Saturday, February 9, 2008

What is it with Indians and tinsel?

I am constantly amazed by the Indian fondness for kitschy, shiny stuff. There is not a single part of India where your senses are not overwhelmed by colour and tinsel.

Take this shop in Kinari Bazaar, for example. They sell garlands for weddings, festivals and other assorted uses. Whoever their supplier is, obviously they've achieved the happy bliss that only shiny plastic can deliver!

The shops do brisk business. This is obviously the right place for traditional stuff, so most of middle-class Delhi comes here for all those special things you need just for weddings - gift bags, gift envelopes, little give-aways, jewellery boxes. In most of the shops, you can order in bulk, depending on the number of guests you have planned for the event. Payment is, by and large, in cash.

But it's not just wedding shoppers who come to Kinari Bazaar. Most of Delhi's female population comes here as well. Housewives and teenagers, designers and bargain shoppers, they walk through these lanes looking for sequins and buttons and little bits of fancy embroidery to make their own fashion statement.

If you go on the Delhi Magic Old Delhi Walk, ask the guide to show you these shops. And check if the tinsel tempts you!