Travelling to different countries, absorbing different ways of being, can challenge our inner landscapes. Questions loom large as we search for meaning and belonging
At the Darbari Waldorf School we saw two kinds of cultures dancing together, formimg a new way of being
I haven’t met Jacques yet and what I have heard of him is that he is a very kind man. He inspires the children to be kind too. Parents have told him that if the children misbehave he can punish them by hitting, which seems a standard approach.
Something I witnessed myself.
Sitting in the drawing class an older boy was trying to distract me and others in the class. In getting my attention he hit my forehead forcefully. I smiled and encouraged him to start drawing instead. This was the first time I had felt the tribal way of being first hand. I have seen it many times, hitting, pushing, physical forms of dominance, pervading as a cultural
way of living, tribal in its roots.
I choose kindness instead. Lead by example for us all to come together as a conscience community. For positive change.
At the KB Cooperative Arts each day Gita and Rani sit and stitch, demonstrating how the beautiful textiles are created. Each day groups of visitors watching from a far, take photos and marvel at their skills.
So when I was invited to meet them it was with excitement that I sat on the floor, surrounded by their work, drank Chai and witnessed close hand how the blankets are made.
A small sized blanket, single bed size, takes around 10 days to make and after attempting to place a mirror on a sample piece I know now that estimate is after years of practice. I would no doubt take 10 months for my first attempt.
They laughed, I cried, which made them laugh even more as they tried to cheer me up. I was told that a lot of women come and when they see such exquisite embroidery they cry in remembrance of a mother who taught them to sew. My tears were of deep emotions, welling up to have finally made it to Rajasthan, to see the textiles I have so much admired over the years. From my first gifted cushion cover, now so warn most of the mirrors have fallen off and the stitches undone.
With new skills, taught to me by my sisters as we now call each other, memories including Rebecca from New Zealand who I’ve met on this trip, I can repair and make good that very same cover for many more years of use.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Prayers to Lakshmi are offered for prosperity. What an auspicious time to be in Jaisalmer
I celebrated it with friends, watching fireworks on a roof top, sharing food and listening to traditional songs. The song in the video, other than the Happy Diwali song sung by Ali, tells of the love of another far away, coming back to renew mutual love. Such a beautiful memory.
When you watch the videos remember, they are not organised displays like at home. They are individual fireworks, sometimes placed in plastic bottles, set off outside in the streets, from around 8pm all through the night.
Returning home in the safety of a tuk tuk as it was getting, quite frankly, a little risky with young lads thinking it funny to scare passers by. And if you ever wondered about the safety of sharing a ride on a bike here, their reflex skills must come from dodging bangers and firecrackers.