From baseball caps to phetas!

Pune-based Murudkar Zendewale has organised a pheta-tying workshop as part of the 14th Brihan Maharashtra Mandal Adhiveshan to be held in Philadelphia on July 2

For those who feel that Maharashtrian culture is waning, here is a story to lift your spirits. Pune's own Murudkar Zendewale, a store that has been selling typical Marathi artefacts for three generations, will be traveling to Philadelphia, USA along with the cultural convention to be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Centre between 2nd July and 5th July. The convention will be conducted by the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) and will be attended by over 4,000 Maharashtrians from the US as well as India. The representatives of the shop will be teaching the attendees of the convention how to tie a typical Marathi pheta, thereby promoting Maharashtrian culture in the States.

"This is the first time in history that such a workshop is taking place, and we are proud to be part of such a noble endeavour," says Girish Murudkar, who's grandfather started the store almost 80 years ago. Murudkar, along with his colleague Piyush Solankar, will be teaching the Mahatma Phule pagdi, Mawli pagdi, Shahi turbans and of course, the Puneri pheta. They have also included the Tukaram Maharaj pagdi to celebrate the occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi.

The phetas and pagdis will be available in different colours like cream, red, saffron and pink. Murudkar is also supplying the phetas which will be used to felicitate the attending dignitaries like Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, social activist Anna Hazare, Asha Bhosale, Uddhav Thackeray and Nana Patekar, to name a few.

Besides the turbans, they will also be showcasing authentic Maharashtrian dresses, albeit modified to fit western tastes and needs. Aphdagiris, the large fans used even in Shivaji Maharaj's time, will also be part of the vast collection of Maratha artifacts that Murudkar is taking along with him. "For me, this convention is merely an opportunity to pass on our glorious cultural wealth to future generations. The objective is that they should be able to tie a pheta or a pagdi by themselves, if an appropriate occasion presents itself," Murudkar explains. Murudkar is looking forward to the opportunity of making his contribution to the promotion of Marathi culture, and hopes that the young generation will embrace their heritage with pride.

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