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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A "Love Marriage" Story

Rachna and I have been meeting with some of the Chidiya members to talk with them as they make their jewelery. One of the younger members, Brienga* (name changed), told us a little about her own personal story, which I thought was super cute.

In the traditional Narikuravar gypsy culture, arranged marriages are still highly practiced. It is very rare for couples to defy this tradition and marry for love, but that is exactly what Brienga and her husband did despite both of their parents' disapproval. Brienga refused to marry the husband that her parents chose for her, and since she chose to marry her current husband, she has been put to shame by her family. She must care for her family on her own. She has an 8 month old baby boy who is always smiling and has the largest, cutest eyes. She also has a 4 year old daughter who is very shy but adorable nonetheless. Brienga depends on Nest for her income, so it is very important that the Chidiya group receives steady orders from Nest, but at the right time. She explains that during the religious festival season, from December to March, the Narikuravar gypsies are busy selling their jewelery which is in high demand. But during the rest of the year, it is extremely hard for the gypsies to sell their products. If Nest can consistently order products from them to sell in the US market, this would be an enormous help for women like Brienga who need to feed her two children and send them to school.

During the next few days, the women in Chidiya will be busy making samples for an upcoming order. Hopefully this is the final round of samples, so that the women receive a large order soon! The requested samples need a few adjustments and it is absolutely imperative that the women make the samples perfectly so that the order can be made. Other than that, Rachna and I will be starting the business training soon next week!


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