Chimp Story

Aaaah people can sometimes be so naive and ill-informed, other times this naivety actually borders being close minded and ethnocentric to be blunt.  Recently I saw a less than flattering comment  on a social networking website regarding crochet products from a certain country in the East and I was wondering whether the person had any deep understanding about the culture and peoples referred to at all. It is so easy to make sweeping statements and to resort to stereotypical views, yet at the same time it is easy enough and certainly exciting to be learning more about other places, other nations. Perhaps because of this comment, I thought it would be nice to write a posting about some products Made in the East under much nicer circumstances than is generally believed.

The toys and accessories designed by the Dutch  hooker Anne Claire Petit are ethically produced by skilled craftswomen all across rural Asia and are simply gorgeous. Her brand represents joy, fun and an optimistic world view. Petit has established a warm bond with, and among the various communities of women hooking her designs from the comfort of their homes, often sharing the activity with a few of their neighbours and passing the skill down to their children. An additional benefit for these craftswomen are year round, steady income.

Anne Claire Petit also produced two short movies titled "Chimp" and "Counting". Enjoy!

I have a soft spot for monkeys since my own favourite cuddly toy as a child was a monkey and when I took the Dude Tween to select a new soft toy in exchange to throwing his dummy in the bin all those years ago, he too selected a monkey. Crafters in Penang hooked numerous toys in order to raise funds for Tsunami stricken Japan and out of all the options, the two Tweens again chose a little Amigurumi Monkey each, bought with their own pocket-money.

Here in Penang, we encounter monkeys on a daily basis and even have a Tree Monkey Restaurant and a Monkey Beach. Over on the Mainland there are also numerous Orangutan rehabilitation centers and nurseries for the wee little orphan Orangutans. One species, the Spectacle Langur or Dusky Leaf Monkey is sadly an endangered animal but I experienced quite the surreal moment when one of them jumped in the car with me one day.  Just as I left the market with arms full of fresh veggies and fruit, the heavens opened up and it came pouring down. I guess the monkey was looking for a dry spot too and it took me a good minute to chase it out by which time I was completely soaked through. They are very cute in appearance, but errrmm I mean, it could easily have taken a bite out of my arm or face as they are not tame even if we think they are.  This is what the Spectacle Monkey looks like - very cute indeed!

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