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Colours of Pakistan: Glass Bangles

For any festivity in South Asian countries like India , Pakistan and Bangladesh, one item is a must-have for every female under the age of 90 and that item is brightly coloured glass bangles called chooriyan.

Available in a mind blowing variety of colour, texture and designs, these glass bangles are an essential fashion item without which festivals like Eid, Holi and even weddings are incomplete for women. They can range from very cheap to very expensive depending upon their type.

The glass bangles are usually worn by dozens to match the clothes with heavier bangles called karas on the sides. Parents prefer to buy metal bangles for young girls as glass bangles can break easily but this does not deter women and teen girls from buying dozens of sets to match their outfits.They sparkle and glitter and the sound of glass bangles represents joy and happiness.

Multan might be known for its beautiful blue pottery but it is the city of Hyderabad that is famous for it production of glass bangles. According to estimates, 350,000 people are associated with the manufacturing, trading, packaging and transportation of this industry.

However, it is one of those industries which involves child labour as entire families are part of the bangle industry. Many work in hazardous conditions, completely devoid of safety mechanisms which makes me wonder why we, the people in Pakistan cannot understand our basic rights and demand that labour laws be implemented fully.

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  1. You end on a sad note, but this is the reality throughout the developing world, and was the case here in my parents’ memories.
    I do love the sound of these chooriyan! My daughter Ishtar was last in India when she was five years old, and I think she still has a number of these (in tiny size!) since that visit 🙂



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