Posted by: Len
We recently came across this article from the Dhaka Daily Star and were pleased to see the Salesian Sisters being recognized for the excellent work that is being done at their embroidery center. Along with Anil Advani we visited the center in Monipuripara several times during our trip to Dhaka in late 2010 and were very impressed by the high quality embroidery that we saw.
Surayia gave her designs to the Salesians when she was no longer able to draw or stitch; Sister Elizabeth and her colleagues now oversee the embroidery of the women who used to work for Arshi. The quality, from what we saw on our visit, remains high, and we understand that there continues to be strong consumer demand for nakshi kantha tapestries.
The Daily Star article includes a photo of one of Surayia’s designs, her interpretation of Rabindranath Tagore’s play “Shyama.”
We were also pleased to see a positive mention in the article of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows. Cathy and I were frequent visitors to their house and chapel in Bashundara when we lived in Dhaka; Mother Luisa taught many young women how to embroider beautiful table linens. The type of work done at OLS is very different from that of the Salesians, but it is all exquisite and the goal in each case is to help poor young women become self-sufficient, just as Surayia did.
Congratulations to Sister Elizabeth, Mother Luisa, and everyone in Bangladesh who helps to carry on the rich tradition of embroidery.