Meghalayan Age – The Store celebrates the first anniversary of heritage outlet in Delhi

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@ Vikash Sharma | Sr Journalist

New Delhi: Meghalayan Age – The Store in New Delhi, commemorated its first anniversary with an afternoon of art exhibitions and cultural performances. The store presents a distinctive blend of culture, tradition, and artisanal excellence in traditional offerings of Meghalaya. The venture was established as a dedicated solution to combat the challenges faced by small artisans and emerging entrepreneurs in the State. This launch of a physical store in New Delhi and the accessibility of products on online platforms has created a one-stop marketplace for buyers, curators, and art connoisseurs who are interested in the artisanal heritage of Meghalaya. The uniqueness of the store’s entire product line stems from the fact that it is entirely homegrown, handpicked, and handcrafted by artisans and entrepreneurs. The store also provides an opportunity for artists and performers to showcase their craft to an audience, enabling them to gain recognition and creating a center of Meghalayan culture in the nation’s capital. The anniversary was celebrated in the august presence of Shri. Donald Phillips Wahlang, IAS, Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya amidst much fanfare.

Speaking on the occasion marking the Meghalayan Age – The Store’s one-year anniversary celebration, Shri. Donald Phillips Wahlang, IAS, Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, stated, “Meghalaya is a land of unique culture and traditions, and much of the cultural heritage comes from the ancient practices of tribes engaged in different types of handicrafts. Meghalayan Age – The Store along with the state’s initiatives have created a unique platform for artists, which empowers them financially and gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents, strengthening our culture and bringing it closer to the rest of the country. The emphasis on the revival of local crafts and products and the showcasing of local artists and performers at the store has led to the revitalization of Meghalayan culture in the nation’s capital, creating an atmosphere of community and celebration.”

Meghalayan Age – The Store launched the Atelier programme to encourage artisans to pursue their craft professionally. 22 artisans from industries such as pottery making, textiles, bamboo and cane products were given studio space to display their wares, as well as resources and financial grants to refine their brand, in the year 2022. This year to commemorate 50 years of statehood, the Government of Meghalaya has recognised 50 new Ateliers. The curators of Meghalayan Age – The Store recognized the importance of providing a platform for artists’ works. As a result, since the store’s inception, one or more exhibitions have been held each month to promote the state’s numerous artisans. With the intention of maximizing every resource, the store promotes a new artist and their works on social media each month, while simultaneously organizing handpicked experience events in the store. These experiences allow audiences to engage with a plethora of art forms such as charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, regional cinema, photo series, book readings, etc.

Meghalayan Age – The Store aims to put Meghalaya on the map for artwork, handicrafts, handlooms, food, literature, and even music that are entirely indigenous, handcrafted, and locally produced. This objective is reflected in the meticulously curated product selection. Bringing the finest culinary products grown in the hills of Meghalaya, such as Lakadong turmeric, wild forest honey and Sichuan pepper, in addition to the more widely available ginger, black sesame, and cinnamon. Additionally, the handloom and handicraft collection offer artistic vision and extraordinary pieces inspired by the culture of Meghalaya. The collections range from apparel pieces from award winning weavers on textiles such as cotton, Eri, and mulberry silk to innovative and eco-friendly products from bamboo and rattan cane. These unique products are carefully selected for their quality and sustainability.

Moving forward, the store has plans to introduce a new group of Meghalayan entrepreneurs under the Atelier programme and expand its offerings to further explore the cultural heritage and offer customers an even greater variety of one-of-a-kind products. The store will continue to uphold the practice of sourcing resources locally, finding new artists to uplift, and nurturing the tradition of handmade art.

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