It’s all about canes in Chik Bazaar

Among the automobile workshops and spare parts market in Ahata Mithhu Khan and Kabadi bazaar in Rawalpindi’s Saddar area, a bazaar has been thriving since colonial times.This bazaar is known as the Chik Bazaar. Traditional blinds, made of canes and bamboo sticks, are a specialty of this bazaar.Bamboos, cane chiks, window blinds, decoration pieces and different handicraft – all made of canes – are available in this bazaar.The traditional chiks, usually made of soft canes, stitched together, are used as window blinds. It is a common perception that these Chiks keep the temperature of a room cool during summer.“I am the third generation in this business. My grandfather started making traditional Chiks, and now we have several workers,” said Waheed Butt, a shop owner.“A lot of China-made decoration pieces and handicraft have flooded the markets but the demand for the traditional Chik items is still intact,” he added.Another shopkeeper, Rafique Ahmed, 45, said: “I am in the business of making Chiks since my childhood. It is almost 30 to 35 years. Many things have changed now. Earlier it was the need of the hour; now its more a decoration piece.”Prices of Chiks and window blinds range from Rs500 to Rs5,000, depending on their size, design and material.“The best thing about Potohar region is that it produces the best canes, known as Surkanday in local language. They grow near water streams and small rivers. This might be the reason why Chiks are popular in this region,” said Rafique Ahmed.Mohammad Kamran, 30, a shopkeeper whose family is also in this business for generations, says: “The trend of using Chik is back but with a new look.”“The design and use of chiks has changed with time. Now people use it more to decorate their interiors,” he added.

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