As a nation, I feel like the United States has pulled away from making things with our hands. Sure, we talk about workers on the assembly lines all the time, and we seem to be extremely good with fancy desk jobs in high rise office buildings. Somewhere along the way, however, the idea of creating things — actual goods by hand — was mostly shipped overseas to the lowest bidder. It’s nice then to travel to places where a majority of the country’s goods are still created by hand.
While my wife and I were in Paro, Bhutan, we visited a small shop where blankets were hand sewn. The room contained about a six or seven contraptions (like the one pictured above) and had women of various ages hand-sewing. (At one sewing station, a baby was laying on a stack of blankets doing what babies do best — “googoo” and “gaga”.) The lights were only on in the back as the front of the room had plenty of natural light. It was refreshing to see, as the women were chatting away about all sorts of stuff and paid no attention to their guest with a camera.
As we made our way out the door, I recall thinking about how we just don’t have situations like this in the US anymore. Gone are the days with six or seven people sitting around sewing blankets by hand, and even if a place was like that, I’m sure some management-type would, because of my camera, escort me out of the area.