I am not much of a jewelry person, I am more of a camera lens person and believe me the camera lenses are as expensive. I have browsed through jewelry displays before but it was at Yvel Design Center (Israel) that I stood and took notice! It is another matter that almost everything was way too expensive for me to afford! I could book a trip to Antarctica for the price of some!
Yvel is mirror image of Levy. It was founded by Orna and Issac Levy in 1986. Pearls are their main strength and they make beautiful things with it. In Issac’s words, “While most jewelry designers design a piece of jewelry and then look for a pearl or stone, at Yvel we first look for the pearl or stone and then we fashion the jewelry around it,”
However, what impressed me most is their social connect. Over 90% of their workforce is made up of immigrants from 23 countries. In 2010 they started a special program for the Ethiopian Jew community in Israel and therein I got to hear a tale!
I met Daniel Sahalo a young man who is the US sales manager in the company. He immigrated from Ethiopia via Sudan at the age of 5! They walked for 9 weeks to reach Sudan, where they lived for many months in a refugee camp before they were airlifted to Israel. In that 9 week walk the family buried Daniel’s sister and continued to walk. He says they used to mix coffee with milk and even today he can’t stand the smell of coffee! You can search about Operation Moses to know more about the operation.
He learned English by watching TV. Daniel became responsible for the household at a young age, as he was the first to learn Hebrew in the family. And today he handles US sales for Yvel! You can read more about him in this Washington Post article.
He was proud to introduce us to the Megemeria Collection, which is a line developed by the graduate students of Yvel. All the proceeds from the sale of this line goes back to the social activities. It was the only line where I could afford something. I bought an earring which is my most expensive earring till date other than a few gold ones I have! That was my small contribution to the initiative.
Yvel is open to visitors and it includes a visit to their in-house wine center which is fabulous. I went to Yvel wondering what on earth would I do in a Jewelry design center and came back with a heart warming story!
My Trip to Israel was Sponsored by the Tourism Board of Israel.
In spite of living in NCR since 2002 I never hauled myself up to the Surajkund Mela. But that changed today. I went to Surajkund Mela 2015 because the theme state was Chhattisgarh. I visited Chhattisgarh (not at the mela but the actual state) in January and I came back quite impressed. I decided to go alone and not take Chhavi as I was not sure what to expect on a weekend.
I am glad I didn’t go with my daughter, this is a partial view of the crowd that went to the Surajkund Mela today. It is great move of Haryana Tourism Department to let people purchase the Surajkund Mela Ticket online. I would have walked back if I had to stand in the queue to get the ticket. Do carry an identity proof if you do the ticket online as they ask for it at the entry.
This was the beautiful Chhattisgarh Gate at the mela grounds. I have to say that I had panicked right at the entry, but I convinced myself to spend sometime now that I had come so far. I have to say that even though it was really crowded, people on a whole were quite well behaved. I never had to tick off anyone at the mela ground.
There were a series of red elephants right posted along the entrance. They were a popular stop for people to take a photograph. I managed to get one minus the people after a while.
There were a lot of jewellery stalls and apart from an odd boyfriend, women thronged it. I liked them a lot as well but for a slightly different reason.
I was hanging around these stalls for they make for a very pretty picture. Unfortunately neither my sister nor I wear necklaces so I didn’t buy any. But how beautiful they look!
If you are not fazed by crowd you might actually enjoy clicking pictures and walking around. I am like a stricken chicken when it comes visiting crowded places. However, I did spend close to an hour at the venue.
Surajkund reminded me a bit of Dilli Haat. But of course it was grand daddy of Dilli Haat in sheer size, variety and people visiting the place.
I have often read that sometimes we shoot take pictures with just one lens. I carried only the 50mm prime with me. All the pictures are clicked with the 50mm lens and the Lumia 1020.
Even though I am very fond of buying earrings, this time I was content by clicking pictures. I didn’t even ask for the price once. I now wish I did, for the one in the top left hand corner.
I can now say that I have been to the Surajkund Mela. If you don’t mind the crowd you will enjoy it a lot. If you are like me, I am not so sure.
Do remember that you can buy the tickets online, just check out the official website of the Haryana Tourism.
There are mela buses plying from the Badarpur Metro Station on the violet line. The mela bus stand is at walking distance from the mela gate. You can get down at Tughlakabad Metro Station as well and take a cycle rickshaw or an auto.
I started interacting with Chitra over her other blog, about temples. Then one day we connected on Facebook and then I discovered Chitra’s Jewel Art. I have to admit I am not very fond of jewelery. But earrings are an exception. And I just way to lazy to go out and shop as well. So I really liked the idea that I can order it over the internet.
In the picture is my first round of purchase from Chitra. Second round is on the cards. Thank you Chitra.
PS. Chitra never asked me to do this post, it is my way of saying thank you.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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