Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Cottage Industry in is Alive and Well in Nepal

Life in Changunarayan Village goes on much as it did in centuries gone by. Women carry water and wash their clothes and even bathe at the community tap.

When there is a problem, like India closing the road to Nepal for fuel and medicine, people in the villages often take it in stride. Life is harder, but life here in the village looks pretty much the same as on normal days. Random bird and goat sounds can be heard in the distance and people are out and about as early as 5 am.

People wonder about the artists and craftsmen who make such amazing art as the Tibetan style thangka paintings. Many of these painting take months to complete, which allows many craftsmen to stay in the villages to work from home. After more than a month the artist will hand carry his work to the Kathmandu Valley, hand delivering it to the retail outlet and collecting his pay. This is the way it is at our school, too. 

Changunarayan’s Sunapati thangka painting school has over 20 students living and studying here, but after they complete their studies they will have the option of returning to the village and earn a good living.

There is a felt workshop and a hand carved mask workshop here in the village and one can often see carpet and pashmina being woven in small workshops along the road on the way to our village.

Women knitting hats and gloves are common sights. Pre-school children play nearby as the mothers chat as they knit. The little bit they earn enriches the family and often helps to pay school fees for the older children.

Suddenly, you’ll notice the women are not knitting and the small factories may even close for a few days. The women can be found out in the field planting or harvesting. The fields come alive as families work together to get the farm work finished. The tiny plots of land are sometimes the size of a room.

Particularly after a natural disaster, people wonder how to help. Purchasing from these factories or cottage industry workers is an important way to help Nepal. If you just send money the social worker and many other people will take some of the money, which is fine because getting money flowing is a big part of healing an economy, but not much will end up going for supplies and labor for the project. Even in the West, this is a problem. I remember reading that the Red Cross only released 5 million dollars after collecting almost a billion after Haiti’s earthquake.

Whether you are looking for a special Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or another celebration, Nepali art remains one of the best values on the planet for uniqueness, quality, and price.

You can find some lovely, custom pieces at our lovely, affiliate website

Our Offer: If you have an idea of something you'd like that is not offered on our partner site, just give us an idea of the medium and price you want to pay. We can shop for you and get a great local price. We'll add our expense of our shopper and up to 25% for our agency. However, we cap the 25% at $75. So if something cost wholesale $300 our profit would be around $75, or $375 total. If something cost $400 you would only pay $75 commission and expenses plus shipping. 

Shipping rates can be quite expensive if your item is brass, but here is an idea of the shipping costs. 1/2 kilo will cost $35 max. plus about $5 for each 1/2 kg of additional weight for 5 day UPS/DHL or about half that if you want slower time. In this case, we would use the Nepal government parcel service. It would be insured, but slower and about half the price of UPS.

We will send you several pictures of items we find and if you approve we'll go back and get the one you like, wrap it and ship it. But you will always have a chance to see what we've found for you before we ship it, or before you even have to pay. It's all 100% guaranteed to be what you want or just send it back and we'll eat the shipping cost. We have Paypal and a merchant account, so if we have anything but 100% satisfaction Paypal or our merchant bank will make sure we do have your needs in mind. We've been doing thangka and mask shipping with our partner website for 4 years and have never had a complaint. All the banking is through me, so we always take care of our customers' needs in a timely fashion.
This will give you about 50% discount over market value while creating a job in Nepal and exporting Nepali handicrafts. Just drop us a line at


My eBook is available now at (Promotion code for discount: GR5X4BCHX2  If you are planning a trip to Nepal you'll enjoy it. It will save you time as well as money, but more importantly, it will help you to have a better time in Nepal. Many people wonder things like if they can eat the street food like in Thailand or Vietnam. 

Here's my spoiler alert: Do not eat the street food in Nepal, nor should you eat at any buffet in Nepal. The eBook addresses such things as this and what to do if you become ill, etc. Whether or not you get my book, please read this short, free eBook. It will help you get your time here off to a great start. If there is a problem with the download or code please let me know at 


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Twitter: @FrugalTravelsNe or @NGOChangu @StarViewChangu

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