I know some of you probably cringe at these touristy visits but please try not to resist it because Sikkimese people take pride in their local heritage and culture. Many of their sightseeing tours are very touristy – curated by their state tourism – but with good intent. In fact, the locals recommend you to visit these places, not because of the commercialism that comes along with it but is an opportunity for outsiders to learn about their culture.
When my local taxi driver, Poorva, drove me to the DHH, it was during their lunch hour. I could still visit the small museum (Rs 10 fee) and the gift shop but the workshops were empty. It would have been a waste of time. I requested Poorva to drop me off at DHH in the afternoon once we had finished our sightseeing tour of Gangtok.
Apart from manufacturing, showcasing and selling arts and crafts, DHH is also a training centre. I came across students working hard – weaving handlooms and painting thangkas. They don’t mind visitors coming into their classrooms or workshops to observe them 🙂
Just as I thanked them and was leaving their workshop, one of the girls ran towards me to take a photo with me with her phone camera 🙂
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