The leading micro businesses in Nepal
There has been an expansion of micro-sized industries in past decade and they have played the vital role in Nepal’s economy. One of the prevalent and famous micro-business in Nepal is the cottage industry. It is easy to set up these as people with limited skills can easily start a micro business from their own home. Cottage industry normally produces handmade products which can attract a lot of tourists. Although the history of handicrafts goes back to 5th/6th century, here we are going to brief about existing handicrafts business that has been popular in Nepal.
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With no doubt, pashmina has been the most sold handcrafted product till date in Nepal. Though its market has slightly begun to fluctuate in comparison to last decade, pashmina is always the major tourist attraction. Pashmina is ready after combing (removing impurities and guard hair and aligning fibres) and spinning, to weaving and giving a final touch is entirely carried out by hand by specialized craftsmen and women.
Byabasayik Krishi Sahakari, an agriculture corporate started the processing of wool in Nepal. The pashmina made out of rare fibres of Chyangra mountain goats of the Nepalese Himalayas are quite famous in Nepali market. Pashmina from Nepal is gaining huge popularity in in Europe, USA, Japan and all over the world.
Mandala paintings in Nepal are specially made by monks living around the Kathmandu and valleys nearer to it. The tradition of making Mandalas painting is derived from the Buddhist tradition. Monks and nuns statying in the temples and monasteries started making the mandalas paintings as a tribute and respect to their master Gautam Buddha. This tradition passed on from generation to generation and now it has begun to grow as a micro business.
If you trail towards the hilly areas around Kathmandu valley like Changunarayan, Shivapuri, Nagarjun, Sanga there are people who have started a cottage industry. The group of locals people make mandala paintings in bulk and export to different countries. Mandala paintings are also made by the Newari community of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur portraying their unique and rich culture. The mandala paintings we see on the street of Thamel are all made by those village people. They are making fair income out of it. Mandala paintings are used especially for healing, meditation and the concentration purposes.
One of the unique item that tourist like to purchase while they are in Nepal. Changu Narayan is a popular place for the wooden masks. Locals of Changu Narayan make masks themselves out of softwood and then finally paint them with colours. Each of these masks represents the deities of the Buddhism.
These Mask Shops has masks in a variety of themes, from the traditional Nepali, clown, African masks, om plaques, and even some contemporary style. For those who enjoy expanding their spiritual constructs, these masks will allow you to bring home a bit of Nepali spirituality.
Beside wooden masks, there are other crafts made out of woods such as wooden jewelry and watches, wooden beaded necklaces, herb grinder, boxes, fournitures and other decorative items. I got to see a unique tie made out of wood. It was really soft and flexible like a real tie.
Dhaka Topi and other products
The products made out of Dhaka has a big market in Nepal. The major one is the hat made out of colourful pattern called “Dhaka.” Dhaka topi represents the pride of Nepali. Dhaka topi is generally famous in districts like Palpa and Bhojpur district of Nepal. The founder of the Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar announced March 1 as the Dhaka topi Day in India celebrated by Indian Gorkhas. Dhaka tipi day is also celebrated internationally on January 1 as a motive to promote Nepali culture and tradition.
There are different other kinds of Dhaka products like Dhaka Sari, Dhaka Swal. Dhaka Sari is specially made in the eastern region of Nepal. Terathum, Taplejung are the big wholesalers of the Dhaka Sari and Swal.
Palpali Dhaka is also famous for its kind. The wide range of Dhaka products made in Palpa is exported to many countries.
Metal Crafts are generally the ornaments that we see outside the temples and the roads of Thamel. The authentic metal earrings, wristband, necklaces are made by ethnic people residing in the valley.