My Mom is pretty amazing with her sewing capabilities. She asked for the measurements of our little two year old grandson on Facebook and got the response from the mother almost instantaneously. She finished her “assignment” in a matter of hours. By the time we left for Arizona to visit all three grandsons, she had it ready to put in our suitcase. Wow, that is efficient!
What about sewing in Kazakhstan? Do many people have this skill? I found this sign (see below) along Furmanova, just down from el Farabi street in Almaty several years ago. I thought it was a clever sign incorporating the mountains that are in the backdrop with the look of stitches for sewing. Uniquely Kazakh with the Cyrillic letters describing more about it in Russian. I wonder if the shopkeeper has ever been bothered by the mafia elements. I remember when I first lived in Almaty back in 1993 (almost 20 years ago) that there had been a highly reputable cabinet and furniture maker. Reportedly he was so good that he caught the attention of the bad characters who took over soon after the downfall of communism in 1991.
From what I understand he was “ordered” to make the specified furniture for these bad guys in a very short amount of time. When they came back for it at their designated day, the craftsman had not completed the job. They said, “I don’t think you understand, we need that furniture NOW! Get it done or it will not go well with members in your family.” I don’t remember whether the task was accomplished or if he went against his own creed of good craftsmanship to get the furniture done quickly. It seems he was left with no choice but to comply to their wishes and forced to do shoddy work in order to save the lives of his family members. That would be a kind of slavery and for doing good work, this furniture maker had been penalized.
Sad that this kind of thing goes on in Kazakhstan. I know that many Germans and Russians left soon after the fall, they knew that they were no longer “welcome” in a land that was originally the Kazakhs. I wonder how Almaty shop keepers who are trying to do a good business are doing in this kind of business climate. I suppose those who have never learned a craft of which they can be proud of would just say “So what.” Clueless thugs.