Yeepeng International and Loy Krathong

Overhead a river of dreams twinkled as it receded into the black of night. Thousands of sparkles, each a hope and blessing, floated upward and onward. Like soft but determined little beings these messengers hurried on, carried aloft by the feelings of those who lit them, by fires as bright as the human spirit.

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The Defection of Bidhishna 1

Bidhishna cowers before his brother, Ravana the Demon King of ten faces, as Ravana towers over him preparing to deliver the killing blow. The audience, wide-eyed by the spectacle, releases its breath as a moment later Ravana withdraws his sword and contemplates another punishment for his brother. Overhead birds skim across the sky ignoring the drama on the ground. In the far distance clouds, as indifferent as the birds, silently roll by. The sun has already moved on to awaken another part of the world. Continue reading “The Defection of Bidhishna 1”

TRUSU Pakistan Club Launch

My fingers settled on the game piece or striker, shaped like a tiny cake, and I slowly slid it to the outlined bar before me. Eyeing the pieces scattered across the board I set up a shot. After a moment of visualization I tucked my index finger into a curl behind my thumb, my hand hovering near the striker. Straightening my finger in an instant, the striker shot across the board before me clicking and clacking as it bounced off the other game pieces and surrounding wall: click, click, click…click…click. It began to slow as it lost momentum. To my delight one of the black pieces it ricocheted off of flew into a pocket. Grinning I accepted the retrieved piece and added it to my small tower. Then I collected the striker, set the piece and wound up my finger for another shot at carrom.

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Some Chinese Etiquette

Pulling a case from his robe, Victory Jiaxiang Yu bowed as he held out his business card with both hands. I had remembered reading somewhere that business cards in China should be accepted with both hands so I did so awkwardly. I had to consciously tell myself not to automatically take his card casually with one hand.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation

Uncomfortably shifting my legs, for the tenth time I contemplated my decision to choose the floor over the chairs lining the sides. The mats surrounding the small table had seemed so inviting, and so exotic. The chairs in comparison had seemed to be placed there for those interested in the event, but not willing to fully immerse themselves. They’d seemed like crutches. They were cultural prisons, like always choosing a fork over a chopstick. In comparison, the mats had no restraints, no enclosures and, I would soon realize, no support.

I’d gleefully set myself down on a mat off to the right, savouring the feeling of freedom after being bound to a chair all morning. An hour in the novelty was gone and I found myself restlessly fidgeting. I had never stayed in a cross-legged position for this long before. My legs were falling asleep and my back was stiff from unfamiliar effort. Occasionally I wistfully eyed the chairs, longing to get over myself and rise to those thrones. Eyeing my fellow observers I noticed one woman, then another, unabashedly unfold their legs and stretch them before themselves. Inwardly relieved I followed suit, sighing in bliss as my legs were released. Content again I could once more take in the fascinating presentation before me. Continue reading “Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation”

Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa

At first I was unsure about this singer, he had a smoky rough voice­–the kind my mother loves, but I don’t find appealing. Personal taste. As he kept singing though, the music’s lively beat began to catch hold of my limbs. In the beginning, Ezra Kwizera seemed detached from his singing. He stood quite still, his expression lax. Then after two songs he woke up. He began shifting his weight left and right, then his hips and guitar.  Four songs in he set his guitar gently in its stand and, turning to the audience with a cheerful gleam in his eyes, he energetically motioned for them to stand. His friendly invitation found purchase in the eager audience and with a cheer they bounced out of their seats. We had caught the music bug. Continue reading “Ezra Kwizera Brings Africa”

International Days Showcase: 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.

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Tein Taal: A Show Of Indian Music

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”

Idle No More Round Dance

Like a heartbeat pushed to exertion. That’s what it sounded like. That moment after a long run where your breathing slows and from the quiet emerges your heartbeat pounding in your ears. The air seemed to breathe. The Sun out in all its glory gave warmth to the sky. The voices, intertwined with each other and empowered by numbers, followed the sunbeams into the blue. Thanks went to the Creator. Welcome to all and everything spread in every direction: east to the Creator, south to meet ourselves, west to meet family, friends and neighbors, and north to meet the elders’ wisdom. Continue reading “Idle No More Round Dance”