Writing Pysanky in India


I’ve taught pysanky in India several times now.  My friend Sara Bhattarcharji, who used to run the Low Cost Effective Care Unit in Vellore (a small general hospital), has long been captivated by pysanky.  She loves the photos I send at Easter, and often trolls my website.  When I was planning to come in 2005, she asked me to bring pysanka making supplies.

Sara is a specialist in community medicine.  Besides medicine, she is interested in community development.  She had thought that pysanka making may be a way for some of the poor to earn a bit of extra money.  Guru, who works with the Physical Medicine branch of CMC, though it might be something useful for his Occupational Therapy students to learn.  So they arranged for community volunteers, OT students, doctors, nurses, teachers, and anyone else who was interested to attend my pysanka sessions.

2005: We had one session, attended by CMC staff and a schoolteacher or two. 

2006: I had two sessions, the first attended by community volunteers and OT students, and the second by CMC staff an d their families, and some friends of Sara's.  She later held another session (without me), and photographs were taken.  They may have had more sessions since, but I suspect they may be waiting for the weather to cool off.

I left behind dyes and tools, and they are looking for Indian sources for all the necessary materials.  Several of the staff have friends or relatives trying to create styluses.

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