May 30, 2012 | Comments Off on Oh, Just Bag It–Jugaad Style! | Betsy Woodman
I bagged my 2012 Smith College reunion. No, I didn’t skip it, I went, had a great time, and carried around my cell phone and glasses and so forth in this wonderful bag.
Each classmate who attended got one. Since I already have a surfeit of memorial tote bags and tee shirts, I was delighted at this unusual reunion memento. A brilliant purchasing decision by organizer Suzanne Chambliss Neil!
The bags are made of recycled saris by an Indian organization named Jugaad. More products in their “Eco-friendly Kool-Mart” are shown on their website, http://www.jugaad.org/
There are various English spellings for the word—jugaad, jugaard, jogar,etc. The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary has a neutral translation—“provision, means of providing,” but the word’s meanings range from the upbeat “ingenious improvisation” to the more disapproving “getting things done by hook or by crook.” In between, you see “duct-tape ingenuity,” “work-around,” “innovative fix,” “jury-rigged arrangement,” and “frugal engineering.”
A jugaad vehicle, for example, is one cobbled together from such things as a water pump and old bicycle parts. The term has made its way into business management lingo.
A Nepalese friend of the family, alas no longer living, was a master of jugaad, and made this lamp out of a tree branch.
My dad carried jugaad to the extreme as a fashion philosophy, and mended his rain slicker with duct tape.
It occurs to me that blogging can be a form of jugaad–take a photo here, a bit of old correspondence there, patch ’em up with baling wire and chewing gum, and go. Thank you for reading! I’m off to do some errands, carrying my new bag.