No Christmas or New Year is complete without that vibrant, colourful star hung in front of homes like a mandatory routine. The spirit of Christmas and New Year is reflected in the star one chooses with careful consideration.
As the festive season arrives, the market is abuzz with a retina-rupturing array of stars of all shapes, sizes and colours. And far away, in the islet of Perumbalam in Alappuzha, a few artisans ensure that the festive occasion is in line with Nature. The group of artisans belonging to the Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission unit of Perumbalam crafts eco-friendly stars, making the festive occasion green and eco-friendly.
The Christmas stars are created from bamboo, and handcrafted with a lot of care. Each star takes close to 30 minutes to make, and needs an artist's undivided attention. The painstaking effort by the artisans ensures that each star is unique and organic, leaving no waste behind.?The raw, untreated bamboo is sliced into small sticks, the measurements of which will depend on the size of the Christmas star. Five such sticks are then stuck onto each other to make the frame of a star. Two such frames are then affixed to each other to make the final three-dimensional frame. Colour papers of myriad patterns are then stuck onto this. And voila, you have a beautiful eco-friendly star!
The RT Mission has joined hands with Culture Shoppe to provide a platform for the artisans to sell the handicraft, and bring the green stars into the market. This no-profit-no-loss project is a green initiative of Culture Shoppe in a bid to stem the flood of plastic Christmas lamps from China.?According to the artisans, this is how they have been making stars all along. "We have never bought a star. Ever! We make our stars and this tradition of star-making remains unchanged. In our neighbourhood, almost all families make their own stars. It is an eco-friendly way of celebrating the festive occasion," says Haridasan M., an artisan, as he gives a few final touches to one such star. This tradition of star-making is followed in the islet of Perumbalam by many families, and also during other festive occasions and sports matches.