Hala Revisited

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Three years ago I made a visit to Hala which lies in the interiors of the Sindh Province in Pakistan. The small city sees numerous artisans who toil away the day making extensive crafts which they export to other cities especially Karachi within Sindh. These crafts include decoration pieces which include vases, containers, jars, pot, bowls, cups and related items of both functionality and beauty. The blue prints glossed over the ceramic and textile products gives them their unique identity; a mark which can be easily interpreted as something made exclusively in Hala and adjacent areas.

Blue Pottery in Shops
Blue Pottery in Shops
Woven Plates for Breads Stacked
Woven Plates for Breads
Block Printing on Fabric
Block Printing on Fabric

A month ago upon visiting the town again, I find to my dismay, the local business has further plummeted in terms of not only the sales that the business owners and craftsmen make but the number of products that are being produced. This of course is directly related to the demand of the products, hence the low supply of the manufactured items. It is sad to see something so beautiful and unique not being recognized as much as it deserves and then further discontent strikes in when you find that within a few years, the making has further zoned out.

To adventurers, travelers and all those road trip enthusiasts:  If you make a visit from Karachi to Hyderabad to get their famous cakes, if you plan a bright morning with your pals to have break-fast in the city or if you just travel anywhere within interior Sindh, make a visit to this small city and probe into the beautiful crafts that are being sold at Hala and Bhitshah. You can travel within the narrow streets and villages that lie within and see the craftsmen toiling away at pottery wheels, making loads of clay pots and bowls and then further burnishing them up with expert hand printing. I believe this can cause a ripple in the level of recognition that these local arts need, and you could always come back with beautiful gifts and souvenirs.

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