Bangladesh Artisans
Blue rug

Handcrafted by makers working with Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS), KTS rugs are the perfect addition to your living room, family room or bedroom. Traditionally, these rugs were made with the intention of sitting and sleeping on them, but the rugs are now made with the purpose of adding warmth and decoration to a room.

Leaf rug

Each rug takes five people to craft and is made from hand spun Tibetan sheep wool.  First, one person hand spins the sheep wool into yarn. Second, using environmentally friendly dyes, one person hand dyes the yarn. Then, one person winds the yarn before another person weaves the rug. Finally, the process ends with one person trimming. In one day, one individual can finish 0.138 square metres of the rug. Four out of five of these tasks are usually done by women.

Woman making a rug

The Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS) offers training in wool spinning, hand knitting and carpet weaving to members of low-caste communities in Nepal. Graduates of the training program have the opportunity to move into employment at KTS or to establish their own workshops. KTS embraces environmentally friendly practices such as the use of AZO-friendly dyes for carpets. In addition to the technical school, KTS operates an orphanage for abandoned children, a nursery, a primary school for children from impoverished families and a workplace daycare. Other benefits include literacy classes, training in writing and basic numeracy, women’s health education, health and accident insurance and access to loans.

Sita B K is one of the carpet weavers working at KTS. She is 48 years old and has been working with KTS for 14 years.

“I have experienced a lot of changes since joining KTS. I have become independent and can send my children to the KTS primary school. I would like to thank you all for buying our products.”

Sita B K

Kumbeshwar Technical School (KTS)

Add a touch of warmth and decoration to your home with one of these beautiful, handcrafted rugs.

No, we’re not going out of business. We’re celebrating summer with up to 70% off select items! With a huge summer sale like this, it might be natural to assume that the reason why we’re offering this sale is because we’re struggling. But the real story is that we love the products the makers create and we love being able to bring new handcrafted items to the Canadian marketplace. In order to continue supporting the makers we work with, we need to make room in our inventory so we can bring more of their handcrafted products to our stores.

“Thank you for buying our products and showing your appreciation for our craft. It keeps us working to support our families.”

Sadrole Louis Jeune, Comité Artisanal Haïtien (CAH)

This sale is also for you, our customers. Not only will it allow us to continue to share new, exciting and useful products, but it’s also to show our appreciation and say ‘thank you’ to all of you for helping us achieve our mission. Together, we’re improving the lives of makers in developing countries by supporting their craft.

“Canadians have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices, you can support small scale producers to provide better living conditions.”

Oscar Santa, Sapia

As always, the sales that we run do not impact the makers. As a founding member of the WFTO, our business is guided by the 10 principles of fair trade and as such, all the makers we work with have been paid in full.

Be a part of the story and help us celebrate our mission by joining in the fun of the summer sale. Shop for loved ones and give a gift with meaning, or shop for yourself and get your home (indoors and outdoors) and wardrobe ready for summer.

Canada Day is almost here! If you’re hosting a July 1 BBQ and need some ideas on outdoor table settings, then check out our list of must-haves for every summer BBQ.


A tablecloth is a definite must-have for every outdoor dinner party. It’s a simple and effortless way to spruce up the table. For a centerpiece that also anchors the tablecloth, add a vase with some freshly picked flowers from your garden. This tablecloth was created by makers working with CRC Exports in India.

Pitcher with glasses

A pitcher of iced tea or lemonade makes the perfect drink on a hot summer day. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making homemade iced tea or lemonade! Both this pitcher and these drinking glasses are mouth-blown in Bolivia using 100% recycled glass.


Skip wasteful, expensive paper napkins at your next BBQ and try something with cotton or silk. A reusable napkin is easy on the wallet, eco-friendly and adds a decorative touch to your patio table. These blue napkins are softly fringed and were hand-loomed with care.

Platter and tray

Dish out appetizers, burgers or sausages in a beautiful platter and serve condiments in a matching tray. Not only will it add a decorative touch, but it’s a great conversation starter. Both this platter and tray were hand painted and glazed in the City of Hebron.


Serve a refreshing salad to your guests. Get your fill of greens or try making a summer salad with fruit! This beautiful, ceramic serving bowl was also hand painted in the City of Hebron where makers earn excellent income and benefit from safe working environments.


A Canadian summer BBQ would be incomplete without these maple leaf coasters! Made out of old newspapers, these coasters keep landfills in the Philippines cleaner. Use them for your July 1 BBQ and every summer BBQ after that!

What are your summer BBQ must-haves? Let us know in the comments below!

The kids are almost home for the summer! If you’re looking for some unique ideas on how to occupy them and keep those “Mom, I’m bored” comments at bay, then check out some of our suggestions below.

Play Outside

Garden Card Deck

Play outside with your kids this summer! Going to the park or playing a game of soccer is a great way to get your kids active and out in the sunshine. If you’re looking for something different to do outside, then check out our garden card deck. It includes forty fun outdoor activities and games, as well as a booklet with information on gardening tools, plant care and garden safety. It’s a fun and easy way for budding green-thumbs to learn about gardening.

Read Together

Look Where We Live Book

Read to your kids this summer! Visit your local library and have your kids pick out books that are interesting to them. If you’re looking for something new to read to your kids, then check out Look Where We Live. In this picture book, five young friends spend the day traveling around their neighbourhood and participating in activities designed to raise money for their local library. Along the way, they learn about the people and places that make up their community and what it means to be a part of one.

Play Inside

Memory game

For those rainy summer days, play a board game inside with your kids. If you’re looking for new games your little ones can play, then check out this memory game. They’ll have tons of fun flipping over squares to find the matching animal. Not only will they enjoy themselves and be entertained for hours, but this game will help them build their memory and concentration skills.

Cook Together


This summer, try cooking with your kids! They’ll love getting to eat the final product. Plus, it gives you a chance to teach your kids about kitchen safety and healthy eating. If you’re looking for some new recipes to try making with your kids, then check out the More-with-Less cookbook. The recipes are both healthy and kind to your wallet.

Try Something New

Yoga Card Deck

Try something new this summer and do yoga with your kids! Sign up for a family class together or try it in the comfort of your own home, in your backyard or gather up a group of friends and practice in the park with this yoga card deck. Filled with illustrated cards that have clear descriptions and drawings, you can practice bending, twisting and breathing together.

What do you have planned to do with your kids this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

With the school year coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to thank your child’s teacher. Show your appreciation with one (or more!) of these gift ideas. Plus, many of these gifts empower families in countries all over the world by giving the makers and their children the opportunities to apply for scholarship funds and attend school, literacy classes and training sessions. What better gift to give a teacher?


Ceramic mug

A mug is a classic teacher gift that every educator will not only love but use every day. You can even fill one up with a few chocolate bars too! Famous for its ceramics, this mug is from the village of Bat Trang where makers working with Mai Handicrafts have the opportunity to apply for scholarship funds.

Pencil Case

Pencil case

Help your child’s teacher keep their pencils, markers and pens secure with a pencil case. Crafted from jute, this pencil case was made by artisans working with Saidpur Enterprises. The organization offers literacy classes and training sessions on nutrition, women’s legal rights, educational awareness and financial advice.



Gift your child’s teacher with a unique candle. Since this candle holder is made from real marble, each one has a distinct colour and pattern.



Help your child’s teacher write out their lesson plans with a notebook. The intricate dyeing and weaving technique to craft this notebook takes years to master.

Socks That Provide Tuition


Teachers will love that these socks help to educate children! With the purchase of these socks, our friends at Conscious Step will make a donation to resource centres in India where children from marginalized communities are given the opportunity to learn, read and write.



Help your child’s teacher expand their classroom library with a new book. School Days Around the World explores stories of schools in thirteen different countries around the world.



But first, tea. Teachers who are tea lovers will love the chance to try something new. This tea is just one of the many types of fair trade tea Ten Thousand Villages carries. Pair this gift idea with one of our mugs for a tea-themed gift!



Gift your child’s teacher with a basket that they can use in their classroom. Made from kaisa grass and recycled plastic, this basket is perfect for holding toys or books. Pair this gift with some of the ideas above and fill it up with school supplies or books!

What are you getting your child’s teacher this year? Or if you’re a teacher, what would be the perfect gift for you? Let us know in the comments below!

Father’s Day is this weekend, can you believe it? If you’re unsure about what to get dad for Father’s Day, then check out our top 10 gift ideas. These gifts are sure to make dad’s day a great one.

Bicycle Chain Picture Frame

Bicycle Chain Picture Frame

Add your favourite picture of you and dad to a frame and you’ve got yourself a simple, yet sentimental Father’s Day gift. The frame pictured above was handcrafted from recycled bicycle chain by the makers of Noah’s Ark.



A wallet is a Father’s Day gift that dad will not only love but use every day. You can even surprise him by sticking a gift card inside! This wallet was hand-stitched by makers in Colombia and made with upcycled materials.

Socks That Provide Tuition


Keep it lighthearted this Father’s Day with a funky pair of socks. With the purchase of these socks, our friends at Conscious Step will make a donation to resource centres in India where children from marginalized communities are given the opportunity to learn, read and write.


Blue hammock

Give dad the gift of relaxation this Father’s Day! He will love unwinding in a hammock on a warm summer day. This hammock was crocheted by makers working with Oyanca Artesania in Nicaragua.

Spectacle Stand

Spectacle stand

A glasses case or spectacle stand is the perfect Father’s Day gift for dads that wear glasses or forget where they put their glasses! This quirky spectacle stand was crafted by the makers of Asha Handicrafts Association.

Bottle Opener

Bottle opener

Cheers dad this Father’s Day with his favourite drink and a brand new bottle opener. Carried on for generations, Noah’s Ark makers pass this metalwork tradition from father to son.


Fair Trade Coffee

Gift dad with his favourite coffee this Father’s Day and spend some quality time drinking it with him. If he’s a coffee connoisseur, he might enjoy trying something different. Pair some coffee with any one of the handmade ceramic mugs from our collection.


Fair Trade Chocolate

Dads who have a sweet tooth will love getting chocolate for Father’s Day. Gather his favourite chocolate bars together and arrange them in a basket. Have him try something new and give him one of our Divine chocolate bars.  


Winter hat

Dads who love winter and spend a lot of time outside will love getting a hat for Father’s Day. This warm and fuzzy hat was hand knitted using multi-coloured wool in Nepal.

Chess Set

Chess set

Spend some quality time with dad this Father’s Day and play a game with him. If he’s a fan of chess, gift him with a new chess set and then maybe let him win the next game. This chess set was hand carved by the makers of Dominion Traders.

What are you getting your dad for Father’s Day? Or what would be the perfect gift for you for Father’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for inspiration this Family Day? We’ve found some of the best events happening on Monday, February 18th.

British Columbia


Immerse Yourself in Education

The Museum of Vancouver

Admission: Free

Stop by the Museum of Vancouver to take a walk on the wild side and visit the Wild Things exhibit, discover captivating Haida stories including the Bear Mother, or travel back in time to learn about the city’s past from 1900 to 1970. An experience the entire family will enjoy!

The Vancouver Aquarium

Admission: Free for Children 12 and Under

Home to thousands of incredible ocean species and amazing aquatic life, the Vancouver Aquarium is the perfect outing for the whole family. Take in the breathtaking exhibits or watch an exciting lineup of educational shows.


3-99: Fun for Everyone!

Lego Brick Festival at the Sidney Museum

10 AM to 4 PM

Admission: By Donation

Head over to the Sidney Museum to enjoy a LEGO wonderland complete with a 6 foot build by Robin Sather, a professional Canadian Lego Builder, interactive LEGO Mosaic Build, VicLug Lego Display and a LEGO scavenger hunt.


Carve Creatively

Family Day Soapstone Carving Workshop at The Robert Bateman Centre

10 AM – 12 PM
Admission: $25 for Members, $30 for Non-Members

You may have seen the soapstone we carry at Ten Thousand Villages, like the Friendship Candleholder or the We Are Three Statue, but now you can create your own soapstone carving! Head over to the Robert Bateman Centre where participants will start with a pre-cut soapstone animal shape of their choosing and are guided into a step-by-step process through a 90-minute workshop.

*For ages 7 to adult, parents can either accompany their child free of charge, or purchase their own soapstone to carve*




Get Outside!

Silver Skate Festival at Hawrelak Park

February 18th

1 PM to 5 PM

Admission: Free

Enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun at this winter celebration blending sport, recreation, arts and culture and more. Whether you’re hoping to go for a slip down an ice slide, hitch a ride on a horse drawn sleigh, or explore your way through a fort, there is something for everyone!

*There will be a Free Festival Shuttle from the University of Alberta.*


Light up the Night

GLOW Downtown Winter Light Festival

February 14th– February 18th

5 PM to 11 PM

Admission: Free

Visit the heart of downtown Calgary as they illuminate the city throughout the weekend with one-of-a-kind interactive light displays, art, entertainment, food trucks and activities.  On Monday, enjoy a free family skate party at Brightside Hub complete with music, games and prizes!



Prince Albert

Embrace the Winter Wonderland

Waskesiu Snow Days at Prince Albert National Park

February 18th-25th

Admission: Free with Park Gate Entry

Gather the clan and head to Prince Albert National Park for some snow-filled adventure of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing or doing Metis inspired activities. Borrow cross-country skis, snowshoes and ice fishing equipment at the Hawood Inn, free of charge, or check out a winter geocache kit at the Visitor Centre and practice your treasure hunting skills with a modern day scavenger hunt!


Get Out and About!

Waskimo Winter Festival In and Around the Conexus Arts Centre

February 18th,

Admission: Free

Enjoy a day with the whole family—including your dog! Embrace the great outdoors through public skating, horse drawn sleigh rides, snow cricket, cross-country skiing and more. If that’s not enough, it’s the only day of the year that the public is allowed onto the ice of Wascana Lake. Be there for all the fun!




Incredible Inflatables and More!

Kids Fest Toronto at the International Centre

February 16th to 18th

10 AM to 6 PM

Let the kids bounce, laugh, run and play at Kids Fest Toronto which spans over 80,000 square feet at the International Centre in Mississauga. With a variety of inflatables, shows, interactive activities, games, crafts and more, there is something for kids of all ages and perfect for a family day out!


Take a Journey Back in Time

Family Day at Fort York

February 18th at Fort York

Admission: Free

Historic Buildings Open 10 AM to 5 PM

Fort York Skating Trail Open until 9 PM

Bring the family together to explore the past of Toronto by touring a historic kitchen from 1826 and sampling baking from the hearth, taking part in hands-on activities, pop-up shows and multi-dimensional exhibits. Make sure to bring your skates because The Bentway at Fort York public skating trail will be open until 9 PM!


Get Outside and Enjoy the Snow

Snowflake Kingdom at Winterlude

February 1st – 18th

Admission: Free, Some paid activities

Just over the bridge from Downtown Ottawa in the heart of Parc Jacques-Cartier is where super slides, magnificent snow sculptures, shows, a Kiddie Zone for toddlers and plenty more activities await you! This winter playground will get you out of the house, and definitely be a hit for the whole family!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year filled with lots of love, laughter, and family and friends coming together.


With holiday get-togethers in full swing, finding the right hostess gift can be an added last-minute stress. Fortunately, you don’t have to show up empty handed or spend big money to show your gratitude. Gifts under $25 work best, say many etiquette experts.


In fact, there are tricks to make seasonal gifting easier too. For instance buy a few of the same item, and wrap them up, so you’ll be party-ready all season long.


Here are a few ideas to navigate the season with ease.


  1. One word: Food

There’s a reason so many partygoers show up with a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate. Unlike other gift options that tend to clutter the house, food and drinkare enjoyed – and then gone. Candies, cookies and other treats such as confectionaries all work well too.


Try these:

Divine Raspberry Dark Chocolate

Indulge your sweet tooth and help break the cycle of poverty for small-scale cocoa farmers. This decadent bar from Divine combines 70% dark chocolate with the fruity tartness of real raspberries.


Organic Milk Hot Chocolate

Curl up with Camino and bring back the tastes of childhood. Made with Fair Trade, organic cocoa from the Dominican Republic, and organic sugar from Paraguay, this luxury beverage is both GMO-free and certified Kosher.


Friendship Organics Blueberry Decaf Tea

A unique blend of decaffeinated black teas combined with organic, wild blueberries.


Along with a set of:

Silver & White Mosaic Coasters (6)

Keep water rings at bay with this set of six neutral yet sparkling coasters created by makers in Moradabad, India. The glass chips are recycled glass taken from old bottles and other glass items. They are cleaned and coloured before use. The set comes in a box for easy storage.


  1. Flowers and plants

A holiday themed floral arrangement or even a Christmas cactus or poinsettia are sure winners too. But to be a really good guest, don’t expect the host to rush around finding a vase in the middle of the party. Arrive with the flowers ready to go in a simple, neutral vase or planter.


Try these:

Cold Cave Bud Vase

Imagine a single bloom in this modern vessel. Genuine stone has a coolness and weight that cannot be mimicked. And because this bud vase is made from real marble, each has a distinct colour and pattern of nature’s choosing. Handcrafted by stone workers with Dominion Traders, which works with underprivileged artisans who make stone and shesham wood crafts in the city of Karachi. 


Textured White Ceramic Cylinder Vase

Springtime bouquets get a contemporary lift from this textured vase created by ceramic makers in Nepal’s high mountainous areas. Artisan partner Nepali Craft Trading offers an education allowance for young girls and works with about 90 per cent women, training them so many can earn a living from home or in small local workshops.


Deep Blue Stripe Ceramic Planter

A smaller glazed striped planter with matching saucer. Viet Lam Company (Vilaco) is a private exporter that markets ceramics and lacquer-ware along with bamboo, palm leaf and rattan baskets. The company contracts orders from several factories and cooperatives in and around Ho Chi Minh City, providing piece rate work, materials for production and payment for labour costs. In some cases, maker families have been working together for generations, tracing the history of their workshop back more than 800 years. Bring indoors during winter months.


Geo Terracotta Planter

Flower and herbs take root in this whitewashed terracotta planter showcasing a geometric design. Makers form models, and then press clay into them before setting the clay outside to dry in the sun. Historically in Bangladesh, rains were mostly restricted to monsoon season, but terracotta makers have noticed rains are becoming much less predictable. Wet weather can ruin pieces, so they are worried climate change will cause a shortened work season. Please bring inside for winter.


  1. Small and sweet

No one wants to arrive at a party only to find themselves navigating a busy front hallway while clutching an oversized gift. Small and easy to carry? Absolutely. That works. Think guest soaps, lotions, scented candles or tree ornaments along with a nice card instead.


Try these:

Twinkle Star Ornaments (Set of 3)

Three sequined stars in a rainbow of colours. Each sequin is sewn on by hand by Noah’s Ark’s makers, who receive raw materials and are then paid a piece rate for each finished product.


Gingerbread Soap

Enjoy the sweet and spicy pleasure of our cinnamon-scented soap, handmade by makers of Palam Rural Centre in Tamil Nadu, India. Palam employs members of the Harijan (“untouchables”) caste, and provides healthcare and schooling for makers’ families. All our soaps made in India use palm oil grown on local plantations. This palm oil provides work to local farmers and does not contribute to deforestation.


Christmas Wish Star Bracelet

Celebrate the magic of the season with this simple beaded bracelet showcasing a metal star charm. Rather than commuting long distances to work in factories, cleaning houses or taking jobs as low-paid sales clerks, Sapia’s makers in Colombia often work from home and, most importantly, have stable and steady income.


  1. Next day gifts

After hours of cleaning, cooking and preparing for guests, hosts often don’t think about what they’ll eat the next morning after the last revelers have gone home. Leave a thoughtful basket behind full of fair trade coffee, jam, croissants and orange juice, and you’ll always be welcome again.


Try these:

Morning Glory Kaisa Basket

Woven grass baskets keep odds and ends tidy – especially when handles make them easy to hoist and hide. With ocean-hued, earth-friendly recycled plastic accents, this basket was created by women working with Dhaka Handicrafts, ensuring that makers in rural villages have fair wages, safe working conditions and use environmentally friendly processes.


Raffia Snowflake Basket

In Uganda, colourful baskets are traditionally given as gifts for holidays and special events. Fill this snowflake basket with clementines or pomegranates for a decorative centrepiece, or keep it by the door as a cheerfully coloured catch-all. Uganda Crafts employs approximately 300 artisans in five workshops or cooperatives, 85 percent of them women.


Red Stars Jute Basket

Baskets are so useful over the holidays, just the thing to keep clutter at bay – or to be filled with gifts to eliminate the need for wrapping paper. In Bangladesh, where this one is make by hand, jute is called the “golden fibre.” And no wonder. Being an annual crop, reed-like jute, which grows three metres high, can be planted and harvested each year, rather than deforesting entire areas. The fibre is also 100% biodegradable and recyclable.


Colombian Medium Roast Coffee (Ground)

Made with premium Arabica beans grown by small-scale farmers high in the Andes, this Colombian Medium Roast coffee offers sweet yet bold flavours with a balanced, clean aftertaste.


Premium Organic Dried Mango 

Sweet and delicious, these mangos are tree-ripened in the central mountains of Colombia to bring out their full flavour and natural sweetness.


Premium Organic Dried Pineapple

Give them a sweet morning pick-me-up with these dried pineapples. From the fertile valley of Santander, Colombia, the pineapples are picked when ripe to bring out their full flavour and natural sweetness.

Poor dad! According to recent data, people typically spend 50 per cent more on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day. Of course moms are worth all the attention they get. Let’s face it, mothers do a lot – but fathers are increasingly catching up when it comes to time spent on childcare: 131 minutes per day, according to Statistics Canada.

While the most popular gifts for dad include meals out, clothing, books, music and electronics, meaningful fair trade gifts not only help us celebrate our own fathers, but make life better for maker and farming fathers around the world.

So we asked our staff one question: If you could pick anything from Ten Thousand Villages this year, what would you like to receive or give to dad on Father’s Day? Here’s what they told us.


Play it up

“I think my father would have liked to receive a Mancala set, the African bead game.  He would have appreciated it for its seeming simplicity, its endless variables for play and the way it challenges strategic thinking.”

— Lis, Hamilton location associate


“I really have my eye on the Mangowood Mancala Game! It seems like a neat game with a long African history. I like games that require strategy and planning. It seems like the perfect distraction for a rainy day at the lake!”

— Dave, marketing and design coordinator

“One of the games, in particular the fish mancala board. Games are good for quality family time.”

— Gregg, Hamilton location associate



Sip and savour

“The exquisitely hand-blown Phoenician glass in aqua makes me feel the fusion of the West Bank and Hebron, indeed of our wider fair trade world!  An ice-cold beverage helps takes the edge off the intense heat of summer and the natural glass feels so delightful in one’s hand.”

— Ian, Hamilton location store manager


“Divine Chocolate! Honestly, it’s the best tasting chocolate I’ve ever had.  Definitely a guilty pleasure.”

— Drew, director of sales



Lazy days in the backyard


“My dad will love a summer fun hammock chair!”

— Manisha, Danforth staff member

“My husband works hard around the house and I never have to ask him to get things done, so I’d like to treat him to the gift of relaxation this year with the navy dreams hammock.  This will look great in the yard and is made of soft crochet cotton so I know he’ll enjoy relaxing when his chores are done.”

— Andrea, e-commerce sales and business development coordinator



“I will give to my dad the large blue skies planter for his patio.”

— Angela, Danforth staff member



Quirky dad gifts


“I choose the Nosey Spectacle Stand that holds reading glasses. I think that’s a very useful gift because many times people are losing their glasses. It will be handy if they have a place to keep them.”

— Ilias, Danforth location store manager


“My dad has an obsession with clocks—working or not; Grandfather clocks, table clocks, alarm clocks, pocket watches. For Father’s Day, I’ve been looking at the Time to Cruise Hanging Clock that is made from recycled bike chains in India. My dad may have a lot of clocks, but none of them have a beautiful story of hope behind them like this one does!”

— Kathleen, digital marketing specialist



It’s officially wedding season!

Exchanging vows, tossing the bouquet, and quirky, hilarious and heartfelt speeches are just a few  Canadian wedding traditions.

Have you ever been curious about wedding traditions in other countries?

At Ten Thousand Villages, we work with artisan partners from many countries and cultures around the world—and we love learning about their customs! Weddings may be a universal tradition, but each country has their own beloved rituals that make their special day memorable.

Here are some beautiful wedding traditions from around the globe:


India: Beautiful Body Art

There are many beautiful customs in Indian weddings, but one of the most beloved and well-known is the Mehndi ceremony. Most people are familiar with the Indian tradition of henna among female wedding guests. Prior to the wedding, intricate designs are hand-painted directly on the bride’s skin with a paste made from dried and powdered henna leaves. The artwork often includes paisley, flowers, and vines—and sometimes the henna artist will hide the groom’s initials within the design! Mehndi art symbolizes joy, beauty, hope and love.


Vietnam: What White Wedding?

There are no white weddings here! In Vietnam, the colour red symbolizes good luck; so the choices of attire and décor at most Vietnamese weddings is red! Often the groom’s family will visit the home of the bride’s parents with offerings of wine, fruit and cake that is either wrapped in red paper or attractively laid out on red platters. Vietnamese people believe that odd numbers and the colour red will bring good luck to the couple.


Phillipines: Release the Doves!

Doves are a symbol of peace and love. In the Philipines, the happy couple release a pair of white doves, one male, the other female, during the reception to symbolize a harmonious life together.


Kenya: Wishing Good Luck!

In the Masai culture, it is not uncommon for the father of the bride to spit on his daughter as she leaves the village with her new husband. The Masai people of Kenya strongly believe that by being disrespectful rather than celebrating and praising excessively, they avoid tempting fate and welcoming bad luck to the marriage.


Peru: A Little More Than Cake!

At Peruvian weddings, rather than a bouquet toss, the cake is typically the center of attention for eligible singles. Assembled with hanging ribbons and one inexpensive ring embedded in the center, single women pull ribbons from the cake – the one who pulls the ribbon with the ring is said to be the next to get married!