ITC Sonar and ITC Royal Bengal focus on Bengal’s traditional crafts this Christmas
Kolkata/IBNS: The popular luxury hospitality brand - ITC Hotels - has decided to go eco-friendly with their Christmas tree displayed at their Kolkata properties this year while paying tribute to the traditional crafts of Bengal.
There is a section of artisans in Bengal who are experts in fashioning objects from the dried milky-white spongey plant matter from the shola-pith (Aeschynomene species).
The plant was used in multiple ways – from making decorations for the famous Durga idols to the headgear of traditionally attired Bengali grooms and brides (who use the ‘topor’ and ‘mukut’, respectively), to other decorative items.
However, the art and the artisans are facing challenges from mass-produced goods made out of synthetic material.
ITC Sonar has decided to focus people’s attention on this eco-friendly material by designing their Christmas Tree with hand-crafted shola in a contemporary design.
Snowflake ‘alpona’ adorns the floor as a golden snowflake forms the star atop the tree.
To draw attention to the handmade textile of Bengal, traditionally woven ‘gamchas’ have been used to decorate the festive gift boxes beside the tree.
Their twin, the ITC Royal Bengal, embraces the 19th century Dutch-Bengal style of Patachitra art through their Xmas Tree, according to a release by the hotel.
Hand-painted by local artist Soumyadeep Roy, the tree is a visualization of the traditional Nativity Scene, depicting the birth of Jesus.
Through vibrant colours and a dynamic style - this tree illustrates people from across the world coming together to join in the celebrations of this festive season, the release said.
“At ITC Hotels, our WelcomArt initiative celebrates indigenous art, providing a platform to local artists. As per tradition our hand crafted Christmas Trees imbibe modernity, while rejoicing in the cultural heritage of the region. This is in keeping with our ethos of Responsible Luxury, part of our initiative to help sustain the intrinsic flavour of the region,” said Tejinder Singh, Area Manager East, ITC Hotels & Cluster General Manager, ITC Royal Bengal & ITC Sonar.