The beautiful and courageous people, who overcome unsurmountable odds and the challenges of everyday life, weave magic in the various scarves, skirts, and other ethnic wear. Weaving Destination is proud to collaborate with these bravehearts from North East India and bring their brand of ethnic design to mainstream markets. Abhijeet Deshpande, author of Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey, went traveling to this land of many stories and got inspired to write!
For those who do not know, North East India comprises of eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. The Himalayas and its waters define the region’s terrain, climate, rich biodiversity, and the peculiar indigenous lifestyles her people follow. That North East India is bound by Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet to the north, Bangladesh to the south and west, and Myanmar to the east hints at the eclectic mix of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. This is where elements of Asia come together to do what they do best – cast a spell. Read more about The Least Explored North East India.
A Celebration of Freedom
On International Women’s Day (IWD), NEDAN Foundation, the charity behind Weaving Destination had organized an event in Kokrajhar, Bodoland Territorial Council, to recognize the skill and contributions of various participants of the program. Hundreds of Bodo women, dressed in indigenous motifs, painted the open venue into a bright mustard and orange landscape. A troupe of talented musicians crafted an ambiance to tap your feet to. Buildings surrounding the venue amplified the drum beats and the lung-powered, high-pitched notes. That Indians know how to celebrate just got underlined, once again, on that sunny day. In addition to the region’s vibrant festivals and eye-catching ethnic wear to shop, click on the link for more Reasons to Visit North East India.
A Celebration of Courage
Events like IWD may, elsewhere in the world, sometimes be rendered as a lip service. In Assam, North East India, it came across as nothing short of a powerful statement: we are free. Behind every pair of feet tapping to or swinging to the beats of the day, lay agonizing stories of kidnapping, human trafficking, stories of courageous rescue missions, and stories of painstaking rehabilitation efforts. While NEDAN Foundation does the groundwork to enable rescued individuals to re-discover the innate skills of weaving and design, Weaving Destination provides a platform to mainstream their creations.
It is not an everyday occurrence to witness such extraordinary people. People who know what loss of freedom means, people who know what resistance means, and people who have fought long and hard to regain their lives. It was an honor to be a part of this, an honor to be in the presence of heroes. Heroes, who weave magic – the magic of organic and colorful motifs the world loves to flaunt. You may read their stories here or select from the slider below.
The book, Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey, is a humble tribute to the incredible people of the region. The cultural context of India’s North East, is likely to broaden your idea of India itself. For instance, did you know that the region is home to the famous Ambubachi festival celebrating the divine feminine power? Given the uniqueness, keep this list of ten faux pas to avoid in North East India handy when visiting these eight states.
Weave Through North East India
Backpackers often travel with a purpose – to learn an art or a vocational skill. How about learning to weave and design fabrics? Consider visiting Bodoland Territorial Council (Assam, North East India) to live with and learn from these skilled artisans that power the style statements for many across Asia, Europe and North America. NEDAN Foundation, Weaving Destination’s charity partner, offers free stay arrangements for volunteers to its operations. For details about this incredible region and answers to key questions that travelers might have, read How to Backpack North East India?.
Many who consider traveling in this fabled land get discouraged by a legacy of unrest. But here’s the good news – its just that – a legacy. Read North East India is Safer Than You Think for more on this topic. Few others drop out after learning that the region requires special permits to visit the region. Well, there’s more good news! Only two-three states of the region have such requirements. For details and to know how easy it is to secure these, look up Travel Permits for North East India.
Think North East India
Need more? Pick up a copy of Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey. It covers over two dozen places and attempts to answer the question – what is it like to travel in the region? Give it a read and make your own choices.
To celebrate the book launch, Backpacking Series is giving away free copies. The site is currently inviting (1) guest writers to contribute travel stories (Dorm of Fame™) and (2) social media influencers to write book reviews (The Rave Terminal™). Have you been to or live in North East India? If yes, you stand to win a free paperback! Plus there are eBooks to be grabbed! Check out The Sweet Deal or click on the slider below.
Disclaimers: (1) Maps, wherever used on this site, serve a representational purpose only. Weaving Destination does not endorse or accept the boundaries shown, names, or designations used by Google. (2) This story / article is based on personal opinions of the author. Weaving Destination is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity and it does not assume any responsibility or liability arising out of use of any information provided herein.