Category Archives: ethnicity

Indian Diaspora in Africa

Standard
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:

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.07.19 PM

  • 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:

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.25.24 PM

  • 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!

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.24.41 PM

  • 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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.24.27 PM

  • 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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 11.08.06 PM

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

Advertisements

Raja Sapra – Changing the Face of Fashion

Standard
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:

Screenshot_20180225-135712

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!

Screenshot_20180223-214818

Screenshot_20180223-215051

Screenshot_20180223-214710

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!

Screenshot_20180223-215424

Screenshot_20180223-214857

Screenshot_20180223-215018

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!

Screenshot_20180223-215534

Screenshot_20180223-215158

Screenshot_20180223-215212

Screenshot_20180223-215444

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!

Screenshot_20180223-214722

Screenshot_20180223-214948

Screenshot_20180223-215237

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.

Screenshot_20180223-215521

Screenshot_20180223-215412

Screenshot_20180223-215638

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!

Screenshot_20180223-215615

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 

 

Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

Standard
Thunyatorn – Thai Dress at NYFW

I attended another show last week close to Bryant park. The show was split into two parts with various designers from across the country as well as the globe. The first half, to be brutally honest, was not very interesting. The second half kept getting better and better! The thing that sucked though was I forgot my charger at home that day, and since I have the google phone, I can’t even borrow anyones charger!! So by the end of the night when all these amazing designs were on the runway I was like UGHHHH lol.

img_20180214_173516.jpg

img_20180214_181728.jpg

I sat next to these beautiful women from the Thailand Fashion Show. One of them is a journalist for Thai Media based out of Philadelphia. Not only were they beautiful, they were soo nice and soo funny!! We were definitely on the same page and I really enjoyed the show with them!

IMG_20180214_175134

They had been invited to the show as their good friends sister was a designer showcasing her collection that evening. I figured it was going to be good, because traditional Thai outfits are beautiful! Every designer from Thailand I have seen in the past has had a lovely, glamorous collection – but this segment really set the energy up for the show!!! They has dancing, romancing, gold and glamour!! It was Valentines day so they had a very special “couple” on stage do a cute little proposal act/dance number.

Screenshot_20180220-073509

Romancers

Screenshot_20180220-074229

Dancers

I got a chance to meet their friend and the designer after the show, and all of them were very, very sweet. It’s that Asian hospitality. Such sweet, humble people! According to Thunyatorn, the designer, the show was strategically on Valentines day due to it’s “love and wedding” theme.

img_20180214_210527.jpg

img_20180214_210338.jpg

Screenshot_20180220-073539

img_20180214_210605.jpg

The goal and mission she is looking to achieve with her collection is to make Thai dress designs popular globally. What she meant here is that she want make their designs more well known, so anyone from different countries can be exposed and fall in love with Thai designs. She wants people internationally to wear them not limited or only to Asian people. This is the first time she’s added a western touch, therefore to not make Thai style as intimidating to westerners.

Screenshot_20180220-073125

Screenshot_20180220-073315

Screenshot_20180220-073528

Screenshot_20180220-073208

Thunyatorn started her business in 2009 as soon as she moved to New York City. At that time, she provided bridal make-up and hair-styling for most Thai people in the NYC area, just as a hobby.

Screenshot_20180220-073632

Screenshot_20180218-135727

Thunyatorn imports her materials straight from Thailand and makes them fit for people here in the US. She works very hard and her creations prove just that!

Screenshot_20180220-073028

Screenshot_20180220-073556

Screenshot_20180220-073602

*All (well, all except 3!) photography credit goes to Hideki Aono. Find him on Instagram: Hideki.aono.lifestyle – once you find him there, you will notice he has 4 other pages 🙂 follow them all!

-Karen Bahri

Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show

Standard
Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show

New York Fashion week was last week and I had the pleasure of attending a few shows. One of my favorites – if not my favorite – was the Maarkah New York Fashion Week Show, by Runway Prestige. Maarkah is an Arabic word for Brand – which makes it the perfect name for this show as it is aimed to show off amazingly talented designers from the Middle East and Africa!

Runway Prestige is ran by Rabab Abdalla – who is an extraordinarily talented, sweet, amazing woman!

IMG-20170920-WA0000

I came to the show to see Houda El Fechka Eddiouane – who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Couture shows last year. I also wrote an article about her work from last years show: http://www.hautedvie.com/houda-el-fechka-eddiouanes-debut-couture-fashion-week-new-yorks-25th-season/

2017-09-12-00-01-46-583

She showcased two of her collections at the show. I would describe her 1st collection as modern and elegant.

20170920_110219

Screenshot_20170920-110406

20170911_185157

I would describe the 2nd collection as traditional and dazzling!

Screenshot_20170920-105654

Screenshot_20170920-110047

Screenshot_20170920-110123

She is an amazing Moroccan designer from the Netherlands. She is definitely one to follow on social media. Her Instagram is houdaee and her facebook is https://www.facebook.com/houda.elfechka

Screenshot_20170920-110630

The show lasted about 2.5 hours and there were designers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America! The entire show was amazingly captivating! I could keep talking but the pics speak for themselves! Also, if I were to post all the pics from all the designers – we would be here forever! Also, I ran out of storage space!! (LOL) So here are juust a few of my favorites (before I ran out of space on my phone!!)

It would be tough for me to decide because ALL the outfits and models were stunning, but the first 3 are my top 3 favorites! For more (photos and videos) – go to my Instagram: karenskaleidoscope and lastly please follow Maarkah & Runway Prestige on Instagram, FB and Twitter (Runway Prestige only on twitter)! This was the first of MANY shows, so stay tuned for lots more from Runway Prestige!!

Screenshot_20170920-213315

IMG-20170920-WA0019

IMG_20170916_234153_874

The Queen of the Night!! #arabiannights ❤

IMG-20170920-WA0001

IMG-20170920-WA0002

IMG-20170920-WA0003

IMG-20170920-WA0004

IMG-20170920-WA0005

IMG-20170920-WA0006

IMG-20170920-WA0007

IMG-20170920-WA0017

IMG-20170920-WA0018

IMG_20170916_234738_927

20170920_123028

Screenshot_20170920-213421

Screenshot_20170920-213515

Screenshot_20170920-213647

IMG_20170914_214623_392

~Hi My name is Ms. Fabulous but you may call me “Ms. Fierce”~

 

-Karen Bahri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANANA ISLAND RESORT DOHA BY ANANTARA

Standard
BANANA ISLAND RESORT DOHA BY ANANTARA

An island paradise of natural exclusivity

Screenshot_20170824-210934

Screenshot_20170824-210343

Screenshot_20170824-210013

Welcome to Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara – an paradise sanctuary which respects local culture by offering an alcohol-free environment with world class facilities and limitless activities providing relaxation and adventure, wellness and pure indulgence.

Screenshot_20170824-210153

Screenshot_20170824-210305

Screenshot_20170824-210532

Twenty minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital, a luxury catamaran ferry crosses crystal clear water to reach a breathtaking island that feels a world away, while a private helicopter pad offers an exclusive arrival with a bird’s eye coastal view. Now, you are in paradise!

Screenshot_20170824-210423

Screenshot_20170824-210441

Screenshot_20170824-211033

The elegant 5-star accommodation is decorated with Arabic design and features a view of the Arabian Sea.  There are 141 rooms, suites, pool villas and over water villas setting the mood for romance and unforgettable holidays. One can take a dip into the private 800 meter beach or the 100 meter long lagoon pool. There’s even a surf pool! There are actually quite a wide range of water sports to enjoy. Leisure and entertainment also spoil you for choice, from bowling, golf and beach games by day, to VIP cinema at night.

Screenshot_20170824-210624

Screenshot_20170824-210648

Screenshot_20170824-210732

A golf course and a tennis court are available near the property. To keep the younger guests entertained, Cool Mint Children’s Club and Peppermint Teens’ Club have a wide range of toys and interactive games. The resort also boasts 9 dining options including a contemporary Italian restaurant that serves delectable fresh seafood and meat dishes in a trattoria setting. Al Nahham serves aromatic Arabic-Mediterranean cuisine with panoramic view over Doha skyline! Exotic mocktails and shisha are served by the pool bar.

Screenshot_20170824-210504

Screenshot_20170824-210834

Screenshot_20170824-210805

Each day at Anantara comes with an invitation to do it all or absolutely nothing at all. If you opt for the latter, experience how health and beauty go hand in hand with expert care, from delightful journeys in over water spa suites to holistic lifestyle programs at the dedicated wellness centre.

Screenshot_20170824-210902

Screenshot_20170824-210914

Screenshot_20170824-211001

This property is one of the top-rated locations in Doha! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. With world class facilities and limitless activities providing relaxation and adventure, wellness and pure indulgence, at the Banana Island resort one can escape into true Arabian luxury!

Screenshot_20170824-210624

Screenshot_20170824-211121

Screenshot_20170824-210805

~Karen Bahri 

 

 

 

Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

Standard
Time to add this Rainbow colored Indonesian village to your Bucket List!

Screenshot_20170514-131805

Screenshot_20170514-123735

Screenshot_20170514-125420

Screenshot_20170514-125728

Just when you thought the world was becoming dull and lifeless, you discover a rainbow colored village in Indonesia!

Screenshot_20170514-125948

Screenshot_20170514-125814

Screenshot_20170514-125854

Screenshot_20170514-125924

Screenshot_20170514-130006

Screenshot_20170514-130024

There has been a colourful makeover in the town of Kampung Pelangi, which literally translates to “Rainbow Village”, in Randusari, Indonesia. It’s bringing in tourists in flocks – and it’s all for a great cause!

Screenshot_20170514-130509

Screenshot_20170514-130638

Screenshot_20170514-130051

Screenshot_20170514-130441

Screenshot_20170514-130736

Screenshot_20170514-131836

The town, originally called Kampung Wonosari, is home to 223 houses which have all recently been painted a minimum of three bright colors and decked out with fun, artistic murals which are so much fun to pose against and post up all over your instagram page! It’s an artists paradise!

Screenshot_20170514-131959

Screenshot_20170514-132101

Screenshot_20170514-132123

Screenshot_20170514-132224

Screenshot_20170514-132238

All this color has been provided thanks to funding from the government, who were hoping to banish it’s slum status as well as boost the tourism to the area. It’s certainly working, Instagram is filled with pictures of travellers in front of the colourful buildings and giant murals with their fun and creative poses!

Screenshot_20170514-132254

Screenshot_20170514-132416

Screenshot_20170514-132436

Screenshot_20170514-132506

Screenshot_20170514-132526

Screenshot_20170514-132541

This project has greatly increased the economy in the village and has turned it from a slum to a thriving tourist destination you should definately add to your bucket list!

Screenshot_20170514-132603

Screenshot_20170514-132631

Screenshot_20170514-132651

Screenshot_20170514-132731

Screenshot_20170514-132615

-Karen Bahri

Shanti Stupa of Leh Ladakh

Standard
Shanti Stupa of Leh Ladakh

Screenshot_20170329-223830

Screenshot_20170329-222414

Screenshot_20170329-222856

Screenshot_20170331-210649

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed temple on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu,Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagodamission.

Screenshot_20170331-211223

Screenshot_20170329-222809

Screenshot_20170331-210536

Screenshot_20170331-211148

Screenshot_20170331-211817

Screenshot_20170331-211705

The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Screenshot_20170331-211954

 

Screenshot_20170329-222553

Screenshot_20170331-212405

Screenshot_20170331-212300

The views – the stunning views over Leh in fact, are the greatest attraction! Sunrise & Sunset views are best viewed from here; and it is completely illuminated with lights at night time! One should make the breathless 15-minute climb up from Changspa when golden afternoon light still illuminates the city as the steps are already bathed in cooling shadow. Breath-taking! There’s a small, simple cafe at the top of the stairway where you can go sit, chill and take in all the glory.

Screenshot_20170331-211419

Screenshot_20170331-212232

Screenshot_20170331-212332

Screenshot_20170331-212423

Screenshot_20170331-212652

The Shanti Stupa features the photograph of the current Dalai Lama with the relics of the Buddha at its base. It was built as a two-level structure. The first level features the central relief of Dharmachakra (basically this symbolizes the teachings of Buddha) with deer on each side. A central golden Buddha image sits on a platform depicting the “turning wheel of Dharma” (Dharmachakra). The second level has reliefs depicting the “birth” of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha “defeating the devils” while meditating. Both levels feature a series of smaller meditating Buddha reliefs.

Screenshot_20170331-211631

Screenshot_20170331-211352

Screenshot_20170331-210933

The Shanti Stupa was built to promote world peace and prosperity and to commemorate 2500 years of Buddhism. It was built by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists as it is considered a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh.

Screenshot_20170331-210834

Screenshot_20170331-211335

Screenshot_20170331-210759

Screenshot_20170331-210714

Screenshot_20170331-210905

Screenshot_20170329-222728

-Karen Bahri

Sharjah Light Festival

Standard
Sharjah Light Festival

Screenshot_20170327-154129
Screenshot_20170327-153231

The Sharjah Light Festival (SCTDA) is a nightly art exhibit with local and international artists that takes place in public places. The festival, which is the first event of its kind in the region, runs for nine nights in the month of February using the latest graphics and lighting techniques and 3-D technology.

Screenshot_20170327-153552

Screenshot_20170327-153311

Screenshot_20170327-153408

Screenshot_20170327-153432

Screenshot_20170327-153508

Screenshot_20170327-154630

Screenshot_20170327-213858

Just some background info – Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the UAE and has land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Sharjah City borders Dubai to the south and Ajman to the north, and the three form a conurbation.

Screenshot_20170327-211739

Screenshot_20170327-211642

Screenshot_20170327-211812

Screenshot_20170327-211850

Screenshot_20170327-211919

Screenshot_20170327-214131

The SCTDA is a culmination of art, culture, science and the renaissance movement initiated by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Screenshot_20170327-153614

Screenshot_20170327-154450

Screenshot_20170327-154717

Screenshot_20170327-153335

Screenshot_20170327-153704

Screenshot_20170327-215011

Over the years, the Sharjah Light Festival has succeeded in attracting thousands of visitors. Last year’s edition drew more than 560,000 visitors from the UAE and abroad while social media channels recorded 2.8 million interactions, according to Google Analytics.

Screenshot_20170327-214416

Screenshot_20170327-214248

Screenshot_20170327-153737

Screenshot_20170327-153754

Screenshot_20170327-153823

Screenshot_20170327-153850

Screenshot_20170327-153920

Screenshot_20170327-153944

The festival covers 14 different locations across the emirate, including architectural landmarks, mosques and historic buildings, which are brought to life with dazzling light displays and musical performances to create innovative three-dimensional designs on mosques, key landmarks and heritage buildings.

Screenshot_20170327-154011

Screenshot_20170327-154040

Screenshot_20170327-154101

Screenshot_20170327-154148

Screenshot_20170327-154209

Screenshot_20170327-214615

Screenshot_20170327-214443

The Sharjah Light Festival is definitely something to check out in the UAE! It’s such an astonishingly colorful festival, as you can see from the many photos I have added to this blog post! I couldn’t help myself! What a spectacularly magical event! It’s worth the excursion if you are traveling to Dubai.

Screenshot_20170327-211958

Screenshot_20170327-154233

Screenshot_20170327-154255

Screenshot_20170327-154352

Screenshot_20170327-154428

 

-Karen Bahri 

Stilt Fishing – a unique attraction on the shores of Sri Lanka!

Standard
Stilt Fishing – a unique attraction on the shores of Sri Lanka!

Stilt fishing is a method of fishing unique to the island of Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole and driven into the sand a few meters offshore. From this high position, the fishermen casts their lines and wait until a fish comes along to be caught. One may assume this to be an ancient practice with an engaging history, but stilt fishing is actually a recent tradition.

Screenshot_20170326-005954

Screenshot_20170326-010113

Screenshot_20170326-010156

Screenshot_20170326-011629

The practice is believed to have started some 70 years ago during World War II; when food shortages and overcrowded fishing spots prompted some clever men to try fishing on the water. At first they started fishing from wrecks of capsized ships and downed aircraft, then some began elevating their stilts in coral reefs. The skills were then passed on to at least two generations of fishermen living along a 30 km stretch of southern shore between the towns of Unawatuna and Weligama.

Screenshot_20170326-011707

Screenshot_20170326-010332

Screenshot_20170326-011753

Screenshot_20170326-010054

The practice is unlikely to last much longer other than as a tourist attraction as the catch is pretty much always meager. The 2004 tsunami that devastated much of the Indian Ocean coastline forever altered the Sri Lankan shoreline and reduced access to fish using this method. Fishing also stops entirely during the annual monsoons. The best time is when the currents are flowing in the right direction; which is mostly between October and December during sunset. And the sunsets are as beautiful as ever, which makes for amazing photographs!

Screenshot_20170326-012115

Screenshot_20170326-012057

Screenshot_20170326-012015

Screenshot_20170326-012138

Today, few fisherman are willing to pass their stilts to their sons, instead renting them to “actors” who pose as fishermen for photographers and tourists. Definately one of the many attractions to check out on the spectacular island of Sri Lanka!

Screenshot_20170326-011828

Screenshot_20170326-011936

Screenshot_20170326-011914

Screenshot_20170326-012039

 

-Karen Bahri

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque – Iran’s Colourful Kaleidoscope is a spiritual awakening!

Standard
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque – Iran’s Colourful Kaleidoscope is a spiritual awakening!

From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, seems like a fairly traditional house of worship — but it hides a gorgeously colorful secret…

screenshot_20170303-133310

screenshot_20170303-133113

screenshot_20170303-133045

screenshot_20170303-133244

The multitude of stained glass windows turn the inside of the mosque into a mosaic wonderland of color that is absolutely breathtaking!!! It is also known as the “Pink Mosque” for its rose-colored tiles that cover the interior. However, choosing just one color doesn’t do justice to the kaleidoscope of hues that decorate this masterpiece.

screenshot_20170303-131937

screenshot_20170303-132511

screenshot_20170303-132006

It is said that the mosque’s beauty is best appreciated in the dawn’s morning light. In fact, you can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, therefore, if you visit at noon, it will unfortunately be too late to catch the light. This is a case in which the early bird does catch the worm! So rise and shine!!

screenshot_20170303-132723

screenshot_20170303-132815

screenshot_20170303-132646

screenshot_20170303-132030

The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass, which then falls over the tightly woven Persian carpet is soo enchanting that it takes you straight into another world! There is something very enlightening about the whole experience that even the world’s most unreligious person can’t help but feel the spiritual energy once they experience the brilliance of the energy from the light and the kaleidoscopic colors!

screenshot_20170303-132549

screenshot_20170303-132621

screenshot_20170303-132836

screenshot_20170303-132905

If the beaming light and the vibrant colors are not enough to take your fancy, the intricate design of the arches and niches of the architecture are also gorgeously designed and painted very mesmerizingly so, that I know you will fall in love!

screenshot_20170303-132048

Ceiling work

screenshot_20170303-132750

screenshot_20170303-133026

screenshot_20170303-133140

Though Masjid al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem and Istanbul’s Blue Mosque both feature stained glass windows as well, they are fairly uncommon in mosque architecture as a whole. The rarity of architecture like this makes Nasir al-Mulk all the more precious.

screenshot_20170303-133216

 

screenshot_20170303-133343

 

 

-Karen Bahri