PR Wellness | Natural Well-being
Childhood friend, the multifaceted Shobana Cooke, is a Homeopath, Tarot Card Reader, trained Yoga Teacher and Jewellery Designer to a label we love at PR – 1948.
I believe so strongly in the power of what we put in and on our bodies.
Being allergic to most anti-biotics, my mother introduced me to the world of homeopathy at a young age. The allergy is probably the reason why I have opened myself to exploring the natural options for immune boosting, healing and recovery and my interest in food and health.
I met Shobana first at school over 30 years ago. When I had my son, after natural failings in first-time parenting, I went back to homeopathy and although he’s had his vaccines and I’ve given the odd antibiotic once or twice if my instinct has told me to, I mostly practice homeopathy for myself and my family.
Shobana is an amazing homoeopathist, sensitive and giving to her patients. She also makes beautiful jewellery for her label 1948, which we retail at PR. We feel her supporting roles in wellness contribute strongly to the design of her jewellery. By sharing her other roles, her jewellery will feel more familiar too!
Shobana, interviewed by Annika
1. As a Homeopathist, Tarot Card Reader, trained Yoga Teacher and Jewellery Designer, tell us about your journey in acquiring your skills and professions.
I first qualified in a diploma in Hatha Yoga way back in 1998 in Sri Lanka, then after my degree in Anthropology, I formally studied Tarot and then Homeopathy in the US. My work in design and “Jewellery” is the most recent addition to my skills!
2. How did you start designing jewellery?
Art has always been a passion, even at an early age. However, it was my desire to make a gift for my brother that got me designing jewelry! The first piece I designed was our signature antique coin cufflinks.
3. Tell us about the meaning behind your brand’s name – 1948
1948 - being the year Sri Lanka gained independence from the British. I thought the brand name “1948” would help me explore the concept of independence and the possibilities for an “independent” Sri Lankan label.
So I began with the idea of a label that was dedicated to whimsical adornments and creations using materials that were all sourced in Sri Lanka, paying particulate attention to indigenous materials that were environmentally respectful, sensitive and relevant to our story. 1948 was to be a “framework” from which I could work out philosophical concepts that I was thinking through, such as, the dignity of labour, sustainable packaging, supporting the local economy, and community initiatives with attention to detail.
4. Please explain the science of Homeopathy to our readers.
Homeopathy is a pharmaceutical science that utilizes extremely small doses of substances to stimulate a person's immune system. Each medicine is individually prescribed according to the "Law of Similars" A substance that can cause a certain set of symptoms can cure those very symptoms. Like cures, anything that a substance can cause, it can cure in small doses. Think of all the substances that "cause a state" such as poison ivy (itching), snake venom (hemorrhaging), bee venom (swelling) – all these are homeopathic remedies. They can all cure what they cause.
Samuel Hahnemann, was a brilliant doctor working in 1796 who developed the scientific and philosophical foundations of this gentler way of healing. These scientific principles form the basis of successful homeopathic practice today. The Classical Hahnemannian way of Homeopathic prescribing requires the minimum dose for the gentlest cure according to the principles of Homeopathy.
5. What do you find as the most common misconception about homeopathy in Sri Lanka?
That it is a very slow and painstaking healing process, where the symptoms must worsen before there is improvement. When it is, in fact, my first go-to modality as its results in situations of first aid and emergency care is that of being very fast and so very gentle in my experience!
6. How important is it for you to practice your skills here in Sri Lanka?
There is nowhere else I would rather work and be of service to than Sri Lanka! It is very important for me to be able to be "useful" to my country and its people. Most of the community related initiatives I curate and work towards as a designer as well as in the Holistic Health field stems from my desire to connect various power bases and opportunities to share resources, skills and knowledge with each other. I feel a civic responsibility towards my country.
7. Where in Sri Lanka, other than home, do you find peace?
I absolutely love Udawatte Kelle in Kandy. A rainforest in the midst of the bustling city – I love the juxtaposition.
8. Tell us about Ceylon Doll.
The 1948 Ceylon Doll initiative is a symbol of our collective community responsibility to educate the hands, heart and minds of our Children in Sri Lanka. We believe that the right dose of love and peace in our heart can prevent a war in our mind and body. Therefore we try to instill this love and peace in the hearts of the next generation through the appreciation of beauty, nature , art , music, dance and literature.
1948 Ceylon Doll curates programs and provides facilitators and volunteers to teach and share knowledge in creative and emotionally supportive activities into already existing centers working with kids and young adults.
We use the following activities in order to instill love, peace and emotional resilience within the children during our workshops:
Arts & Crafts
Leadership Development Workshops
Needlework & Sewing Skills
The concept of the Ceylon Doll is to be a reminder of the importance of the education of the girl child. She is the future Mother of the nation. It is her vision, and in her hands, that the hearts and minds of the next generation will be shaped. She is our symbol of HOPE. How we nurture her, empower her & protect her will impact our collective future.
9. What are your top 3 favourite Sri Lankan natural dietary/medicinal healers?
Ginger, Turmeric and Corriander.
10. What’s your favourite Sri Lankan dish?
Pol Rotti and Pol Sambol, with anchor butter of course!
11. We love your seed necklaces and feel they are the signature piece in your collection representing your brand’s sustainable expression, please share the ideology or concept behind the product.
The design concept behind the seed collection was to be a nod to the days of the ancient tribal communities who graced the island and, I imagine they would have used indigenous materials such as seeds as a form of decoration and self-adornment in their expression of material culture.
The philosophical concept behind the “seeds collection” was influenced by the notion of impermanence and honoring the present moment. The natural seeds will not last forever, like our time on this earth as humans, they too will have various purposes and roles from being of medicinal value to adornment and then slowly with time it too would deteriorate and return back to the earth. Life for the moment and enjoy it while it lasts!
Stay tuned on our Instagram Stories for more tips and inspiration from our PR Wellness Expert Shobana! Love,