In A Nepalese State Of Mind
14 February 2011
Okay, so I never came back last night to post about this... I was tired and actually slept. And slept. And slept. I think I'm caught up now. Anyway.
Girl Scouts' Thinking Day is coming up, and my Daisy troop is going to a TD party in a week. SWAPS ("Something Whimsical Affectionately Pinned Somewhere") will be exchanged with girls from other troops at the party, so I had to come up with some things for them to, well, swap. Thinking Day is the day when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world stop to think about each other, basically. One of the main "themes" for this year is to remember that girls in some countries - and yes, even in our own - don't get the same opportunities as boys, and to empower our young ladies to change that.
In order to get our SWAPS made, I held a special meeting yesterday afternoon at the home of one of my Daisy families. Six of the eight girls were able to make it, which was great, since 100 girls are expected at the Thinking Day party. [Is this making any sense to non-Girl Scouts out there? I'm listening to my headphones and coming off a migraine right now (probably not the best combination of things, especially since Nine Inch Nails is on at the moment), so I apologize if this is too discombobulated!] The country we (meaning "I") chose to represent for Thinking Day is Nepal, so all our SWAPS had to represent that nation.
I searched the internet for hours and hours. I found SWAPS for every country on the planet. Except Nepal. Seriously. If you do a search and find some, please don't tell me, or I'm liable to commit hara-kiri. So I had to invent my own. I don't consider myself particularly talented in the area of synthesis of thought or design, but I am pretty proud of the SWAPS I came up with. If you think they suck, lie to me. I think they're awesome. I didn't get any actual pictures of the girls making them, because I was extremely busy helping, so here are some pictures of the samples I made to show the girls:
This represents a bansuri, a flute-like instrument of the Indian subcontinent. Nepalese musicians use them. I'd been saving up empty TP rolls for MONTHS on end, with no clue what craft they would be used for, so I was pretty happy when this idear came to me. One of the moms told me one brand was easier to cut the holes in than the other, but we couldn't deduce what brand, so you're on your own there!
Oops just noticed the unglueage of that one strip. Anyway, all SWAPS get labels of some sort, with the country, the object represented, and our troop info. Most SWAPS are safety pinned, but this bad boy needs a clothespin.
Obligatory flag swap. The actual ones are red, not yellowish (my printer needs replacing, so I had our hosting mom print them out properly for me). Printed on card stock. Info written on back. Nepal is the only country that doesn't have a rectangular flag.
This is the Buddhist symbol (kind of like the fish or cross for Christianity, etc.), so this:
is the swap I came up with to represent that. Not exactly the same, but close enough, and fun and easy for my 5- and 6-year-old Daisies. They liked making this one. I let them use any colors they wanted.
This swap represents what may be the most important of the Nepalese festivals, the Majipa Lakhey, which happens during the full moon of the month of Yenlaa. I did not explain the background meaning of the festival to my Daisies, since it involves cannibalism and such, but you can read about it here, among other places.
In the swap, the ball of white clay reps the full moon, with the tie-dyed felt and the feather (color choices optional; we have several in ours) representng the clothing and mask/headdress they wear for the fesival.
IMO, this is the coolest of the swaps. I wanted to represent Nepalese cuisine, so I chose Dal-Bhat-Tarkari, a soup made with rice, spices, and vegetables. I took a square of tulle and put in some basmati rice, lentils, and to represent the spices, I used fennel seeds so they wouldn't go through the holes in the tulle. Water excluded for what are hopefully obvious reasons.
I just used yarn to tie up the contents of the tulle and added a label and pin. So easy, but I think it's wicked cool. Disagree with me and pay the consequences.
I used my Cricut for the first time in ages, to make little swap-keeper boxes for the Daisies. (I used the Boxes, Bags and Tags cartridge and first chose the nut cups, but I switched to the popcorn boxes, which I think are a better choice.)
I punched holes all around the top of the boxes, so they could pin their swaps to the edges.
So this is the sampler of SWAPS and swap-keeper I brought to our Daisy meeting for the girls.
Now that I have thought about it and have seen the box in action, it really doesn't hold enough swaps. It might be good for one meet, too, but not for the future. So I'm thinking about getting or making sashes or hats for the girls to keep all their SWAPS on instead. Yeah. think I'll do that.
Total cost to the troop for all these swaps: $3.59 for the safety pins. Everything else I used out of either the troop's or my personal craft stash. Woot!!
I will begin accepting lots of pleasant comments about my amazing creations.... NOW! Hee.