Indian Diaspora in Africa

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Indian Diaspora in Africa

May is a special month in my household, well, for my mother at least! Because it’s Mothers day (May 13th), my parents anniversary (May 8th) and her birthday (May 24th). She’s had it good lol. So I wanna talk about her, her history and where she is from.

My mom was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. So basically she’s African ha. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get information about my family roots and history just because it’s something that interests me and I think its important to know my roots. Supposedly my family (on my dad’s side) has some list tucked away in some temple or something in India with names upon names of relatives from back in time to now to create a family tree (I💖this!!!) My next trip home (I mean India when I say that) I have to inquire about this more from relatives who told me about it and GET MY HANDS ON THAT LIST!!!!!

I guess these days a lot of people don’t realize how large the Indian population is in Africa – because it seems like we are all in America, Canada, UK and Australia, outside of the motherland, obviously. I have met brown people in England who have such strong Africa roots, that they are clueless about their Indian roots. It’s just sad that down the road it’s going to become more blurry for all Indians in the diaspora. I remember once meeting someone in England, and when I asked them where they are from (expecting either a town/city name or region in India) and they said “Tanzania”…and I was like “okay, where are your grandparents from”….same answer. 😬🤯🤦 I kept trying to get the answer I was looking for but they just wouldnt budge. They didn’t have any details on India because they claimed that their great, great, great grandparents have been settled in Tanzania and they don’t know anything about India (🤨!) even though I can’t remember their name right now but it was either Khan or Patel!

Thankfully, I’m not that kid!! And I know where my grandparents are from 😁 lol – my mothers parents are from a village not far from Amritsar and moved/settled in Nairobi after they got married for my grandfather’s work related reasons. She’s told me stories of how beautiful a country Kenya is and I used to wonder if she ever missed it or wanted to go back for a visit, because she left right before my parents got married and never returned. The only couple other noteworthy thing she’s told me is that she went to an all-Indian school and also they had a family servant who they taught how to speak fluent Punjabi in our house.

Here are a few facts about Indians settled in Africa:

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  • The Indian diaspora in Southeast Africa consists of approximately 3 million people of Indian origin.
  • South Africa is home to the largest population of people of Indian descent in Africa, at 1.3 million, mainly in Durban. In fact, Durban is sometimes called the “largest Indian city outside India” – though this claim has not been determined conclusively.
  • Although most East Africans believe that the people of Indian origin in the region are descendants of the laborers who built the Kenya-Uganda railway, this is not actually the case. About 32,000 indentured workers were brought in from India (mainly from the Punjab) to build the railway, but the majority returned after their contracts ended. Only about 7,000 chose to stay.
  • After the railway opened up East Africa for trade, and large numbers of “free” emigrants, mainly from Gujarat, followed in the years after many of the laborers from Punjab left. They came and set up trading posts deep in the interior, and became the traders and merchants of East Africa.
  • Remember that little boy named Gandhi (😜hello history lesson!!😂) he was 24 when he arrived in South Africa in 1893 to work as a legal representative for the Muslim Indian Traders based in the city of Pretoria. He spent 21 years there before returning to India.
  • In 1972, military dictator, Idi Amin, announced the expulsion of all persons of Asian origin in Uganda. The majority of those expelled went to the UK, Canada and Kenya. (so yeah – explains the British kids who think they are African when their last name is Patel – ALSO explains why in England they refer to Indians/Pakistani’s as “Asians”)
  • I need some less boring facts…….
  • One of India’s biggest cultural exports to Africa has been Bollywood, and it’s popular not just among the Indian diaspora. One unlikely place where Bollywood has long enjoyed immense popularity is Nigeria, particularly in the Muslim-majority north – which does not have any significant Indian immigrant community whatsoever.
  • One of the most popular of all Indian films in Nigeria is the 1957 classic film Mother India. A record from a popular entertainment magazine noted in 2013 that some people in the audience of a theatre showing the film had already seen the movie 15 times and sang along to all the Hindi songs (although their native language is Hausa).

SINCE THAT WAS KINDA BORING, HERE ARE SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT NAIROBI:

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  • Just like New York has yellow cabs, Nairobi has “Matatus” which is a slang word for mini buses used for transportation.
  • Matatus are famous for their hype graffiti! Art representing pop culture, music, celebrities, etc are all painted colorfully on the body of the buses!

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  • The Nairobi National Park is set in the city’s southern suburbs and is the most famous aspect of the city. What’s so amazing about this is you will find a sprawling field with wild animals with a backdrop of the city’s magical skyline! It’s the only place in the world you can capture lions hunting in the morning, and in a few minutes you are in a fancy shopping mall looking at Cartier watches.

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  • Nairobi has the most number of malls in Kenya. The top shopping malls include Thika Road Mall ( TRM), Yaya Centre, The Junction and Garden City.
  • Nairobi was once a swamp. The skyscrapers of Nairobi sit on what was once a large swamp that Maasai pastoralists referred to as a place of cool waters. Over the century, this city has grown and extended over three counties to form the greater Nairobi metropolitan area. Now, Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos counties are part of the greater Nairobi area.

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Anyways, just wanted to give a shout out to my very favorite human on this planet and the place she grew up during her most special month. 💖 Her history, her life, culture, traditions, values, ways, teachings, blessings, ssacrifice, etc all make me, so gotta be thankful!

Everyone has their own rendition of where they think they are from. Living in a city like New York, people get asked a zillion times a day where they are from – the question can mean multiple things, and people will most likely answer with what they consider to be the strongest culture they represent – or what they assume the other person means. Travel and this melting pot of a world, we come across many different people from everywhere and not all of them look what one figures is “typical” of that region. We also come across many people from other parts of the world that immigrate and assimilate (forgetting or maybe not forgetting their roots) and I always have to stop and stare when I see someone who looks of a certain culture speaking fluently in a completely different language (example: Chinese people speaking fluent French – or I don’t know a black person speaking perfect Hindi)

hashtag traveldiscoveries 🙂

-Karen Bahri

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Three Must See Hidden Gems in Turkey

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Three Must See Hidden Gems in Turkey

Turkey is a country I am so not done with! Although (through my experience) Turkish airlines will most likely have you experience delays of 3-5 hours, but oddly enough, still get you to Istanbul Ataturk Airport at said time (which is 10 hours from New York) I kid you not – lol!

Next time you decide to visit this stunningly beautiful and culturally rich country, you definitely should take the path less travelled and check out these 3 hidden gems within the country:

BUTTERFLY VALLEY

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The coastline of Turkey is usually bustling with tourists and luxury resorts. On the contrary, the Butterfly Valley (or Kelebekler Vadisi in Turkish) is serene, untouched and completely secluded.

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Located in the south of Turkey on the west coast, the valley is only accessible via water taxi or boat. So picturesque, you will find majestic waterfalls, a wide beautiful beach with turquoise water so clear and calm it looks like a painting, treehouses, magical sunsets and forests that appear straight out of a fairytale all tucked away in the valley, waiting to be discovered by its explorers.

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It’s no surprise that the valley, rich in flora and fauna, takes its name from the large number of butterfly species found here.

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Butterflies of many varieties in a wide range of colors can be observed in the valley between June and September.

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ISHAK PASHA PALACE

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Located in the isolated region of Dogubeyazit, this palace is a striking example of rare historical Turkish palaces. It is one of the most distinguished and magnificent examples of the 18th century Ottoman architecture and is very valuable in terms of art history. According to the top of the door inscription at the Harem Section, it was constructed in 1784, according to the Islamic calendar.

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The palace, set on a hill, is grandeur in many ways than one; it has several rooms and courtyards just waiting for a glance. İshak Pasha Palace stands at a desolate valley today and the fact that it was the subject of various legends and stories add to its magnificent atmosphere some colour and mystery. It’s haunting beauty will definately allure you, and the view from the palace is a striking bonus!

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Entrance from the outer to inner courtyard

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Inner courtyard

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DERINKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY

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The deepest underground city in Cappadocia, this ancient city was built during the Byzantine era between 780-1180 AD, when it was heavily used as protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab–Byzantine wars. The city was connected with other underground cities through miles of tunnels. At a depth of more than 250 feet with a capacity of up to 20,000 people, this multi-leveled city, with over 600 entrances, contained everything an entire population would need to survive a history riddled with invasions. The tunnels were rediscovered in 1963, after a resident of the area found a mysterious room behind a wall in his home.

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~Karen Bahri

The World’s Must See, most Breathtaking Sunsets

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The World’s Must See, most Breathtaking Sunsets

A sunset is magical almost anywhere you view one, but there are a few worthy of a trek to see in person, that the camera lens will never, ever be able to justify.

Fun Fact: The incredible thing about sunsets is that no sunset is ever the same twice. Even the same sunset on the same day at the same time can bring a completely different experience depending on where you’re at. Sunsets are one of life’s consistencies; they happen every day. Yet they’re always a surprise. Perhaps that’s why they’re so magical. So magical that they can inspire travelers to see them in various locations around the world. Some are even worthy of trekking for days to find the perfect viewing spot!

HAWAII
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Travelers know that Hawaii is blessed with the most magnificent sunsets in the world! Naturally, the beach is a classic place to see good sunsets. But you can also have sunsets delivered right to your room if you stay in the right resort.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

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Puerto Vallarta is notorious for their beautiful, vibrant sunsets. Almost all of the resorts there have ocean-facing rooms, perfect for enjoying the sunset from your room’s balcony.

MASAI MARA, KENYA

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Masai Mara National Reserve is an area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya. The landscape has grassy plains and rolling hills, and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers, great for safaris! Masai Mara is well-known for having the best photographic light in the world, not stopping the incredible colours which vary greatly from hot pink to vivid yellow to a dark burnt orange.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

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Perth enjoys some of the world’s most spectacular sunsets! The novelty of watching the sun sink into the Indian Ocean is not to be underestimated! Park yourself down at one of the city’s beaches (Cottesloe is a great choice!) and prepare yourself for the show.

ISLE OF SKYE, UK

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Perhaps the most dramatic place to watch the sun set in the UK, the Isle of Skye combines perfectly a sense of mystery with the beauty that is synonymous with sunsets all around the world.

WADI RUM, JORDAN

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Jordan is the land of wonders and unforgettable adventures – a glorious country with a timeless book that unfolds magical stories of history, people and nature. One of the most breathtaking occurances in Jordan is the sunset.

SEMINYAK, BALI

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Bali is not only known for its culture, stunning landscape and temples but also snorkelling, beaches and of course sunsets. It’s a little piece of heaven in an already heavenly space! La Plancha beach shack is a fun, colorful spot where many enjoy watching the colours splash around the sky!

TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

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The beauty of one of India’s most iconic landmarks is even more heighten with the soft glow of the sunset. A magical sight to behold surrounding the magic of the Taj Mahal.

SANTORINI, GREECE

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This volcanic island is known to us for its stunning sunsets, dramatic views and white villages. It feels like you are in heaven and naturally would like to stay here forever.

CLIFFS OF MOHER, IRELAND

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Cliffs Of Moher are probably one of the most visited spots in Ireland. This unique natural beauty is a must to see any time of the day but is worth to hang there and wait for the sunset – Weather permitting of course. 🙂

BORACAY, PHILIPPINES

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Borocay is one of the most popular islands on the Philippines. It’s a given that as beautiful as the beaches are here in the day, the evening sky is nothing but insane! The sky literally looks like it’s fire! So many colors span across the sky.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

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Cape Town sunset is on the top of MANY lists simply because it is claimed many have not witnessed anything so beautiful. Every summer evening the sky puts a show that needs no filter or edits! It is hard to believe how colourful the sky can become in this part of the world.

 

Every sunrise and every sunset is so spectacular and incredible you will never forget any of them. There is something magical about sunsets, and we can’t get tired of seeing them. Every sunset is different and the moment of the evening sun turning the sky to a colourful painting is definitely worth looking forward to!

~Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experience an Unforgettable Sunrise on a Hot Air Balloon ride in Melbourne!

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Experience an Unforgettable Sunrise on a Hot Air Balloon ride in Melbourne!

Image gliding through the open sky during sunrise on a hot air balloon over an incredibly gorgeous city. Sound appealing? Melbourne, Australia is where you need to go to for this truly world-class, unforgettable experience!

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There are few major cities around the world where you can traverse by hot air balloon; and there’s no better way to see the world’s most livable city.

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Sail the breeze besides sparkling skyscrapers and follow the Yarra River as it unwinds through parks and gardens.

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For an hour, it’s just you and the sky. This is what freedom feels like! You have nowhere else in the world to be but here! Just as Melbourne is waking up, you could already be crossing something off your bucket list!

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The ride offers a complete 365 degree view of the city at it’s glamorous, which is perfect for sightseeing landmarks such as Eureka Tower, MCG and Port Philip Bay.

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Eureka Tower

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Port Philip Bay

The baskets include cushioning around the inside for comfort as well as rope handles when in the landing position.

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The ballons provide a safe, comfortable experience which meets the standards of CASA. Usually up to 5 balloons are flown at any one time over Melbourne.

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Each basket can hold a 10 passengers but children under the age of 7 years old are unable to fly due to safety regulations.

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So if you are looking for a once in a lifetime adventure that gives you a peek at city life from a totally different angle, then ballooning over Melbourne is a must! If such risks are just not your thing and you prefer being safe and sound on the ground, it still is something to go check out for some nice photography for the gram!

 

-Karen Bahri

Keukenhof – Welcome to the Garden of Europe!

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Keukenhof – Welcome to the Garden of Europe!

Hello Spring! I’ll be in Amsterdam soon, so let’s talk tulips!!! 🌷🌷

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Keukenhof, which translates from Dutch to “kitchen garden”, is one of the largest, most beautiful flower gardens in the world! Located in Losses, Netherlands, which is not too far from Amsterdam, Keukenhof Park is home to approximately 7 million flower bulbs covering 79 acres of land planted annually. The Gardens and pavilions display eye-catching collections of not only tulips, but daffodils, orchids, hyacinths, roses, carnations, lillies, irises and many more varieties of flowers! You would think you were swimming in a sea of flowers! Be ready to be overwhelmed with a spectacular array of colors and fragrance!

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Keukenhof does not contain the typical long, traditional fields of tulips one may expect. You can find those everywhere around Holland though; and there are many right outside the park, so you won’t have to trek far to find one! They are normally privately owned.

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Screenshot_20180321-132055The park has an indoor section as well as a beautiful fountain and let’s not forget the castle of Keukenhof! You can also take a boat ride around the lake to view the flowers and surroundings in a more scenic way.Screenshot_20180321-134354

 

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Screenshot_20180321-132215In Keukenhof, there are a variety of different gardens and garden styles you will find, such as the English landscape garden, the historic garden, the Japanese garden, etc. There is also a different theme each year, so you will never see the same setup twice! This unique space in the world attracts over a million visitors every year!Screenshot_20180321-132515

 

 

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Note: The park is only opened from the 22nd of March to the 13th of May (so go NOW!!) from 8am to 7:30pm daily. There is a Flower Parade as well, which will be held on the 21st of April.

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Unfortunately, I may actually miss it by just a day, or maybe I can try to make it my first day in Amsterdam, so watch this space!

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~Karen Bahri

Valparaíso – Chilé’s city of artists!

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Valparaíso – Chilé’s city of artists!

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A short two hours, but worlds away, from Santiago lies a secret Chilé would like to keep to itself. No frills here – it’s dirty, dusty and there’s not much to do; which might be why many are so drawn to this little port town.

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Valparaíso, which means ‘Paradise Valley’ in Spanish, is a vibrant port city on Chilé’s coast.

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The city is known for its steep funiculars and colorful clifftop homes. It’s gritty but authentic, and can be described as a city with an edgy air of ‘anything goes.’

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Although Santiago is more widely known,Valparaíso is more popular to some visitors due to its historic faded beauty of its chaotic cerros (hills), some of the best street art in Latin America, a maze of steep, sinuous streets, alleys and its escaleras (stairways) which are piled high with crumbling mansions.

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Poets, painters and philosophers have long been drawn to Chilé’s most unusual city.

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An artist named Pablo Neruda, who became completely inspired by this hard-working port town, said it best when he said: ‘Valparaíso, how absurd you are…you haven’t combed your hair, you’ve never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.’

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Poetry and art decorate the walls, from large scale murals to little hidden-away pieces. Graffiti plays a large part in making sections of the city very colorful and enticing – it’s as if there is a free art gallery that adds a new exhibit to its collection every day!

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You can spend a few sunny days and many lost hours wondering and exploring the small cobbled streets and winding roads.

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The best time to visit would be the start of spring, which, since they are in the southern hemisphere starts in October. In Valparaiso, the first few days of October are celebrated with the Mil Tambores festival, and traditional dancers, markets, free concert and street parties take over the city!

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Take note though – on the last day of the festivities, it all goes a little bit crazy (picture Carnival-style) Nakedness, painted bodies, debauchery by the beach, lots of booze and crowds! Its basically Carnival Latino style!

Lastly, if you are like me, and always looking for a beach – a day-trip to Viña del Mar is definitely something you can do!

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Popular with the wealthier Santiaguinos, Viña del Mar has a bit of a resort feel as well as some of the best nightlife in town. Coming here will make you feel like you are actually on a relaxing holiday away from the chaos!

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-Karen Bahri

Boulder Beach

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Boulder Beach

Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town, which is right outside Cape Town, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Ancient granite boulders protect from the wind (it gets a tad blowy in the middle of the day!) large waves, and soft sand make for the ideal swimming spot for adults and children alike.

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Because it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach is always clean and safe. It’s rarely crowded, which comes at the cost of a small conservation fee. This small fee is definitely worth it for the luxury of a clean, stunning beach! You don’t want to be disappointed on a beach day in this South African paradise!

Looks alone will definitely draw crowds to this beach, and yes, Cape Town definitely has no shortage of stunning beaches, but Boulders Beach in False Bay has an extra special treat for beach bums – PENGUINS!

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Yes! There is a colony of African Penguins in all their smartly dressed tuxedos, waddling gloriously on the white sand. In fact, they are the only penguins found on the ENTIRE continent and currently, there are only 26,000 breeding pairs left in the whole world!

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Unfortunately the African Penguin has been classified as an endangered species – due to over-fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities. The Boulders Beach colony has also felt the effect, as numbers have been dwindling over the last couple of years.

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Unfortunately as well, they are also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray. I don’t know how you could have the nerve to call these cute little tuxedoed out creatures such a name! They only grow up to 4.9-7.7 lbs!!

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Another fun feature is they have pink (!) glands above their eyes, which are used for thermoregulation. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands so it may be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink!

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Something to keep in mind if you decide to go for a visit – do not try to feed or get too close to the penguins. Boulders Beach is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, but they are wandering freely in a protected natural environment.

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While they may look cute, they’re still wild animals with razor sharp beaks. If you decide to approach them , they will think you are trying to harm them, so they will attack! Don’t risk it!

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Personally, I am not a huge animal fan at all lol (you are probably like “I do not understand why this girl is writing about animals, she hates them!” – haha) that being said, yes, to your surprise, I do think some animals are cute – FROM AFAR, but please don’t touch or come anywhere close to me!!! So these rules I appreciate 🙂 HA!

-Karen Bahri

 

Lath Mar Holi – aka Holi gone Violent!

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Holi – the celebration of spring, the festival of colors originating in India is the festival that signifies good over evil as well as the welcoming of spring.  For many, it is a festive time to meet others, play, laugh, forget and forgive, repair broken bonds and spread happiness and positive vibes.

Different regions in India, as well as the diaspora, like to add their own unique twist to this colorful festival. Lath Mar Holi is a celebration in the towns of Barsana and Nandgaon, which are near Mathura in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This celebration takes place days before actual Holi.

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Lath Mar Holi translates loosely into something like “the hitting sticks Holi ” – A LATH/Lathi is a thick traditional type of stick. Mar (I think it should be spelled in English like MAAR, because Mar means to die) means to hit. You get me..

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According to legend, Lord Krishna visited his beloved Radha’s village on this day and playfully teased her and her friends (*insert eye roll* Siiggghhhhhhh!).

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Don’t even think about messing with me, Krish!!! I’m warning you….

The women of Barsana, taking offense to this, chased him away. 

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I don’t think much has changed in this day and age!

Keeping this tradition alive, the men from Nandgaon visit Barsana each year – and each year the women of Barsana await them, Lathi in hand! 

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(It’s like they never get it!)

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The men try to shield themselves as much as they can while the ladies attack them with the sticks – hahahah!

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don’t mess with me, homie!

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The unlucky ones are captured and then are forced wear female clothing and dance in public. (*I need that one emoji*)

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The festivities are held in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple in Barsana, which is said to be the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Goddess Radha.

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Thousands gather to witness the festivities and watch the men get beat up by the women! And let me tell you, like any desi party, the crowd getssssss hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shouting out for their team!! Sri Radha vs Sri Krishna. It’s insane! It’s so insane, the women of Barsana start preparing a month in advance.

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Holi is one of the largest festivals in India. In general, it signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and the end of winter. People typically throw kaleidoscopes of colored powder/water at each other playfully.

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Growing up in the US, I have fond memories of DANCE PRACTICE for Holi shows in school and within the community.  I used to do choreographed dances on stage for functions, as I think most kids in my generation did.

I hope you have a very kaleidoscopically colorful, joyous Holi – and ladies, please don’t go chasing any men with sticks – you most likely are not in Barsana and we have laws here! 🙂 HAPPY HOLI!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

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Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

It was a gloomy Thursday and I was on the train scrolling through my Instagram, when I ran across a post that people kept reposting and reposting. The post read basically as followed:

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And if you saw the pics attached to this message – they were pretty cringe…let me show you:

 

I don’t want to get too involved in the politics but as a proud Punjabi, I do have to say shame on you Gucci. Quite a disappointment.

Anyways I had to reach out to the person who created this post. This post that spread worldwide on social media to create awareness on this topic. I actually did not expect a reply, but I actually got a very appreciative and kind message back from Raja Sapra. From there I got the opportunity to learn about this amazingly ambitious British Asian lad making his mark in the world of fashion!

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I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with the young, hip, stylish Raja Sapra who is an extremely bright and talented fashion blogger/influencer and model based out of London.

He began blogging about fashion on his own about a year ago. He would go out and purchase his own clothing and created his own photo shoots. He then would post them on his Instagram and would tag the brands. One bright, blue sunny day in the month of June, NEW LOOK approached him – and just like that he got signed for a year! Go on to their Instagram page (newlook_men) and check him out!

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If you take a look through his Instagram photos, he is always creating fresh, creative, unique photos, not only in London but also in various locations he carefully picks out all throughout the UK. You will notice that he has put an effort into keeping his content unique and consistent, which is why his content stands out!

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Something Sapra should be proud about is he was literally the only Sikh at London Fashion Week this year! I do hope that changes in the future and more people of all faiths, colors, and backgrounds walk the ramps, but it’s a big deal for Raja and his journey and it’s definitely a big deal for our entire Punjabi community! He’s done shoots for many major brands in the UK such as River Island, Moss Bros, New Look, Primark etc!

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During LFW, he took over the Instagram stories of Moss Bros on day one, day two he walked the ramp for New Look, and for the rest of fashion week he was invited to numerous shows.

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He’s accomplished a lot in 22 years of age with the support of his family. He has a bright future ahead and hopes to one day be an ambassador for the British Fashion Council! I am sure he will achieve this and much more as he has a very positive energy and spirit!

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Raja, continue what you are doing and remember to put yourself first. You are already successful but your future looks so bright! Keep making our community proud!

Jump on the gram and check out his page @iamsapra

He also has a fun blog filled with tons of mens fashion and will soon be adding a travel section: http://iamsapra.co.uk

ALSO!!!! I am very excited to ANNOUNCE that RAJA SAPRA will be the OFFICIAL INFLUENCER at INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK AMSTERDAM!!! He will also be modeling. We are very honored to have him be apart of our efforts to CHANGE THE FACE OF FASHION, and broaden peoples minds in a positive way using Fashion! Keep looking out for more updates on the show at IFWAmsterdam on Instagram and STAY TUNED!!!!!

-Karen Bahri 

 

When plans of a joyful Fun Park turns Eerie…

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I wish I discovered this around Halloween time – Although, any time of the year is a great time for a ghost story 🙂

Picture this : An empty castle, unfinished rides and an eerie fountain that still runs…

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There is an amusement park” nestled in a remote region of the Philippines. Initially created to bring over some Disneyland magic into the Philippines when it was built in 2001. But – it was never finished…

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Named Fantasy World and located on a hill overlooking the countryside of a town called Batangas, which is a four-hour drive from Manilla.

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It was once owned by a Japanese businessman who was forced to abandon construction when he ran into financial troubles. Its grounds are now maintained by a homeowner’s association.

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The park contains what would have been a beautiful medieval style castle; now empty with the walls somewhat peeling off. There is also a large central fountain and rides, currently of various faded colors, standing still surrounding the park.

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One of the highlights of the park is actually creaky, creepy treehouse with a spiral staircase wrapped with vines.

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There were big dreams for this park! Maybe one day it will come alive again – until then, it’s great for the spook-lovers; and interesting enough, the park IS open to visitors for a small fee. The lawns are kept perfectly manicured and lush in a somewhat ghostly fashion.

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-Karen Bahri