interview with margot on travel, fair trade and how one person can make a difference

tulsi bangladesh impressie

My friend Rachel and I have met many years ago already. We share a love of travel and art. She interviewed me for her blog The Nothernist talking about travelling in Bangladesh, fair trade and how one person can make a difference.

The Saturday Six – Margot Lieftinck, Tulsi Crafts

Margot Lieftinck is a Dutch woman of many talents. She and I became friends out of a shared love of soap (good soap,

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kantha sari blankets in the cold

kantha blanket turmeric snow

It’s been very cold lately, not only in The Netherlands, but also in Bangladesh. While we have had snow and moderate frost, we also have homes with central heating and warm coats. In Bangladesh the lowest temperature recorded was 3 degrees celsius, the lowest since 1968. The problem is that people are not used to these kinds of temperatures, and don’t have enough clothing or heating (or a home in some cases) to keep them warm.

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interview with margot on empowerment of women in bangladesh

Ingrid Keizer Wilson has interviewed me as she’s interested in writing about empowering women. You read the her introduction below, if you’re interested you can read further on her blog ‘Not all that wander are lost.’

I have always been fascinated by the global community. Today the global community has been made smaller by the use of the internet. Not only can my words be read on the other side of the earth,

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Why Bangladesh?

proud women of bangladesh

Many people ask me, why did you choose to import fair trade products from Bangladesh, why Bangladesh? The short answer is that Bangladesh deserves it, why?

The textile industry is of mayor importance in Bangladesh, exports worth 18 billion dollars are the number 1 income of the country.
Minimum wage is 37 dollars a month, working 6 days a week, 10 or more hours a day.
80% of the workers are women.

I first visited Bangladesh in the summer of 2011,

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We love tea!

tea stall from shakari bazar

Tea, my most favourite drink. We met this tea seller in a street called Shakari Bazar, in the old part of Dhaka.

Just a few days before we had visited Srimongol, in the northeast of Bangladesh. It borders on the much more famous Assam, in India. And is also home to many tea plantations.

Beautiful! Enjoy your cuppa.

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National Assembly building Dhaka by Louis Kahn

tulsi crafts visit national assembly building bangladesh architect louis kahn distance view concrete building

Reminded by the announcement for an exhibition in the Netherlands Architecture Institute on the architect Louis Kahn, I realised I’ve been meaning to write a post about the beautiful national assembly building he realised in Bangladesh.

This is probably the place to explain to you that I have a MA in cultural studies, specialised in architecture. I’ve worked several years as a researcher for an architect’s office deeply involved in reuse of Modern Architecture.

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World Day against Child Labour

Today is World Day against Child Labour, a subject close to my heart. First and foremost I’d like to make clear that I think it’s most important that children are able to be children, to be able to play and learn. But how do we get there?

In Bangladesh child labour unfortunately is very common. The sad truth is that lots of families can’t survive without a child’s income. The garment industry in Bangladesh is huge,

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Introduction

tulsi crafts visit dhaka bangladesh traffic junction colourful people rickshaw bus cng

Just a little note as an introduction. I’m Margot and have just started a fair trade business, Tulsi Crafts, importing crafts from Bangladesh. I live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and will be running my internet business from home. Of course I love travelling and discovering new things! It makes me realise all the more how lucky we are, it really puts things in perspective. Gardening is another love of mine, I love pottering around my allotment.

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