Posts Tagged ‘india’

In the Hindu pantheon, goddesses represent strengths, beauty, compassion, good fortune and creativity. While the female figures elicit great respect from worshipers, their earthly counterparts sadly do not receive the same degree of respect. In India, gender is a major determinate for mobility, social status and personal safety.

According to Save the Children India, over 68 percent of women who live in  the country are subject to domestic violence. To draw attention to their plight, the organization created a media campaign called “Save Our Sisters”. The anti-trafficking series of images aims to shed light on the exploitation that many young women and girls face. Pictures of traditional goddess representations are altered to show the figures as subject to abuse, reminding society that no one is safe from aggression and discrimination.

The pictures are intended to resemble old oil paintings in the tradition of hand-crafted devotional illustrations. Models were photographed and digitally manipulated to create the striking images. The normally serene, dignified expressions of the goddesses are replaced by tears and wounds, connecting the actions of human beings to the divine. Far from just a problem in India, the ads allow the global community to take note and consider their own relationships with trafficking and violence against women.

Incense from Bambu Batu

 

Scent is a sense that is intimately connected with human memory. The olfactory nerve is situated close to the amygdala, the area of the brain associated with emotion and emotional memory. Some biologists believe that olfactory memory evolved as an early form of communication. Surrounding yourself with comforting smells is not just a way to bring back pleasant experiences, but to also calm the nervous system and aid in meditation. At Bambu Batu, we carry a host of Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan incense. We are now proud to being offering Shoyedio Japanese incense in six individual blends and in variety packs of eight assorted scents.

As the legend goes, a piece of fragrant wood washed up on the shores of the Japanese island of Awaji 1,400 years ago. Recognizing its special fragrance, the locals preserved the treasure and offered it as a gift to Empress Suiko. In the early 18th century, Rokubei Moritsune Hata began to refine incense production techniques and introducing his creations to royalty and the general public. Twelve generations later, the Hata family is still crafting scents using the best natural ingredients. They are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, and the US Fish & Wildlife Department, ensuring that their recipes use materials that are sustainably harvested and use no animal products.

Each box of Shoyeido Incense contains a bundle of 35 sticks, each with a burn time of 45 minutes. Most of the recipes are sandalwood based and include premium woods, herbs and spices, and all products are made in their factory in Kyoto, Japan. No accelerants are use, ensuring a long burn time and a pure, headache-free smoke. Bambu Batu’s Shoyeido collection ranges in price from $2.95 to $5.95 depending on variety. Come take a whiff and find your favorite!

As a climate scientist, tackling global warming is an immense challenge. The most basic information, such as the location of the world’s fossil fuel-burning power plants and how much CO2 they emit, is difficult to obtain while sitting in an office. Through the power of crowdsourcing and the Internet, researchers at Arizona State University have created a computer game called Ventus that takes advantage of data provided by citizen scientists. Led by Kevin Gurney, the website operates on the belief that every facility in the world has at least a dozen or so people living or working near the plant that could provide valuable information. Players register through the page and are asked to provide the name and location of the plant along with what kind of fuel is used, how much electricity is produced, and the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. They are able to view all entries as well as make adjustments and edits. Participants who have provided the most useful data at the end of the year will win.

The team at ASU has already compiled a list of 25,000 plants through Google Earth. They estimate that there are over 30,000 fossil-fuel sites across the world, and the number is likely to grow as countries such as India and China continue to industrialize. With power plants accounting for nearly half of the world’s CO2 output, understanding where and how much greenhouse gas is being expelled into the environment will be a powerful tool for governments and communities to use in shifting towards alternative sources of energy.

Bambu Batu is delighted to offer this new line of natural fiber products made in India exclusively for Yala Designs. We wanted to share with you the steps that go into producing this block print collection.

Many skilled hands are involved in creating these prints.

First the blocks must be carved. The elaborate designs are carved into wood blocks by hand. Each color and pattern requires a new block. It takes one week for a block maker to carve the nine blocks for the Blue Lotus Quilt.

The vibrant colors are hand mixed, using a well-worn “recipe” book as a guide to create the unique colors. The colors for printing are derived from minerals, plants and Azo-free dyes.

A skilled craftsman dips the hand-carved block into the dye and then stamps the fabric. Once the first color has dried the process is repeated with each color.

The front and the back of the Blue Lotus Queen Quilt requires more than 1250 stamps. It takes a team of two printers one full day to print enough fabric for four queen size quilts.

Washing, setting the dye, and drying the fabric takes about six hours per queen quilt. After this process, the fabric will not shrink and is completely colorfast.

It takes an experienced quilter a full day to place the organic cotton filling and hand stitch one quilt.

A queen size quilt has passed through more than 30 pairs of hands on its journey from plain white fabric to becoming a quilt. These local artisans are grateful that you appreciate the care that goes into each quilt and thank you for supporting and preserving this ancient art form.

These unique quilts are available from Bambu Batu in three colors — Blue lotus, Gold fleur and Plum razia — and each is reversible with coordinating patterns. We offer them in three sizes — throw (52″x72″), queen (90″x94″) and king (108″x94″), prices starting at $149.95.

Bamboo is the grass that just keeps on giving.  Now, in addition to sheltering, clothing, and feeding us, this magnificent plant can also provide us with a healthy buzz.  If you are searching for something new and exotic to spice up your happy hour, you need look no further than this magnificent plant.

Traditionally Tipsy- “Zhuyeqing jiu”, produced in China, is a sweet liquor made from bamboo leaves, which gives the liquid a yellowish green color.  It is brewed for a number of herbal medicines, and ranges from 38-46% in alcohol content.  “Jugyeopcheongju” is a traditional Korean liquor also made with the leaves of bamboo.  Throughout Asia, wine is made from fermented bamboo and other sugary carbohydrates and housed in the nodes of the plant.  Some varieties of rice wine are infused with the juice of the grass and once sealed inside the stalk, absorbs more of the bamboo’s liquid.

The Bamboo Cocktail-  A variation of the martini, the Bamboo Cocktail was created during the later half of the nineteenth century at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan.  The drink combines vermouth, sherry, orange bitters, Angostura aromatic bitters, a twist of lemon, and an olive for decoration.  Extra points for serving the cocktail in a bamboo drinking vessel.

Helping Hands-  Even when not the main player, bamboo is an important supporting actor in the production and presentation of alcohol.  To produce Indian Jack-fruit wine, the pulp of the fruit is soaked, the seeds removed, and ground in bamboo baskets to extract the juice.  The juice is later transferred to earthen jars and fermented. Bamboo wine bottle racks and holders are currently en vogue, and whether it is woven, compressed, or fashioned from the entire stalk of the grass, the material makes for a stylish way to cradle your distilled delights.

Tiki Time-  What would a backyard Polynesian retreat be without the bamboo tiki bar?  Bambu Batu is home to several styles of bars and patio sets that are certain to make you feel as though you are on your own private tropical island.  Add a fashionable surf cutting board for garnishes, bamboo tongs to handle the ice cubes, and bamboo kitchen towels for cleanup, and you are set to entertain like a pro.

Whether fermented or furniture, bamboo is the life of the party!

 

For the past four years, Humanitarian Acts in Nepal Developing Schools (HANDS) has been working towards providing education and community development programs in Nepal.  The seeds for HANDS were planted four years ago when founder and SLO County native Danny Chaffin, 20 years old and taking a break from school, decided to volunteer and travel through the country.  Initially attracted by the Buddhist and Hindu cultures, Danny fell in love with the people he met in Tibet, living with a host family and learning traditional Thangka painting.  Becoming more and more immersed in the traditions and society of the region, he looked to find ways in which he could give back to his adopted community.

After returning home from his first visit, Danny enrolled in Naropa University which was co-founded by famous Tibetan author, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  The school offered a Thangkha painting course, which he enthusiastically attended, and allowed him time to study and plan his next trip to East Asia.  After a year, he made his way back to India, and then Nepal where he began to more seriously lay the foundations for a NGO.  Returning from that excursion, Danny was able to file for official non-profit status and embark upon building a school in one of the villages he had visited.  Taking a semester off from during the third year of the project, Danny was involved in overseeing the construction of the school.  Being enrolled in Naropa’s Peace Studies program, he felt as though his work dovetailed perfectly with his coursework which placed a strong emphasis on international aid.

Now in its fourth year if operation, HANDS is accepting donations from across the United States and Nepal, and has two established schools to its name.  Danny and his girlfriend are currently residing in Thailand where he is finishing up elective credits from Naropa and they are both continuing in their efforts to establish schools in Nepal.  It’s so refreshing to hear about a local student in his mid-twenties with a passion for more than beer and spring break.  Thank you, Danny for commitment to education, service, and social responsibility!

To learn more about HANDS or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit handsinnepal.org.

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