The story is in her eyes. As I said previously, this tradition of Padaung young girls wearing rings is fortunately dying out. Unbelievably Paduang are still used in Northern Thailand as a tourist attraction and I also heard that an handicraft village was set up in Pattaya so that the lazy toursits didn't have to travel far to see them. Unbelievable! Sometimes I am glad that the world cannot travel now.
The title has nothing to do with the neck of the Padaung mother, but more wondering how long this baby girl will be able to develop normally without rings. The Padaung women famously wear brass rings around their necks. This distorts the growth of their collarbones and make them look as if they have long necks - which they don't. This row of brass rings do not actually stretch their necks but in fact squash the vertebrae and collar bones. A bizarre tradition that fortunately is being turned against by young Padaung women today.
Should we stay or...s
Should we stay or should we go? A question that was tossed between us for a while before making the decision to indeed take off for a camping holiday in France. And as it turned out the right decision. We choose the area of La Drome, beautiful scenery, picturesque villages, good walks and above all quiet campings. I say quiet, for the first few days there were no more than 3 other tents at anyone time on our camping, thereafter there was only us. Out tent stood in the middle of an oak forest, the perfectly kept sanitair block to ourselves and a swimming pool with a gorgeous view. No problem with social distancing at all. This praying mantis and a few butterflies were our only visitors.
The Shinbyu is a colourful but solemn ceremony passing the young boy through the rites of passage to novicehood. This young boy was waiting in turn to have his head shaved, a ritual performed by the head monk with a sharp razor, (no soap), a ritual where the boys are suppose to show courage and not cry, a ritual where only the parents can be present, therefore I cannot say whether this young boy stood the test of courage or not.
Shinbyu, the journey from boyhood to a novice monk is a religious ceremony symbolizing Gautama Buddha’s life as a Prince, which he renounced in his search for enlightenment. It is such an important part of the Burmese devotion to Buddhism for local people that each Novication ceremony is considered an extremely auspicious event. On the day the boy will be dressed in glittering clothes and make up applied to look like a Prince.
Half a century after a nuclear power station threatened to blight it forever, the shingle promontory of Dungeness is flourishing Homes in ‘the Village’ – the hotchpotch of buildings in the brutalist monolith’s shadow – have become coveted seafront properties in this haunting landscape. As far back as 1617, makeshift wooden fishermen’s cabins were being built on the Kent peninsula – an area so stark it has been dubbed Britain’s only desert. They were later joined by coastguards’ cottages, redundant 19th century railway carriages hauled onto the beach for use as makeshift holiday homes, alongside newer timber chalets and clapboard cottages, often of questionable quality and design. Perhaps the most picturesque of the clapboard buildings is Prospect Cottage, former home of the film director Derek Jarman who created a unique wild garden before his death in 1994. It can be viewed from a distance but the present owner gets understandably a little peeved when people wander over to the house to read the poem inscribed onto side. I'll add it here so you won't have to trespass: Busy old fool, unruly Sun, Why dost thou thus, Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ? Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run ? Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide Late school-boys and sour prentices, Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride, Call country ants to harvest offices ; Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. In that the world's contracted thus ; Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be To warm the world, that's done in warming us. Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ; This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere
Dungeness is Britain’s only desert and one of Europe’s largest expanses of shingle. With a nuclear power station as a backdrop this must be the strangest part of the Kent coast. While as an ecological site, home for a significant variety of wildlife including rare types of moths, beetles, bees and spiders the shingle beach is a boat graveyard. Dungeness is also famous for a remarkable collection of dwellings that add a slight mysterious charm of this area.
At the end of the pie
The newly renovated pier at Hastings. In its glory days the end of the pier would be a ballroom where couples danced to a band in the cool sea breeze. Dancing as an entertainment had sprung to life between the wars, and continued to expand afterwards. Dance halls were Britain’s second-biggest entertainment industry after cinema, with an estimated attendance of about four million a week. It is suggested that in 1950 70% of couples in Britain had first met on a dance floor,. a band would play and couples would dance in the cool sea-breeze. Standing at the end of the pier its easy to visualise its history,
This is Langdon Hole, our house sits directly on top of this cliffs, which of course, make up the famous White Cliffs of Dover. The walking path along the top of the cliffs forms part a the 257 las Saxon Shore Way walk and runs through both beautiful countryside and quaint villages.
Fish and Chips at 2..
Fish and chips and a pint in the pub, typical English pastimes. The summer of 2020 is different for all of us, but adhering to the 2 meter (in England they have adopted an extra half meter) social distancing rules traditional pleasures can still be enjoyed. The Zetland Arms pub (our favourite local) is located right on the shingle beach at Kingsdown in Kent, named an "area of outstanding natural beauty' AONB by the National Trust.
Just back from 10 days in Kent. Our house faces the South Foreland Lighthouse which stands on the Saxon Shore Way a 257 km coastal walk. The lighthouse serves delicious cream teas and is currently open serving on the lawn at the front overlooking the sea. never has a scone and jam tasted so good.
The pan seller sits in Shankhari Bazar, the main bazar in the Hindu area of Old Dhaka. The street where almost every building has been inhabited by the Hindu artisans. The pan seller has sat with his hand-made cart outside Pratidwandi for years. Pratidwandi is the maker of traditional instruments, you can see the instruments that he and his family for generations have made inside the shop and on the advertisement on the wall. This needs to be opened for the full details
The Shankharia bazaar, or more commonly know as Hindu Street, has been inhabited by Indian artisans for nearly 300 years. The street looks like any other street in Old Dhaka; narrow, packed with humanity, and dirty, although when you look closer, it is different to other street in Old Dhaka. The buildings have been inhabited by the artisans for centuries, and appear not to have been renovated for just as long. Lining this street of weathered facades are workshops and shops selling gold jewelry, wedding jewelry made from conch shells, kite makers and traditional instruments. Halfway down the street there was music blasting from three loudspeakers situated above a Hindu temple, where worshipers gathered to pray in front of ornate statues. Here a row of wedding jewellery makers wait for their first customers of the day.
A typical street scene - it could be anywhere in Bangladesh, but this is Barisal. The small restaurant owner prepares his lunch-time snacks. Some samosas are already cooked and waiting in the glass cabinet, the second batch is about to be fried. The young boy is employed to wipe tables and pour the tea. Very shortly this place will be full with lunch-time workers from the cement factory near-by.
The butcher and the..
The butcher has his stall set up outside the roti (bread) shop, above was out hotel. The freshly baked roti smelt delicious wafting up the stairs unfortunately as a vegetarian I can't say the same for the butcher, but it was fresh every morning, as soon as the meat was finished he packed up shop and was not seen again until early the next morning. The kids had been sent to pick up the meat and rotis.
Elegance on water
It is busy at the boat jetty in Khulna, passengers coming and going to town and to one of the outlying islands. Stepping on and off of the small boats is an art. You see children and elderly people skip down the stairs and step in without any difficulty or holding anything on to the boat. During the journey most stand correcting their balance with that of the boat easily and elegantly. So agile. I must admit I never learnt the art of getting on and off these small ferries, I was never so elegant. Klik op de foto voor een betere inkijk
I told you with the upload of the music-man that it was the Shakrain Festival., The yearly kite festival that is held on January 14th. At first we noticed that shops had sprung up everywhere selling everything from kites, threads, kite reels and lanterns in the market. From early morning young kids excitedly run through the streets with their newly bought kites. Later the sky above Dhaka was filled with kites being flown from every open space and from what it seemed every rooftop. The skilled flyers, the older kids and young men, coat their kite string with a resin made of glue and finely crushed glass, which turns it into a blade in order to cut their opponents string whilst flying. The last kite flying is the winner. It reminded me so much of one of my favourite books The Kite Runner.
Continuing the theme of resilient and innovative Bangladeshi's . This elderly gentlemen repairs locks. The paraphernalia that he has spread across his stall are his tools of the trade and recycled parts that he salvages from disregarded locks. How much trade and profit do you think he earns in one day, but he sits there a proud man.
The music man
I showed you recently the chocolate man, following this and showing you how resilient and inventive Bangladeshi's can be to earn a living, here the music-man. The small instruments that he holds are handmade of course, a small cardboard tube, cut to size, pasted with coloured paper, a soft metal pin is inserted and fastened at the base, a string attached. As you whirl the tube faster and faster a sound is made, a warbling bird, a revved up car, a high pitch note. I have no idea how long each one takes to make, probably not so long for a man with his experience. But he sells them for 5 Thaka. (100 thaka = 1 Euro). On a normal day he would go to the park or wait by schools, but today is Shakrain Festival, (the kite festival) which is celebrated in old Dhaka, on January 15, children are treated to not only kites, but balloons and candy floss and he hopes a whirling tube. We buy 10 from him, we give 8 away as we walk the streets during Shakrain, and 2 we take home to give to our granddaughters. 11 people happy for 50 euro cents.
Bangladesh probably the most fascinating place I have ever travelled to. The people are so resilient, so innovative to make a little money. Waiting for the train to leave the vendor tries to make a few sales. - 'Chocolate, chocolate mam', he calls. “Now is winter, now is chocolate good”, I didn’t understand what he meant at first, but soon learnt from him that in the summer months the chocolate melts fast whereas the relatively cooler winter days helps keep the chocolate good in his old tin. He tells me he is saving for a coolbox, he hopes to have enough money by next summer then he will have good chocolate all year. Moments like this are so humbling as a traveller. I have an unused coolbox in my attic at home, how I wished at that moment that I could have given it to him.