Realizing the importance of imparting training on tailoring monks’ robes, Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation organized a 10-day workshop for tailors at CIBS from 18th August to 28th August 2015. The workshop was conducted by Tashi Lodan, one of the few tailors who have experience and knowledge of sewing monks’ robe. Lodan has learnt from his uncle and has been sewing monks’ dresses as well as other monastic decorations for last 13-14 years. While interacting with the participants Prof. Geshe Konchok Wangdu, President, HCHF and Director of CIBS said, “the monks’ robes play an important role in developing faith in the minds of the people not only for the monks but also in the Buddha’s teaching. Monks are always advised to wear clean and tidy robes, especially in the public places. Therefore, tailors will not only increase their earning but also will accrue merits for this life as well as for next life if they learn the measurements, proportions and sewing them carefully considering it as an offering”.
Explaining the need of the training the founder/secretary of HCHF Dr Sonam Wangchok Kharzong said, many things have changed but it is undeniable that the robes of monks that came to existence almost two and half thousand years back is still in trend. “Recently, it was found out that very few monks are engaged in handicraft skills such as sewing and tailoring monks’ robes and monastic decorations. Even the tailors in the city did not have any knowledge of it. Therefore, most of the monks get their robes tailored from other parts of India like Karnatak, Dharamsala and Dehradun. Hence, our aim is to revive the skills of Tibetan sewing art in Ladakh” said Dr Sonam Wangchok.
Sixteen tailors from different parts of Ladakh participated in the training workshop. The training comprises of measuring, cutting and sewing. Lodan is pleased to see that HCHF has been able to help these young tailors to sustain themselves and their families by giving them a chance for this vocational training. “Not only does this make each one of them proud and happy, but they are keeping an important part of the Tibetan culture alive by preserving the skills of the Tibetan sewing art” said Lodan. According to Lodan the trainees perfected in sewing Shanthab and Zangos but they need further training for Dhonka/Stod-Gag and other monastic decorations.