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Have You Been to Bangladesh? How Many Blankets Do You Own?

When I talk to people in person about dignify & what I do, there are two questions that I am asked almost inevitably:

  1. So, have you been to Bangladesh?
  2. You must be a hoarder! How many blankets do you have, anyway?

I’m sure that neither of these things are keeping you up at night! But, here are my answers, nonetheless:

Did you visit Bangladesh; is that how all of this began?

No, I have not yet visited Bangladesh or seen the Basha offices in person. I met Robin, who started Basha and is the managing director, when we were both living in Vancouver, BC and she & Wayne took a class together about “social enterprise”.

More on our origin story here, but that was the beginning, and so far we have managed very well to communicate via email and regular Skype calls. It is NOT the same as visiting in person, and a visit to Dhaka (and the rural offices) is on my radar, for sure. There are some challenges to getting there:

  • Bangladesh is not a tourist destination. The country has not been built up as a desirable or particularly safe place to go on a holiday or tour with my family. Robin has told me that if I plan on visiting Dhaka, I shouldn’t anticipate much more destination excitement than visiting Basha!

Dhaka EID

Pretty much... {Dhaka train station at EID holiday} photo: AP

  • I have three little kids! Business travel is a norm for many families, but if we did decide to travel with our entire family of 5 (either to BD or a nearby destination), it would be a massive expense for our fairly simply living family. If I go alone, it is a very long distance and time commitment to leave them home (at least I feel like it is).
  • It is expensive to fly across the world! When I go, it will certainly be worth it. But nonetheless, it takes some major planning & sacrifice.

My dream and plan is to go personally to Bangladesh sometime by spring 2017. One idea that has come up over time is the possibility of going with a group of other interested people to visit & help out at Basha. If you would be at all interested in a short term trip to visit the Basha offices in Bangladesh, please let me know.


How many blankets do you have, personally?

I see many, many blankets that I love, but believe it or not, I have kept very few of them. Right now, we have 5: 3 colorful, cotton throws, 1 modern natural throw, and 1 kantha mini.

Kantha Blanket Pink

This was the first blanket we kept, about 3 years ago. When I pulled it out of the box from Bangladesh, our daughters were 2 and 3 and I thought: this is a blanket for little girls. I haven’t seen one quite like it since, and I am so glad that I snatched it up!

Our basement office (where we work and where all of the blankets are stored) is very chilly, and I kept coming upon Wayne with a blanket wrapped around him that he had “borrowed” from the shelf. Since that was totally inappropriate, we gave it to him for Father’s Day!

When my son was born, the ladies at Basha sent us a gift of a kantha mini. We weren’t even selling them at the time, but we certainly are now! It was so versatile: I used it as a swaddle blanket in the winter, I tucked it in his carseat, and used it as a play-mat. Now it is used for forts and dolly beds and any other manner of things. Pinki sewed our mini kantha, which delighted our girls to no end.

Officially, the turquoise polka dot blanket was my eldest’s, so of course, #2 wanted her own. The tricky thing is that I knew, once we each had our “own” blanket, we really cannot continue to collect them! And, choosing the blanket that will be yours until adulthood is a lot of responsibility for a 4-year old! Last fall, when we received hundreds of throws for the holiday season, she chose a bunch and I pulled out the ones I didn’t like. She picked one from the remaining 3 or 4, and this is what she chose:

I love that it matches perfectly with our all-time favourite pair of kids’ shoes (that she wore out & climbed mountains with):

Our kantha blankets meander everywhere around the house and all totally clash with each other, but we love them! They have been used as capes & roofs for forts & picnic blankets & extra bed blankets & curtains & road trippers & movie-watching companions & just about every other use you can think of. Certainly, I am thoroughly biased, but this is the straight truth: there is not a day that our kantha throws are not in use around here. 

Where & for what do you use your kantha? Share in the comments below or tag #dignifylove on instagram or facebook & spread the love!


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