In this age of plastic and imitation it is soothing to see, touch and appreciate handicrafts. Exhibitors from different countries have gathered at the Municipal Recreation Centre in Itin to take part in the ongoing Salalah Trourism Festival (STF). The exhibition opened on Monday with participation from Russia, kyrgyzstan, Iran, India, Jordan, Tunisia, Ghana, Yemen, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. It is also an opportunity for those who love to collect souvenirs from different countries.
Every product on display is a piece of art and the participants are artists in some form or the other. “They are the custodians of culture and proud of whatever they do in their own way to preserve the handicrafts for the coming generations. Some of the participants are celebrated artists, whose fifth generation is into art and culture,” said Bosko Gajic, who is organiser of the exhibition.
“The exhibition would run into two phases. First phase has already been launched on Monday. It will continue till July 24, while the second phase comprising participation from countries like Norway, Ghana, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Tunisia and Jordon. Some country exhibitors have decided to remain in the festival from July 10 to August 9, hence they are figuring in both the phases,” said Gajic. Aia from Kyrgyzstan is happy to take part in the festival with her products, which she and her small team makes in her home country. The Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia has a long tradition of creating textiles from felt and silk. Perhaps best known are shyrdak, or ornate felt rugs, which customarily were used solely for household purposes, but which are now generating new jobs and income for women in rural areas.
Goncharova from Russia has been awarded by the Russian Academy of Art and she is a member of the Union of the Artist. She is participating with range of Russian handicraft carrying 200 years of family legacy involving five generations. Her expertise is painting flowers on metal trays.
From Yemen there are participants who have brought several antique products, which are still in use in Yemen and many Arab countries during marriages. Manal al Muhagni, Zainab al Musalmani and Mohammed are excited to take part in the exhibition and hoping to do good business.
A visitor at the exhibition stalls, Talal al Shahri, termed the exhibition as an activity which every visitor at the festival excited to see, feel and buy souvenirs from several corners of the world.