat a stranger like a respected guest, to chat and to offer chai. When asked for directions to go to some place, they have the time not only to give you the directions but also to go along with you. But one very evident artistic way that I began to notice on the third day – were the welcoming signages outside every home.
The welcome sign is usually put up at the time of a wedding in the family. The date, the names of the bride & groom are all mentioned. And most importantly the Gods & Goddesses are invoked through the wall paintings.
The origin of this custom is not known – maybe it was a clever painter who marketed his services well probably in 2001. But today this art is seen all over Jaisalmer and adds to the character of the city.
A few images: