The annual shopping extravaganza for art and craft lovers has returned. This time it’s bigger and better. From September 24 to October 2, Kalakshetra Foundation, Thiruvanmyur, will transform itself as one of the most sought after shopping destinations. Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar will bring to town traditional arts and handicrafts from across the country. Jaya Jaitly is the founder of Dastkari Haat Samiti, that organises the bazaar every year.

This year the art and craft lovers from Chennai will get an opportunity to decorate their spaces with Sri Lankan’s craft works. The festival will see a wide range of Sri Lankan crafts including batik textiles, basketry, rattan and cane work, wooden masks and painted toys, handloom textiles, carved woodwork and other items for sale. For this specially curated attraction nine Sri Lankan crafts persons will be joining the Dastkari Haat Samiti this year in collaboration with Hands of Sri Lanka, newly founded and headed by well-known former Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Crafts Council, Buddhi Keertisena.

The craft bazaar not just provides an opportunity to buy products, but offers a chance to see how crafts persons from Sri Lanka make their products. At the Crafts Bazaar, renowned Sri Lankan crafts persons will be joining hands at Dastkari Haat for a crafts and skill sharing workshop.

Speaking about the workshop, Jaitly shares, “India and Sri Lanka have cultural connections over centuries, even before 4th century BC. In this bazaar well-known Sri Lankan designer Senaka De Silva will work along with Dastkari Haat Samiti designer Ankit Kumar to conduct a workshop in which crafts persons from both countries will share skills and techniques and create newly designed products in collaboration. It will be interesting for the visitors to the bazaar to interact, learn from craftsmen of two countries and explore within their own realms of creativity.”

Along with the fabled Sri Lankan crafts, the bazaar will have eclectic arts and crafts from across the country. Visitors will find newly discovered crafts persons from far away tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and newly developed and designed crafts and textiles from all over the country including Bihar and Rajasthan.

The bazaar will also have a new set of cultural performances with Baul Balladeers and Purulia Chhau dancers from Bengal. With elements like these aplenty along with a special stall for North Indian snacks and refreshments alongside Kalakshetra’s South Indian food stall, the Crafts Bazaar by Dastkari Haat Samiti promises to be a cultural treat.