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Basket weaving almost extinct with the proliferation of Chinese-made plastic products


As Safir newspaper published a report on basket weaving which has declined significantly after the flooding of local markets with plastic products, and competition from cheaper and much more elaborate Chinese baskets. This has resulted in limited demands on traditional baskets and in a decrease in their level of production.  The report also noted that despite the limited markets for traditional baskets, yet many families living close to water, such as in Amshit, Koura, Zgharta and Kefraya, depend on basket weaving for their livelihoods especially during the summer where there is a demand for baskets to package summer fruits (figs, grapes, etc...) and flower arrangements. Although basket weaving is difficult, requires patience and ruins hands, women excel in it although men dominate this craft.  Charbel Francis, who learned this trade from his father and grandfather, insists on pursuing basket weaving despite of its difficulty because it provides him with significant income.  He revealed that buying a bunch of bamboo stalks will cost him LBP 35000 and that he can produce 10 baskets each of which can be sold for LBP 4-6000 according to size.

Source: Al-Safir 28 August 2014

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