Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Knitting in India

12 women, 4 days

First day of knitting, casting on and knitting

3rd or 4th day, showing them a new technique

Each time someone understood how to do a step, they immediately turned and helped the person next to them.
Even our team leader got into knitting. Don't worry, she got better. She had 8 dishcloths done by the time we left.

I taught knitting for 4 days to about 12 women total. Some traveled 2 days to get there and stayed with a friend. One woman said that if her husband knew she came, he would beat her. This really astounded me because I take it for granted here, the ability to learn different crafts and hobbies. It's not so easy in their area if they didn't grow up with it. What is really neat is that it crossed cultural boundaries, that people of different castes/classes gathered together. They normally wouldn't rub shoulders.

Another neat thing was that the women planned to continue to meet together each month. Sometimes they will have to do the 2 days of travel to reach the farther places. One of the leaders said something to the affect that "we have huge responsibilities in our families and need the encouragement of each other. We as wives are equal in responsibility to our husbands." Basically, we need a woman's support group. This again seems so common in the western world, but there it isn't. I felt like I was witnessing a feminine revolution!

My focus was the knitting, a couple of the other women on the mission team had the focus to work with the orphans and Bible students. I helped them when I could and spoke in front on a few occasions. It was mostly a seed planting and encouragement mission. I would definitely go back if it worked out. As it is, I think I may go back to a different part of India altogether, an area where most know how to knit already.

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