From Gulabi Meenakari craftsmen to terracotta manufacturers, artisans from across different parts of Uttar Pradesh and their work, part of the ‘One District One Product (ODOP)’ initiative, are among the many highlights of the international trade show in Greater Noida. The event is being held at India Expo Mart and Centre and will be on till September 24
According to Kunjbihari Singh, a Gulabi Meenakari craftsman and National Award winner, the art form came to India through Persia (Iran) in the 17th Century. “Meenakari is done in different ways in different cities. But it was in Benaras where ‘Gulabi’ Meenakari was invented. Its colors are formed by metal oxides such as blue from cobalt, white from titanium, green from copper, brown due to magnesium and pink due to gold. All of these colors are formed after the oxidation,” he said.
In this art form, the metal surface is coloured or decorated by attaching or fusing pieces of different mineral substances over it. Explaining the process, Singh, who is from Varanasi, said: “The first step is (creating the) design, then we put a layer of pure silver on it. The third step is engraving and the fourth is Meenakari, where we heat the object at 850 degrees Celsius. Then we paint on it.”
He further said, “I had made a chess set, which PM Narendra Modi gifted to US Vice-President Kamala Harris. I have also demonstrated this product in Geneva and in a festival in Riyadh in 2018.”
Singh said a total of 25 families are associated with him and he is training around 500 artisans. “I have been doing this since childhood. My father was in the government service, but I learnt the art from the tools my grandfather left behind…”
For carpet weaver and Jaunpur resident Mohd. Jamaal (32), the specialty of their Bhadohi carpet is that it can last up to a hundred years or more. “It is unique as it is completely hand woven… Our carpets are pieced between Rs 5,000 to Rs 5 lakh. Weaving a good quality carpet takes around a year and it demands a lot of dedication, skill and patience. The skill has been down through generations,” he said.
He further said, “Now that the government has included our product under ODOP, we get a lot of opportunities to showcase our work at different exhibitions… and meet a lot of international buyers. We get a market — the buyers contact us directly… and there is no middleman involved.”
Jamaal said he has a team of around 80 people who are involved in carpet works. “It is believed that the carpet manufacturing started in Madho Singh village of Bhadohi… my forefathers were the first to start this,” he added.
Similarly, Pannelal Prajapati (37), a terracotta manufacturer from Gorakhpur, said it is the color that makes their product unique. “The red color that you see on a terracotta product is formed by a mixture of caustic soda, soil, and mango tree bark. Then it is heated, further dried and turned into a solution. When we paint the object with the solution, it turns red… Terracotta is made from special soil found in only three places in Gorakhpur, one of them is my village, Aurangabad village,” he said.
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“I am the fifth generation in my family to do this work. Around 275 families in my village are involved in this work, this is our USP. Due to ODOP, there is a high increase in sales. We get orders and provide the product accordingly. The District Industry Centre (DIC) will refund 75% of the amount of Rs 74,340 that we paid for the stall,” he added.
Businessmen from other countries too were at the fair.
Islambek Akylbek Uulu from Kyrgyzstan said he has received offers at the trade show and will finalise the deal. “It is a very good platform. I am the director at my company ‘Nomad Soft’. I am looking for some software-related products. I have talked to many companies here and I’m hopeful I will get a good deal in the coming days. This is also a good platform to build relations between the two nations,” he said.
Abdulkadir Nura from Nigeria said, “I am looking for a product related to solar energy. It is also a place of learning for me as I got to know about the innovations that India is doing in this sector. I am participating in the show as a buyer, I have got the opportunity to meet a lot of businessmen here.”
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PARIS — PARIS — King Charles III of the United Kingdom starts a three-day state visit to France on Wednesday meant to highlight the friendship between the two nations with great pomp, after the trip was postponed in March amid widespread demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension changes.
Charles and Queen Camilla were greeted by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne at Paris-Orly airport. They were to attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in the presence of Macron and his wife, Brigitte.
The visit shows “the deep historical ties that unite our two countries. It is also an opportunity to showcase France’s cultural, artistic and gastronomic excellence,” the French presidency said.
At the Arc de Triomphe, both national anthems will be played before a review of French troops and a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to “mark the shared sacrifices of the past and an enduring legacy of cooperation,” according to Buckingham Palace.
The jet fighters of the Patrouille de France and Britain’s Red Arrows, the acrobatic teams of the two air forces, will fly above the monument.
The presidential and royal couples will then head by car to the presidential palace, parading on the Champs-Élysées avenue.
Macron and Charles will hold a bilateral meeting, because the visit also “symbolizes the relationship of friendship and trust” since they ”have in the past worked closely together to protect biodiversity and combat global warming,” the French presidency stressed.
They will also have talks on Russia’s war in Ukraine and the migration issue as Italy’s southern island of Lampedusa was in recent days overwhelmed by people setting off from Tunisia.
While the U.K. royal family long ago ceded political power to elected leaders, members of the royal family remain Britain’s preeminent ambassadors as presidents and prime ministers jockey to bask in the glamor and pageantry that follows them wherever they go.
The visit comes amid a recent warming in the Franco-British relationship after years marked by Brexit talks and related disputes.
At a bilateral summit in March, Macron and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to strengthen military ties and step up efforts to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel.
“We know that the British and French relationship has been difficult at times since 2016,” Ed Owens, a historian of the British monarchy, told The Associated Press.
“This move on the part of the British state to send the king to France is about reassuring the people of France, but also the people of the U.K. that this is a relationship of significant important and that it is based on history, heritage and that there are many other things in our shared futures that connect us.”
A state dinner on Wednesday in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in the presence of more than 150 guests will be one of the highlights of the visit.
On Thursday, Charles will address French lawmakers at the Senate, providing a new venue for the king to show off his language skills after he wowed his audience by switching seamlessly between German and English during a speech to Germany’s parliament in March.
He will later rejoin Macron in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral to see the ongoing renovation work aimed at reopening the monument by the end of next year.
U.K. Ambassador Menna Rawlings, speaking on French news broadcaster LCI, said that Charles was “very sad” after the monument’s spire and roof collapsed in a blaze in 2019. It reminded him of the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle, she added.
“Of course it’s an incredible moment for him to have the opportunity, with the queen, to look at this (renovation) work and also meet the firemen who were involved,” she said.
Charles and Macron will also attend a reception for British and French business leaders about financing climate-related and biodiversity projects.
The king will end his trip on Friday with a stop in Bordeaux, home to a large British community. He will meet emergency workers and communities affected by the 2022 wildfires in the area and visit the Forêt Experimentale, or experimental forest, a project designed to monitor the impact of climate on urban woodlands.
He will also tour a vineyard which has pioneered a sustainable approach to wine making.
AP journalist Alexander Turnbull contributed to the story.
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King Charles had originally intended to make France his first trip abroad as monarch but his would-be host, President Emmanuel Macron, was forced to cancel in March because of violent protests over an unpopular pension reform.
Macron will be hoping to forget that diplomatic setback when he welcomes King Charles for an elaborate three-day visit that starts on Wednesday and is intended to showcase the historic, cultural and economic ties between Britain and France.
Security preparations have been intense, with between 8,000 and 10,000 police officers mobilised just as authorities are under pressure to secure other high-profile events in France. The Rugby World Cup is continuing, and Pope Francis will be in Marseille over the weekend.
“France needs to get this right — it was embarrassing to have to cancel the royal visit last time,” said Georgina Wright, an expert in Franco-British relations at the Institut Montaigne think-tank.
The 74-year-old king, a fluent French speaker, and the 45-year-old president already know each other quite well, according to aides, and will open the visit with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
They will then parade down the Champs Elysées, accompanied by the horse-mounted Republican Guard and fighter planes from the two countries’ air forces.
The visit follows an improvement in bilateral relations since the painful period when the UK was negotiating its exit from the EU, and Paris did not see then prime minister Boris Johnson as a serious diplomatic partner.
In March, Macron and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak unveiled new co-operation on curbing cross-Channel migration, energy and defence at the first Franco-British summit in five years.
The two former bankers in their forties have forged a better relationship, facilitated by Sunak’s more rational approach to dealing with EU matters, although tensions remain over some issues such as policing the Channel to prevent small boat crossings to the UK.
Although King Charles plays no political role in the British system, the monarch and the royal family remain potent symbols that resonate abroad. Even in staunchly republican France, where revolutionaries beheaded their king in 1793, many remain fascinated by the Windsors.
Ahead of the royal visit, French media have gone into overdrive, with TV news channels preparing round-the-clock coverage of every detail, including the entrance of VIPs to the lavish state dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
“It is not as if the French envy Britain with its monarchy, but they do get excited about the royal family and the rituals around it,” said Wright.
Macron ably channelled that sense when he recorded a moving message addressed to Britons after Queen Elizabeth II’s death last year. “With her, France and the United Kingdom shared not just an ‘entente cordiale’, but a warm, sincere and loyal partnership,” he said. “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was THE Queen,” he said.
On Thursday, King Charles and Queen Camilla will visit Notre-Dame cathedral, which is still being rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2019, before heading to Bordeaux on Friday to see a vineyard, a nod to the monarch’s interest in farming and its large British expatriate community.
The schedule also alludes to memorable moments from the Queen’s 13 trips to France, such as a stop she made at a flower market on Paris’s l’île de la Cité on her first visit in 1948 as a young princess. The market was renamed in her honour in 2014.
Beyond the ceremony, the visit will feature more explicitly political moments, such as when King Charles gives a speech to the French Senate on Thursday and two one-to-one meetings with Macron.
The pair will discuss biodiversity, climate change and financing the green transition, according to the Élysée Palace, while taking stock of the bilateral relationship and its future. They will also discuss pressing geopolitical matters including the war in Ukraine and the recent spate of coups in the Sahel region of Africa.
Additional reporting by George Parker in London and Adrienne Klasa in Paris
Strictly Come Dancing stars were out in force tonight, as they took to the red carpet for The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards at The Roundhouse.
Taking some time off from their gruelling rehearsals ahead of the first live BBC show, Zara McDermott, 26, and her professional dance partner Graziano Di Prima, 29, put on a glamorous display in their first event appearance as a duo.
Strictly couple Nadiya Bychkova, 34, and Kai Widdrington, 28, shared a tactile display on the red carpet, showing off their blossoming romance after finding love as professional dancers on the show.
Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice opted to bring his former celebrity partner Michelle Visage along as his date to the event, after the stars reached week nine of the BBC dance competition back in 2019.
The Sun’s Who Cares Wins awards honours hard-working people from the health and social care sector who go above and beyond for their patients or causes, with Davina McCall hosting the ceremony for Channel 4.
Kamal-Shruti Haasan, R Madhavan and others attended day two of SIIMA Awards
Stars lit up the red carpet of The South Indian International Movie Awards 2023 (SIIMA) on Saturday. The second day of the event, much like the first, was attended by some of the biggest names of the film fraternity. From veteran actor Kamal Haasan to R Madhavan and Trisha, celebrities were seen attending the award ceremony in their festive best. Sagar star Kamal Haasan looked dapper in a suit while his daughter Shruti Haasan made heads turn in a glamourous black saree. Stars R Madhavan and Rana Daggubati and Rishabh Shetty amped up the style quotient in their party best. Kamal Haasan won Best Popular Choice Actor (Male) for Vikram while R Madhavan won a slew of major awards for his directorial Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.
Here are some pictures from last night:
Ponniyin Selvan actor Trisha and Shriya Saran added a dash of glamour in their evening gowns while Keerthy Suresh exuded boss lady vibes in a blue pantsuit.
Here’s how the leading women of South Indian cinema looked last night:
Ponniyin Selvan director Mani Ratnam attended the award night with his wife Suhasini Maniratnam. Take a look at their OOTN:
Keerthy Suresh, who looked looked stunning in a blue suit, received the Best Actress Critics (Tamil) award for her performance in Saani Kaidham while Trisha took home the major Popular Choice Best Actress (Tamil) award for her performance in the Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan I.
Jonita Gandhi, who slayed in a golden gown was awarded the Best Playback Singer – Female (Tamil) award for Arabic Kuthu in Beast.
The 11th edition of SIIMA was held in Dubai on September 15. Day 2 of the event took place on September 16 at the World Trade Centre. The winners are decided by public polling.
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Shehnaaz Gill at TIFF red carpet. (Image: Instagram)
Shehnaaz Gill graced the red carpet at TIFF for the premiere of her sex comedy Thank You For Coming produced by Rhea Kapoor.
Bigg Boss alum Shehnaaz Gill’s sex comedy Thank You For Coming was recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film features Bhumi Pednekar, Shehnaaz Gill, Kusha Kapila, Dolly Singh and Shibani Bedi as an ensemble. The film was received well at the premiere and Shehnaaz took to Instagram on Saturday to express her feelings about walking on an international red carpet.
Shehnaaz graced the red carpet in a shimmery orangish-nude gown with a plunging neckline, flaunting her curves at the film festival. She shared photos on Instagram with the caption, “Celebrating and taking it all in one breath at a time. This carpet, this air, this all feels so surreal. Sinking in all in. This magical international carpet premiering my film with a sold-out show, it all feels nothing less than a dream. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a young naive girl from a small town in Punjab can come this far, then so can you… never give up on your dreams. Work the hardest when given the opportunity and no one can stop you from growing!”
She also shared photos with her cast members. While Bhumi opted for a sexy grey gown with a cinched waist, Kusha wore a lavender floor-length cocktail dress with a plunging neckline. Meanwhile, Dolly a white bralette with a matching skirt and Shibani opted for a sleek black dress.
Directed by Karan Boolani, Thank You For Coming is produced by Rhea Kapoor and also features her father Anil Kapoor. The film was first premiered at the festival on Friday, September 15 and then on Saturday, September 16.
The shows on both days, held at Roy Thomson Hall and Royal Alexandra Theatre, sold out all their tickets. The shows were houseful, with select seats being held for allotment at the venue, which too was high in demand as audiences eagerly anticipated this must-watch chick flick that addresses women’s sensuality in a quirky way.
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GB News presenter Stephen Dixon has reached out to rugby star Lewis Moody for puppy training tips, after his dog Ziggy interrupted his interview on GB News.
Speaking to Moody on Breakfast, Stephen asked Lewis for tips on toilet training a new puppy, following the arrival of his family dog, Rex.
Dixon said: “Just because just because we saw a bit of Ziggy there Lewis – I’ve just got a puppy, 11 weeks old. How long does it take? Please tell me how long before I need to stop mopping up messes on the carpet.”
Moody laughed as he replied: “Well, Ziggy’s four now and I’m glad to say that stopped about two years ago. So you maybe got another year.”
Sports broadcaster Paul Coyte chimed in on the conversation, saying: “I’m trying to work out who’s the mad dog, you or Ziggy!”
Dixon retorted: “Two years, how lovely. Thanks a lot, Lewis, for that!”
Watch the interview in full above.
Tune in to Breakfast with Stephen and Anne, Friday to Sunday from 6am, only on GB News.
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