Fancy, Chinese lamps bring darkness in local artisans' lives

Fancy, Chinese lamps bring darkness in local artisans' lives

Fancy, Chinese lamps bring  darkness in local artisans' lives
The traditional Indian festival of lighting lamps now has the Made in China flavour. Fancy diyas (lamps) made in China  have taken over the market. The traditional, simple mud diyas have become a rare sight this season.

Most shopkeepers in the City are selling the Made in China diyas in large quantities. People are also preferring glossy clay diyas, instead of simple earthen ones because of the look and easy use. They do not seem to mind spending the extra rupee.

Fancy lamps painted in bright colours, glossy clay lamps, candle lamps and electric lamps are a huge rage. They cost anything between Rs 20 to Rs 200 for a small lamp. The simple earthen lamps cost Rs 8 to Rs 15 each, depending the size.

But this has affected the traditional potters. “Diwali was one of the big business seasons for us. We used to make a lot of sales, but in the last two years, the sales have been dropping. This year too it has been bad. We are also finding it difficult to get the mud and silt to make the earthen lamps, which are traditionally used in all homes,” said Shankar, a potter.

Potters from Ramanagar, Tumakuru, Bidadi, Bengaluru Rural and City outskirts are affected because of the new trend.

Ramya S, a homemaker, said, “We earlier used to buy simple earthen lamps. But there are so many new fancy ones in the market. They are painted in bright colours and some are even glossy. I do not mind paying more for them, because they look nice when lit.”

Megha C, a software professional, said that compared to the simple ones, the new ones which have wax in them are easy to light and manage. There is no need for oil and cotton. They make a nice gift too, she said.

Chandan Kumar, a shopkeeper in Basaveshwaranagar, said that people are demanding more of the Made in China lamps and the fancy ones. People want wax and electric diyas. Sale of earthen lamps has come down by around 50 per cent this festive season.

However, there are people who still prefer using the traditional lamps. “The price has increased compared to last year and their presence on the shelves is waning. But, we prefer them because this way, potters are employed. We use them because of their simple and soothing look,” said Shobha K, a homemaker.
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