Posts Tagged ‘festival’

The Coconut Vendor

April 9th, 2011

This portrait was made in Hyderabad, India, as I took a stroll in the early evening. Makeshift stalls were everywhere on the crowded streets, with vendors selling their wares as people celebrated the Makar Sankranti harvest festival.

To me this picture represents the innate kindness and generosity of people. The small kindness of strangers, and how the smallest of things – a smile – can allow people to open up to others. This lady initially tried to sell me some coconuts, and after a smile and a laugh were exchanged, she handed me a flower as a token of the festival season.

More coming soon!

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Makar Sankranti – Bhogi!

March 27th, 2011

We arrived in Hyderabad at a rather ungodly hour of the morning. It wasn’t yet dawn when we arrived at our guest house but the inhabitants of neighbouring houses were outside, making small fires at the entrances to their dwellings, talking, and drawing in chalk upon the ground. Children were out on the streets barefoot, gathering twigs and small logs for the fire.

After an all too brief rest, we headed out to our meeting – the reason I was in Hyderabad. Turns out it was the first day of the Makar Sankranti festivites. Makar Sankranti (also known as Pongal) is a harvest festival celebrated in large parts of India.

It currently generally takes place on the 14th of January,some 21 days after the winter solstice. It commemorates the beginning of the harvest season, the end of the monsoon in the Southern parts of India and is regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase of the year.

In Andhra Pradesh, the province of which Hyderabad is the capital, Makar Sankranti is celebrated over a four day period. The first day is called Bhogi and it marks the day when people discard old things and concentrate on the new. The disposal or burning of old things at dawn symbolises the lack of attachment to material things, and the embrace of a virtuous way of life.

Seems our arrival coincided with Bhogi.

Later that day, I had the chance to take a closer look at some of the chalk drawings. Below are some pictures.

More coming soon!

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And Now For Something Completely Different. Again.

November 25th, 2010

The 2010 Formula 1 season came to a close with a dramatic sunset race in Abu Dhabi on the 14th of November, 2010.

Here are a few shots from that eventful day.

Above, a plane from Abu Dhabi Formula 1 sponsor Etihad Airways flies overhead before the start of the race.

Below is a shot of the aftermath of Schumacher’s terrible accident with Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, mere moments after the race began. I was lucky enough to be seated in the North Grandstand with a spectacular view directly onto the spot where the accident occurred. You can find a short article in which Schumacher describes the experience here.

Thankfully, neither Schumacher nor Liuzzi was injured and both walked away fine, to cheering crowds. You can watch YouTube videos of the crash from different angles here and here.

Crew worked quite quickly to clear away the wreckage and debris, as the safety car led the remaining contenders on slow (for F1) laps around the circuit. The cars followed an alternate route avoiding the crash site until it was cleared.

Soon the race was under way again. Below is a shot from another location on the North Grandstand after the sun had set.

I didn’t take many pictures of the cars as they zipped by this race. I guess I must have gotten it out of my system during the first one.

I was more interested in taking different types of shots this time. Like the above view onto the race track with a man silhouetted and this silhouette of a woman sat alone while her companions went for drinks and food. It kinda looks like the entire race is stretched out only for her.

As you no doubt know, the race went to Red Bull Racing’s Vettel, who thereby secured the championship this year. Abu Dhabi seems to bring good luck to Red Bull Racing and to Sebastian Vettel in particular as this is the second time he’s won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I could I rephrase that in quite a few ways, and in doing so raise quite different connotations: Vettel has won every single Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to date. Vettel has won two Abu Dhabi Grand Prix races in a row. And so on…

On another note, check out the following:

Also, a quick note: If you’re in Kuwait, or planning to travel there, be aware that it seems Kuwaiti authorities have banned the use of DSLR cameras in public places. Check out the Kuwaiti Times article here. You might want to break out your EVIL cameras instead. 😉

More coming soon!

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