Local Gifts more than a year ago
Getting a gift always feels like it should be a five-minute job but it rarely turns out like that. One of the problems of being abroad is not knowing what is typical of the place you are visiting (possibly Belgium apart - lace, chocolate, fries) and what would make a gift that looks like its purchase has been a considered one but is also something that isn’t stuffed into the back of a drawer the moment you leave. What we have tried to do here is highlight not just the better of the traditional souvenir shops but also try to bring your attention to local shops and companies who sell local products or products typically associated with the area.
Kashubian handicraftsFirst of all you are in the heart of the Kashubian region here, home to the Kashubian people one of the largest surviving ethnic minorities in Europe. Distinct from Poles in both language and culture the Kashubians are an integral part of modern Poland but also have a clear identity visible in their peculiar language, which sounds like a mix of Polish and German, and in their crafts. Kashubians particularly pride themselves on their embroidery which uses just five colours: green, red, yellow, black and blue, the latter of which comes in three distinct shades. Green represents the forests, red the fire and bloodshed in defence of the homeland, yellow the sun, black the earth and blue the sky, lakes and sea. Designs are simple, cheerful and are used on everything from clothes to ceramics. Other things to look out for are their wood carvings and basket woven items.