Today we celebrate World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. For us at Kantala, culture is a powerful tool to bring together communities and countries not only in a colourful celebration of beauty in diversity, but in the power of our cultures to create opportunities for sustainable development.
Sri Lanka counts a recorded history of over 2,500 years and has a vibrant culture, enriched by our unique position along one of the busiest ocean trading routes over the centuries. This has contributed to our diversity in people, fashion, food, architecture, religion, crafts and so much more.
Diversity in fashion - traditional cultural costumes.
The traditional craft sector in Sri Lanka has for centuries played a large part in shaping our cultural heritage. From grand monuments to woven tapestries and from stone carvings to delicate gem work, there are over 52 craft categories in Sri Lanka.
We at Kantala have always believed in the power of our cultural heritage to support the development of Sri Lanka. Starting off Kantala, we made it a point to base the brand on a traditional Sri Lankan craft. While we leveraged our rich history of traditional crafts to create fair and equitable economic opportunities for rural communities, we also found ourselves immensely inspired by the traditional values embodied in these traditional crafts. The vegan handbags we make at Kantala are inspired by the closely held values of our artisans.
Diversity in food - food plays an integral role in celebrating diversity in cultures.
Traditional crafts throughout the world have one common underlying thread. That is the immense respect all of these crafts have for their communities and environment. Traditional crafts embody the spirit of the communities and nature those crafts are made in.
Modern concepts such as sustainability, veganism, ethical manufacturing are concepts which formed towards the latter part of the 20th century in response to the destructive practises of unhinged capitalism and consumerism. However, centuries before, and in great part even today, these weren't merely concepts but a way of life for our artisan communities. These were values they were brought up with, lived with and died by. Traditional craftspeople were the first ethical manufacturing champions - producing ethical goods from sustainable and vegan materials.
Diversity in architecture - buildings and monuments are rich archives of traditional crafts.
At Kantala we work with immense respect and gratitude towards our cultural heritage and our traditional craftspeople because they are well and truly the real pioneers of ethical manufacturing. We love using every opportunity to tell the rest of the world about it and we are so thankful there are millions like you out there who love listening, learning and appreciating our cultural heritage.
Together, by celebrating and recognising the diversity and potential in our cultures, the world can thrive as one, ensuring we live with respect and gratitude towards our communities and environment.
Cultural diversity brings beauty and opportunity to our communities, nations and the world.