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Fair Trade

Contours Shoulder Bag

Handwoven in a Nepalese ashram, this autumnal cotton bag is embroidered with rows of colorful contours. Wear comfortably on your shoulder or across the body. Lined interior includes zip pocket. Bag has zip-top closure. 12.5” x 13.5” x 3.5”. $28

Made by Mahaguthi, is a non-profit organization that plays a vital role in supporting socially and economically disadvantaged artisans of Nepal. Mahaguthi was founded by a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, who started working with women, widows, and low caste people in 1927. The Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram, the parent organization of Mahaguthi, is a women’s center that continues to provide shelter, food, support and vocational training in tailoring and weaving to women, with the objective of making women self-reliant. Mahaguthi, Craft with a Conscience began as a retail outlet for the spun textiles in 1984, and has since expanded to include crafts from over 1,000 artisans throughout Nepal.

Om Bracelet Also from Mahaguthi, this cuff bracelet is a reminder of love and compassion, balance and mindfulness. Engraved with the widely used Tibetan prayer or mantra: Om mani padme hum. In the Himalayas this prayer is commonly carved on rocks or written on papers inserted in prayer wheels. 2.5” Deep x 1.25” Wide. $18

The Roll-On Bracelet is available through Amazon in 30 different color sets. Bracelets can be purchased separately ($14-$16) or in sets of three ($34-36) or more. The Roll-On Bracelet is the signature product of Aid Through Trade, one one of the leaders in the fair trade fashion industry. Aid through Trade, one of the founding members of the Fair Trade Federation, began in 1993 and today employs over 75 women artisans in Nepal. The artisans delight in coming to the exclusive studio and office in Nepal where they enjoy prestige, sisterhood, dignity, fair remuneration, a retirement account and other benefits.



Homeless Bird

By Gloria Whelan (HarperCollins, 2001)

This National Book Award–winning novel chronicles the breathtaking story of a remarkable 13-year-old girl who dares to defy fate. Like many girls her age in Southeast Asia, thirteen–year–old Koly faced her arranged marriage with hope and courage. But Koly’s story took a terrible turn when in the wake of the ceremony, she discovered she’s been horribly misled; she had been sold for a dowry. This powerful novel relays the story of a rare young woman, who even when cast out into a brutal current of timeworn tradition, sets out to forge her own remarkable future. Inspired by a newspaper article about the real 13–year–old widows in India today, this universally acclaimed bestselling novel transports readers into the heart of a gripping tale of hope. Recommended by this month’s DFW grantee, BlinkNow Foundation. Suitable for pre-teens and young teens as well as adult readers.

Above All Things

By Tanis Rideout (Berkley Trade, 2014) A New York Times Editor’s Choice. 1924.

George Mallory is perhaps the last great British explorer, having twice tried — and failed — to conquer Mount Everest. The mountain has haunted him, but his attempts have captivated the hearts of a nation desperate to restore its former glory after World War I. Yet George has sworn to his wife, Ruth, that he will not mount a third attempt. He will remain with her and their three children instead of again challenging the unreachable peak. Then, one afternoon, Ruth reads a telegram addressed to George: “Glad to have you aboard again.” And with this one sentence, the lives of the Mallorys, and the face of the nation, are irrevocably changed. “Truly mesmerizing, a powerful weaving of the tensions and heartaches of a marriage in conflict with an obsession…brilliantly told. It will take you up the slopes of Mount Everest, a climb so vividly described you will almost feel the biting wind, the intense cold, the great drama of an historic event. But this is more than an adventure tale. Above All Things takes the reader into the hearts of both Mallory and his wife as they struggle to understand each other and their own conflicted yearnings.” — Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker


Following Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas
By Dan Thompson (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012)

In 2007, Dan Thompson, an Iraq War veteran turned magazine editor, and his wife Nora accepted an unexpected invitation from a family friend to visit Nepal. They explore holy temples high in the Himalayas, compete with donkey trains for precious space along the world’s deepest ravine, and save a woman from the brink of death. Along the way, they meet emaciated medicine men and colorful grandmas on pilgrimage. From laugh-out-loud misadventures with a parasite, to insightful discussions about Nepal’s future, Thompson weaves themes of globalization, religion, development aid, and friendship into what is part adventure story, and part coming to terms with post-Iraq War life. Recipes of traditional foods mentioned in the book are included.

“Thompson’s lively descriptions of the places, people and practices he encountered capture the environment of a remote, rugged country that has long been a magnet for tourists and adventurers.” — Dr. Alec McEwen, University of Calgary

Transformative Travel in Nepal: Fulfilling a Dream in the Himalayas

By Kate Benzin (GypsyDuo, 2012)

A casual phone call to a friend sparked the fulfillment of a lifelong dream – traveling to Nepal to trek in the Himalayas. Kate was able to see the gorgeous snow-capped Himalayas in person so close that it she could just reach out to touch them. She also was able to trek for days into areas that only the most adventurous travelers ever reach. What Kate learned about herself during the challenging and sometimes excruciating, but always stimulating, adventure of trekking at high altitude over rough terrain truly transformed her in ways that often did not become apparent until many years later. “Fantastic and interesting account of one woman’s journey to the Himalayas. This story is well written and will encourage every well-intentioned traveler to get up off the couch and follow his or her dream on the map of life.” – Magic


Beneath Everest:  Nepal Reborn (2010, 100 minutes)

A film By Tulsi Bhandari / Nepali with English and German subtitles

From deep in the Himalaya mountains where the Maoist soldiers wake up each morning, to the cities where a powerful movement for change explodes on the streets, people of Nepal have experienced moments they never thought possible. Filmed over four years during the height of the insurgency and the historic transition of Nepal from a 240-year old monarchy to a Republic nation, ‘Beneath Everest’ is a journey that exposes the grassroots realities of Nepal’s ten-year war. Directed by a native Nepali, the film encourages Nepalis silenced by fear to tell their stories, and challenges them to reflect on their fears, triumphs and hopes as Nepal begins the long journey towards peace.

View the trailer and interview with the director.

The Sari Soldiers (2008, 92 minutes)

The Sari Soldiers is an extraordinary documentary about the efforts of six courageous women to shape Nepal’s future in the midst of an escalating civil war against Maoist insurgents, and the King’s crackdown on civil liberties. When Devi, mother of a 15-year-old girl, witnesses her niece being tortured and murdered by the Royal Nepal Army, she speaks publicly about the atrocity. The army abducts her daughter in retaliation, and Devi embarks on a three-year struggle to uncover her daughter’s fate and see justice done. The Sari Soldiers follows her and five other women, including Maoist Commander Kranti; Royal Nepal Army Officer Rajani; Krishna, a monarchist from a rural community who leads a rebellion against the Maoists; Mandira, a human rights lawyer; and Ram Kumari, a young student activist shaping the protests to reclaim democracy.

“I truly believe that every student of conflict resolution must see this film….with this documentary, seemingly opposite realities can be simultaneously true.” – Laura L. Noah – Pronoia Mediation blog

View the trailer

Cave People of the Himalaya (2012, 55 minutes)

In the 1990s, a Himalayan cave in Nepal was discovered to contain 42 ancient people, buried on wooden bunk beds. American archaeologist Dr. Mark Aldenderfer believes there must be more burial caves, but the challenge is how to find them deep within cliff faces in the cold and inhospitable environment of the Himalaya. Aldenderfer’s theory is the funerary caves were carved out by the earliest people to have settled in the Himalaya. If he can find their remains and extract their DNA, he’ll learn who these people were and what brought them to the toughest parts of the planet to live. National Geographic’s cameras capture the rare moments of discovery as they unfold. View the film on PBS or purchase on Amazon


Nepali Ho Traditional and Contemporary music of Nepal

This delightful collection includes jazz, rock, and traditional instrumentals and vocals, finely blended. Among the artists in the Nepali Ho collection is Kutumba. A folk instrumental ensemble of six professionals from Kathmandu, Kutumba distinguishes itself by staying true to Nepalese culture while simultaneously experimenting with music from all over the world. The word ‘Kutumba’ holds a special meaning in the Nepali language. It stands for a unique bond amongst community members. As their name, Kutumba is all about bringing together traditional folk tunes and instruments with new and improvised sounds and ideas. Watch Kutumba perform in London on YouTube –

Subani Moktan

Also among the artists in the Nepali Ho collection, Subani Moktan is an award winning singer/songwriter from Nepal. She has been active in mainstream Nepalese music since she was 17. Subani has a degree in Eastern Classical Vocals which she attained at the age of 14. After releasing her album in 2003, she was awarded the Hits FM Award for ‘Best New Artist’. In 200 she won the Hits FM Award for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’ for a song she composed herself. In 2010 she was nominated in the categories of ‘Best Rock Composer’ and ‘Best Rock Vocal Performance’. Subani has been a vocal instructor at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory since January 2011.