Celebrating Dia de la Paloma On The Streets Of Madrid

We first learned of the fiesta when we discovered the mercado San Anton that we had planned to explore that August morning, was closed for the day, as were all other food markets and shops. We switched plans and went in search of Madrid’s origins instead, at the San Isidro museum (A little gem that’s home…

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An Ensemble Of Puppets From Mandalay

  A Rapunzel with hair to spare?     I could be wrong, but she is most likely a Burmese Draupadi – that virtuous, wronged wife of the Pandavas (the five heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) – who vows never to tie up her long tresses until she can anoint them with the blood of her molester, who incidentally, is her husbands’ step brother. I recently watched…

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Shichigosan At Meiji Jingu

On a Sunday closest to November 15, considered the most auspicious day in the Japanese calender, families descend on Shinto shrines across Japan, to celebrate a rite of passage called Shichi-go-san. The name literally translates to ‘Seven-Five-Three’, indicating a medieval tradition among aristocratic/Samurai families that stipulated that boys and girl stopped getting their hair shaved when they turned three, that boys aged five…

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Asian Traditions

Every custom, folklore, tradition and value system across Eastern cultures is heavily influenced by religion. Secularisation of society and mass tourism pose real threats to these shared beliefs and traditional ways of life. Traditional dress is already on its way out and language, customs and value systems are constantly under assault from global media. Imagine a…

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“Shinro Shimpu, Banzai” – Witnessing New Beginnings In Japan!

Despite rare, high tech instances of nuptials being led by robots, the majority of Japanese are said to prefer traditional Shinto weddings at venues of their choosing, or more commonly, in their neighbourhood Shinto shrines. We must have chosen a very auspicious weekend to visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo and the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu…

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