Ancient Wisdom

Hello ,

Greetings from Spain

Last week I was telling you about our road trip to Portugal, where we found lots of shops selling AW stuff, you can read about it here.
After Albufeira and checking out the dramatic Algarve beaches we took the super almost empty (EU funded) highway up to Lisbon crossed the spectacular 25th of April bridge and dropped down into Lisbon old town.
There is a Jesus the saviour type statue to the right of the bridge, and an immediate old world charm to this sub-tropical city with its steep hills and rattling trams.
I loved Lisbon on first sight, the history and drama seeping out of the old buildings, the sense of a city alive and buzzing. We walked the whole city, from the leafy posh central area with Gucci shops, to the higher poorer levels, a maze of ancient graffiti covered streets occupied by the latest immigrants. A melting pot area, maybe a bit dangerous but friendly enough. There was a summer shower, and we popped in a small general store, run by a young Indian guy to buy an umbrella. He spoke good English with an accent that sounded like my Goan friends (Portugal colonised Goa until 1961) so ask if he was from Goa, no he said "I'm from Bangladesh - a lot of people around here are".

Bangladesh is in the the bay of Bengal, next to Kolkata. In two weeks I will be there visiting our Cotton and Jute suppliers. Now of course Bangladesh is an independent country, but before partition was all part of India. Bengal people are gentle and peaceful, famous for producing poets and writers. I have been going there long enough to pick up a few words of Bengali - and recognise the language if I hear it. In a gift shop in the old town two guys behind the counter are talking in Bengali, and surprised when I say hello.

So I was interested to find out what the links between Lisbon / Portugal and Bengali people was.
There is a grand statue in the ancient Belen port that depicts all the famous explorers and traders that went out from Lisbon to conquer the world. No doubt some of these guys are evil colonisers and will one day have to be expunged from the statue, but for now they provide a great history reference point.


Up near the top is Vasgo da Gama - who discovered the sea route to India and bottom right you can see St Francis Xavier who brought Christianity to Goa.
In Goa close to the airport is a sleepy town called Vasco, in the big old church in Old Goa you can actually glimpse the preserved body Saint Francis - over 500 years old but in one piece. Every five years they have a huge festival and parade the body around the streets.
Everyone knows that Goa (like Brazil) has strong connections to Portugal, but what about Bengal region?
So I discovered that in 1498 Vasco de Gama also travelled to Bengal, after that time the Portuguese traders and pirates came to dominated the area. And not for a short period actually for about a 130 years the coastal towns in present day India and Bangladesh were major trading locations for the Portuguese.
Interestingly in the Bengal language you can find lots of loan words from Portuguese, so maybe today's immigrants find Portuguese more easy to learn. Also I learn that most Christians in Bangladesh have Portuguese sir names.
Back to Lisbon, all those great explorers went out over 500 years ago on grand adventures, the peoples they connected with also came to Portugal and shaped the city, it's a two way street. Even today that melting pot legacy continues making Lisbon a truly great city.

Soon I will be going to the Bengal basin, on the banks of the Ganges river, in an old Dutch trading town about two hours from Kolkata is our man in India, Mr Chatterjee. His main business is producing cotton and jute bags.
Hope you can join me on that grand adventure also... where I hope to find other interesting cultural links.

Hope you are enjoying the sunny weather, don't forget the sunscreen.

We had quite a few big deliveries this week.. some from India.
Check out the deals below..

Take care.



Get your slice of Sunshine from Sheffield today. We are giving away a Slice of Sunshine Soap Loaf for every order over £100+vat. Simple copy and paste or write the above code SUNSHINE into the VOUCHER box on the shopping cart and click to add voucher button. The Slice of Sunshine will be added automatically to your order :-)
Offer ends Monday 9th at midnight


Cactus Candles

Cactus candles are safe, stylish and self-contained. They don’t require a candle holder and are safe to use in any room.


Strong Canvas Bags

Wholesale Strong Canvas Bags are wonderfully stylish and convenient. It's amazing quality and versatility design is the main feature of these bags. The vibrant colours can stand out anywhere, so you don't have to worry about them not being noticed in your store.


Mandala Meditation Mat

Stunning and beautiful art created by first drawing the design in hot wax directly onto the fabric, then using natural dyes the artwork is carefully created. Later the fabric is stretched and sun-dried after the wax is washed out the final design comes alive with vivid vibrant colours.


Tree Of Life Dreamcatchers

Take a look at this beautiful wholesale Tree of Life Dreamcatchers, handmade with passion and love in Bali.


Indian Rune Sets in Pouches

Take a look at our amazing range of wholesale Rune Stones. Every Indian Rune Set include 25 stones: 24 with rune symbol and one without it.


Soap Flower Bouquets

Just add a one or two roses to your warm bath, relax and watch the cute flowers dissolve right before your very eyes. Your customers will enjoy the colourful water and great scent. It leaves your skin soft, silky and smelling wonderfully fresh.


JBB-STWhite Set of 240 Jumbo Bath Bombs with Luxury Stand

Maximize your sales by adding this amazing Jumbo Bath Bombs Stater Pack to your shop, you will get the top 15 JBB seller, 20 Pack of Gift Boxes and a FREE Bath Bomb Display. It is worth over £720 at retail value.


Back In Stock - AW Chill Pills and Magnificent Floral Fizzes

Maximise your sales by adding this amazing Chill Pills and Bath Fizzes Stater Pack to your shop, you will get the top 6 Bath Fizzes seller, 12 Chill Pills boxes and a FREE Display Stand worth over £618 at retail value.

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