3 things I learned on my trip to India

Posted on April 19th, 2017 by Joshua Kebabian

A few weeks ago I made my first trip to India, which also happened to be my first business trip for Kebabian’s Rugs. Prior to leaving for India I knew that it was going to be an awesome trip, but I honestly had no idea just how valuable the trip was going to be. I was absolutely blown away by the experience, and I still am. Below are three things I learned on my trip to India.

I learned that I’m truly passionate about quality hand knotted rugs

You can’t force yourself to be passionate about something, it just happens. To be perfectly honest, I now realize that prior to my trip to India, I was never truly passionate about hand knotted rugs. I really liked the product, but did I want to tell everyone about the product everywhere I went? No. My short list of passions includes things like my faith, family, snowboarding, mom’s cooking, and amazing video games like Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Hand knotted rugs were never in that list. Why? I needed to see the product being made from start to finish. I needed to experience it all with my five senses. Reading all the rug textbooks in the world wouldn’t have got me there. I needed to be there, and now that I have, I’m in love with the product and truly believe that it’s the best product in the world.

Below is a video of a very skilled weaver making a custom rug sample for an interior designer. I was blown away!

Custom ordered rugs are a big part of the industry for hand knotted rugs. Before placing an order for a large area rug, interior designers will often want to see a sample first for the texture and colors. Skilled weavers like this one make this happen fast! 

I learned how the world works

Yep, now that I’ve made this business trip to India, I think I have it all figured out. I now completely understand the way the world works and there isn’t really anything left for me to learn. Haha, obviously not! But, I will say that on this trip I grew and learned more than I ever thought I could in such a short period of time; things clicked for me over and over again and dots connected in ways they never had.

For example, I’ve always known that the reason many of the goods I purchase in America say “Made in China” or “Made in India” is because it’s cheaper to produce over there. This is common knowledge, but I see now that it was knowledge I took for granted. The truth is, I didn’t really understand why it’s so much cheaper to produce over there. Now, having been to India and seen the rural village areas where many handmade goods come from, it all just makes sense. The Indian villagers live far simpler lives than Americans do, and as a result the cost of living is drastically lower. For thousands and thousands of Indians one of the best opportunities they may have is to be in the rug trade. The country has a history of rug weaving going centuries back and a culture that’s developed around that. The Indians do an excellent job at rug manufacturing, and they’re going to continue doing it as long as there is demand.

This is a photo taken outside of my motel in Uttar Pradesh

I learned that I could be a vegetarian (if I had to)

I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy at 19 and a dairy allergy at 22. Though I was quite bitter at first about not being able to eat whatever I wanted, I gradually became more grateful for the fact that at least there was still plenty of good food I could eat. One thing I’ve held dearly to though is meat. “You can take whatever you want from me, but don’t take my meat!” Yet, after having several home-cooked vegetarian meals in India, I must admit that if I had to, I could give up meat and still not feel like, “woe is me, my life is over”. Since coming back to the States, “meat’s been back on the menu”, but even if it wasn’t, worse things could certainly happen. Below is a video showing the food I shared with one of the rug manufacturers I visited.

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