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Life at Norlha Blog

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Red

In nature, red is the color of life, that of poppies, of fire, of chili, berries and watermelons.

Transposed into culture, it is the color of spirituality, dominant in monasteries, in monk’s garb, of prayer flags, wall paintings and pillar ornaments. We love red at Norlha, with its spirit of openness, of warmth, of drama and spirituality. In summer it flutters with the prayer flags, in winter it fills us with balminess.

As part of our project to have Norlha interpreted by photographers worldwide, we can see our red accordion scarf through the eye of photographer Surzhana Radnaeva, shot in Norway.

The Annual Picnic

Every year starting in 2007, Norlha has held an annual picnic attended by the whole of Norlha’s staff, their families and friends in the village and beyond. Picnics, though being the favorite Tibetan way to enjoy the joys of and all too short summer, are more a pastime for city dwellers as farmers and nomads have their busiest time in the summer months. Winter, when animals are nearby and feeding on fodder is deemed more suitable for family reunions, merry making and religious activity with marriages, pilgrimage and other festivities.

The annual picnic is seen as one of the highlights of the year and lasts for three days. Preparations are started days ahead, a spot is carefully chosen, tents pitched and a kitchen is set up. There is singing and dancing, eating, games of all sorts and the inevitable water fights with women and men pitted against each other. While other festivities like the lhatse, which brings together people from the whole of Zorge, are a way for young unmarried women and men to come in their best and gaze at each other, the annual picnic is more a time for inter family fun. People who are close and work side by side all year can eat, laugh and play together, along with their children who form their own little groups and games.

This year, after years of the choosing the higher pasture as a picnic ground, a new spot was found along the river in the valley beyond the monastery. This gave a new impetus to the water fights, that were taken to another level

Blue

Blue is the Plateau’s all season color, ever present in a multitude of shades in the sky, water and the flora of the Plateau. Blue is in the changing hues of lakes that take their cue from the sky turning from intense turquoise to a steely grey. It is found in the swiftness of rivers, and the extreme blue of the winter sky, that stands out against the monochrome expanse of pasture.

Norlha has interpreted blue from its most subtle shades, found in the delicate hues of changing sky and water, to the intensity of its cloudless winter sky and transferred it into our scarves and shawls. Woven from the finest yak khullu, they hold the essence of the Tibetan Plateau.

Norlha; the Middle Factor

The success of a company is more often than not measured by happy customers and healthy profits. What about middle factor, the people who make it all happen? We forget how a company also needs to value the happiness factor of its own employees to be truly successful. At Norlha, we take pride in our artisans and administrators, whose every day work and enthusiasm make Norlha what it is today.

Norlha’s 120 employees are all part of a team; they are weavers, spinners, tailors, dyers or felters but also guards, shoppers, photographers, and people who oversee production, sales, stock and distribution.

In the following photos, meet the teams who contributed to the making of your scarf.

Summer in Pink or Pink in Summer

Pink falls short of the unsaid rule about the use of primary colors in Tibetan religious art. It may find its way in the very delicate shades of lotuses that surround deities, without venturing into much further. In nature, by contrast, pink abounds; every shade in its spectrum is vividly present in the wild flowers, and the sunsets. It is a color that conveys light heartedness, and very popular with little girls. Amdo monks have adopted it most vivid shade in their zens, a unique tradition.

We love pink at Norlha and use its every shade to reflect the world around us, especially the world of summer.