Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. Tibetans believe that hanging these horizontal prayer flags (called lung ta or "Wind Horse" in Tibetan) in high places will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. Hang them around your garden to show your support for the Tibetan people, and bring peace to your home.
Unknown in other branches of Buddhism, prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon, which predated Buddhism in Tibet. The prayers become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure, and just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old, welcoming life's changes and acknowledging that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle. Old prayer flags are replaced with new ones annually during the Tibetan New Year.
Because the symbols and mantras on prayer flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect. Please don't place them on the ground or use them in clothing. Old prayer flags should be burned.
Your purchase of these prayer flags helps provide continuity of employment for workers who are still struggling to rebuild their lives following the devastating Nepali earthquakes of May 2015. Sunil, CEO of our fair trade producer-partner Mahaguthi, wrote immediately after the earthquake:
"Fortunate enough that we are safe... some of us have lost our homes. The second earthquake on Tuesday shattered our confidence as we were trying to get back to life. Still thousands of people are displaced. People are fearful to enter their homes. Everyday aftershocks continue to terrify everyone. Still it is taking time to get back to life. Producers who went home outside Kathmandu are still fearful to return. Those who lost homes are busy finding temporary solutions... Thank you very much for your understanding and support."
Mahaguthi Craft supports the development of micro-enterprises and helps disadvantaged producers improve their quality of life in Nepal.
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A little about Asha Handicrafts: Asha Handicrafts provides the security of markets to small scale artisan workshops around India, like ANSA, the soapnut harvesters in Tamil Nadu.
New Internationalist Australia is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, which means we have to stock a percentage of Fair Trade products, and also adhere to Fair Trade practices ourselves. Great for supporting producers rights, and also for our staff.
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