During the past two years, due to the pandemic and lockdown, the one thing we have realised is that in order to live healthy—both physically and mentally, it is necessary to live sustainably.
However, living sustainably is easier said than done. It is important to know the source of the food you eat or the clothes you wear and that’s where events like IndiGenious—A native wisdom festival holds importance, because here, we get a chance to directly interact with the communities who are making a difference by promoting traditional nutritious food, natural clothing, handicrafts and associated knowledge systems.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
This year, the IndiGenious Festivals, organised by Saraya Eco-stay (ArtCafé) and Dhamapur (Maharashtra) based University of Life will be held from April 15, 2022 to April 17, 2022 at Saraya Eco-stay (ArtCafé), Sangolda.
This three-day fest will bring together traditional artisans, weavers, farmers, and other socio-commercial models to promote their incredibly intriguing products that will inspire us to live sustainably.
The participants will be from various parts of India and will share their indigenous knowledge system and support the concept of ‘wise tourism’ in Goa. “The festival is a footstep towards a healthier environment in which the natural and cultural assets are valued and safeguarded, and appropriate tourism is developed,” is the mantra of this festival.
The Festival will bring some amazing artists like the Vankar, a traditional 12-generation weaver family from Kutch, Gujarat. They will showcase their exclusive hand-woven saree, which is one of the Vankar family’s most admired masterpieces. They have even received the President Award for this.
The saree has appeared at prestigious fashion shows and has been worn by celebrities. This premium hand-woven natural dyed saree costs ₹ 1,50,000 and is made entirely of organic cotton and pure silk, and naturally dyed using indigo and onion peels. The artisan takes 10 months to make just this one saree.
HANDMADE FABRIC AND MORE
You will also find a stall of the Mysore based-Delavie Clothing, which is known for its organic fabric, made using natural dyes. These are made from plant based pigments. They produce over 60 shades of natural dyes on cellulose fibre (cotton, jute, banana fibre, etc) and 33 shades on silk.
There will be also a stall by a Belgaum-based Waarsa by Agastya Foundation that empowers women artisans through handicraft. Their handcrafted banana fibre lamp shades, handmade jewellery, Khanaa (a traditional blouse piece from North Karnataka), a quilted blouse with crochet borders, and other jute-cotton yarn handicrafts will be available.
Goa-based Medini Eco Lifestyle will display their products, such as bamboo bottle, cold process handmade soap, Rati lip balm, etc. Led by Tanuja Diveker, the majority of its brands employs women from economically backward classes from Goa. It is a one-stop store for various eco-friendly products and zero waste essentials.
At the fest, you can also get bamboo products from Nasik-based Poaceae Life Designs, pottery products handmade on a traditional potter’s wheel by the Swayamsiddha socio-commercial model, driven entirely by the spirit of women; products from Hastakshar Handloom based in Karnataka, artisan-made jewellery from Studio Sukhi, to name a few.
OH, HONEY, HONEY!
The festival will also have array of food products, like the rare honey variety from the interiors of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. The honey which has come from places like Sironcha, Aaheri, Bhamragad, Wadhsa, Kurkheda, Khorachi, Mulchera, Aalapali and Atapali — all Naxal-affected areas in the forest region — have been covered by ‘A Bee’s Company’. The company ran an awareness campaign for women’s self-help groups, farmers, youth and traditional tribal honey hunters. They educate them on how to gather honey in a scientific and hygienic manner, without harming the bees.
Malai honey, which tastes like ghee, and has come all the way from Assam, will also be available at the festival.
Along with honey, one can also get their hands on products from Swayam Naturals—Sindhudurg’s cottage industry. Their red hibiscus cooler, traditional edible kokum butter, cashew butter, etc will be available.
For such festivals, the food counter is also the highlight! So, at the IndiGenious Fest, one can also get a chance to relish jackfruit delicacies, such as grilled Jackfruit Seekh Kabab, Jackfruit Icecream, which is actually hand-churned ice cream. There will be also ladoos of kulith (horse gram).
WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
Along with stalls of food and clothing, the three-day fest will include various workshops, talk shows and live music concerts.
On April 15, 2022, from 10 am to 3 pm, there will be a workshop by Swayam Naturals on how to make a solar dehydrator. On the same day, there will also be a workshop on natural dying by Mrunalini MS from 10 am to 12 pm.
On April 16, 2022, there will be workshop on soap making by Swayam Naturals from 10 am to 12.30 pm.
On the concluding day, April 17, 2022, there will be workshops on making mud bricks and plaster and also on how to make multi-purpose bio-enzyme. On the same day, there will be workshop on mouth harp by Neptune Chapotin.
There will also be a couple of interesting talks by well-known personalities, who have niched a path for themselves.
On April 15, 2022, at 6.30 pm, Goa’s renowned artist, Subodh Kerkar will speak on ‘A doctor who pursued his love for art.’ On April 16, 2022 at 6 pm, Deepa, a zero-waste lifestyle promoter will speak on her unique cycling journey titled, ‘Cycling from Delhi-TamilNadu, without carrying any phone & money.’ She has cycled through Rajasthan and Odisha and even walked the Dandi route to experience the daily schedule followed by Gandhi.
On the concluding day, April 17, 2022, there are two talks—at 5 pm, Subroto Dey, a PhD scholar from National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc Campus, Bangalore, will give an insight into the life of indigenous tribal groups of India in his talk, ‘The tribal world of the Baigaand the Gond in Central India’. At 6 pm, Prasad Gawde of Konkani Ranmanus Youtube channel will speak about his channel and working on creating sustainable eco-tourism by promoting nature- based activities of Konkani people. His focus is on responsible tourism.
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