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Silk Embroidery on display in China

Considered a symbol of wealth and status across many world populations, this luxurious fabric was China's best kept secret for many years. After many years of reigning supreme in trade exchange value on the silk road, silk was adopted into neighboring cultures that could afford to cultivate and grow the silkworms needed for it. Now it is branded and sold across the world in differing textures, qualities, and colors, long having left china silk fabric characteristics to itself in the silk business.

Sericulture began in 3000 B.C Tussar silk is a darker shade and coarserwikimedia

Sericulture began in 3000 B.C., when a mulberry worm fell into the tea of Empress Leizu (Si Ling Chi, in some translations) one afternoon. The curious empress found the object in her tea unravelling. She pulled at a thread and discovered that it stretched up to the entire length of her garden. She collected more of these strange objects and found that these fibers could be spun, and trusted to hold their shape for a long time. Empress Leizu set up the first sericulture unit, and created a fabric that has survived to this day.

silkworms Bombyx mori silkworms which eat only mulberry leaves and produce white silk Image source: wikimediawikimedia

Silk became a trade currency during the Han dynasty, and was even used in making strings for instruments and bowstrings. Within China it became a household tradition, and women and children were taught to spin their own versions of it. Special colors and designs were reserved for the emperor. This exclusive trade was kept a national secret for nearly five thousand years, until pilgrims and scholars who travelled to other countries, smuggled moth eggs under their clothes. Prior to this, if anyone was found exchanging the secret on the trade routes, they were executed for treason.

Silk spun Silk spun directly from the cocoon of the B.mori silkworms Image source: wikimediawikimedia

The neighboring countries that managed to learn of silk, like parts of Assam, evolved their own type of silk. The climate of the place plays a huge role in the viability of growing silkworms, and depending on the type of leaves available, the color of the silk differs. Tussar, Muga, and Eri silk are products of this evolution. They are coarser and browner. Eri cannot take on dyes due to its dark shade, but can be bleached.

Asian trade route where fabrics and export items were often exchanged as currency, commonly known as Silk Road due to the prominence of silk trade. Image source: wikimediawikimedia

In countries where the climate is not suitable to rear silkworms, silk is imported and therefore bears a higher significance in terms of being a symbol of wealth. Some civilizations, like the Greeks, have been harvesting byssus fibers to make silk. This is extracted from a particular species of mussels that stick to rocks and create fibers that are a golden hue. Novelists have made reference to this type of silk as 'seasilk' in many texts. It is very rare in the modern world, especially these days when the mussels are endangered, due to growth of parasites and bacteria from pollutants.

Seasilk Seasilk , fine dark threads produced by byssus mussels Image source: wikimediawikimedia

Silk today, is being commercialized and developed in many ways to improve its quality, and suitability. It has even been adopted into other cultures in their dressing styles, and some silks are specifically used for certain religious and traditional garments. Genome testing and genetic modification is being done to ensure that silkworms can be cultivated in countries where they don't usually grow as well.

Keywords: Silk, History, china, Sericulture, silkworms, seasilk, china silk, china silk fabric characteristics.


Wikimedia Commons

"Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."

Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s

R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.

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Photo by Flickr

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies.

Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.