Hello all! This post is inspired by a question that once popped into my head. I was just sitting around, minding my own business when suddenly out of the blue I began to wonder what children around the world do with their loose baby teeth. Do they all put their teeth under their pillow like I grew up with? Does everyone have their own version of the tooth fairy? Is there a global tooth economy?
The Disappearing Man
Pha That Luang glistened in the distance, a beacon on the far side of the sea of tarmac. On my side a few stubbly trees gave shelter to a smattering of dozing songthaew drivers. Their makeshift hammocks, strung across the bed of their little pick-ups, rustled as they spotted me and began to lazily shout.
“Tuk tuk! Tuk tuk!”
I ignored them as I searched the shaded oasis.
The driver I’d arrived with, and not yet paid, was gone.
I ventured closer to capture the kids and adults clustered around a bucket of blue. I planned to raise my camera over the odd monument of limbs and capture everyone as they look down, enraptured by the coloured powder.
An excitement sped through the air and with my attention zeroed in on obtaining my photo I missed the hidden signal to begin.
The term “all hell broke loose” is the most appropriate phrase for an individual suddenly finding herself in the midst of a colourful dust storm with a camera worth around a $1,000.
I whipped around and dashed out of there like my tail was on fire, cuddling my camera as a football player protects the ball. I’m sure I would have mowed down anyone who stood in my way if they’d chanced that unlucky confrontation.
Puffs of green, yellow, purple, red and pink rose from the crowd as excited individuals snuck a few more bouts of colour play before the countdown began. Feeling the excited energy, I could barely contain myself as I sifted my fingers through the fine flour-like powder in my small zip-lock bag. It was a vibrant yellow. And I had it and the other colours strewn all over myself from people sneaking up on me and smudging my skin and clothes. 10-9-8. The countdown had begun. The DJ shouted over the crowd trying to contain it so we’d all release our colours in one brilliant explosion. 7-6-5. Digging my hand into the bag I clutched a handful of yellow and forced back a toothy grin. To smile like that now would mean a mouthful of coloured dust. 4-3-2. I forced myself to shift my eyes to a squint though I wished to open them wide to witness all the colours about to emerge. 1. It was everything I had imagined. Continue reading “Rang De Basanti: April 6th”
They looked so sterile, so cold. Silver cylinders. That’s all they were.
But when the two musicians standing before the crowd struck their first notes these pans transformed before my eyes. The musicians caused a waterfall of pearling, perky, upbeat sounds to bounce from their drums. Like delighted rubber raindrops falling on a steel roof combined with the purest moment in the sound of a steel pipe falling on the cement or on top of another steel pipe. I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye sunshine, palm trees and tranquil blue waters. Maybe it was because I’ve often heard this instrument in movies associated with warm places and the ocean. Continue reading “World Music Celebration: March 21st”
I gasped when I saw the envelope housing my ticket to the Chinese New Year dinner. It was a golden symbol overlaying a striking red background. The red envelope represents good luck and the colour symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture. The entrance to the Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre, where the dinner was hosted, was swathed in the colour.
On a side, but important note: since red symbolizes happiness it should never be worn at a Chinese funeral. Unlike western culture, white is the symbolic colour of mourning in China, but black is acceptable because it’s been adopted. I blame the Internet, particularly the Wikipedia article about Chinese colours, for beginning my blog post about the New Year with funeral talk! Continue reading “Chinese New Years Dinner: Kamloops”
Frantically scrabbling at my camera bag I dug out another SD card in something like two seconds flat. Deftly swapping the two cards, I made sure the old one was securely fastened in my bag before turning towards the stage again.
I was not even halfway through the show and I had taken almost 400 pictures. Yes. You read right, 400 photos and not even halfway through. I’m so thankful I knew enough about myself to bring another SD card, because more exciting scenes were coming up and I definitely didn’t want to miss the chance to share them. Continue reading “International Days Showcase Part 2: Kamloops”
Chasing after the flag parade I dashed into the gym ahead of the line of flag bearers, skidding to a stop for a few seconds as I beheld the crowd. The showcase had only just begun, but already the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) gymnasium was filled to the rafters with people. The flag bearers had to push through the crowd to complete their route.
It began with the tabla.The sound of droplets falling into water and then air bubbles breaking the surface. The patter of rain on pipes and stone was in the Barber Centre. I could see such a scene in my mind’s eye. The wobbling clangs from the sitar were clashes of thunder in the passing spring flurry. Then there are elephant footfalls. There are dozens of hooves from a herd pounding by. Wheels turning. A waterfall emerges from the sarod. There is the drama of life then the sudden soothing presence of peace. Morning, midday and night speed by at times, like a time-lapse film. Continue reading “Tein Taal: A Show Of Indian Music”
Glittering shoes lay abandoned in a path to the dance floor. The children were moving to a quicker tempo within the music. Their hands, shoulders and legs drumming out the fast beat. The slower grace of the elder women tempered the speed of youth. But every now and then an older women would catch the tail of the fast rhythm and she’d spin across the floor. With a lighthearted touch a nearby friend would be bit by the contagious vigor.
Within the chaos of individual rhythms orbits formed. The dancers moved around imaginary fires. In India, the celebration would include bonfires, so maybe this was a result of memory–the elder women remembering years of friends, family and strangers dancing as fluid and darting as the flickering flames. The children, with little or no memory of the event in India clustered rather than spun, but in time began to flow like tiny spiral galaxies. Continue reading “Lohri: Indian Bonfire Festival”