Things that made me think
09.09.2015 - 30.09.2015
Back at home now, I was giving a friend a sadly un-curated viewing of my photos (sorry Alex!) and it occurred to me that there were a lot of things that didn’t make it into my blog or into my Facebook albums. So here are a few final things that either made an impression, or made me think.
Liberation War Museum, Dhaka
I don’t even have a photo of this, but it was an image I saw in the museum that triggered memories from my very early childhood and left me feeling ashamed of my ignorance. You’ll know it if you Google it – it was the poster for George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, with that iconic image of a malnourished infant. Even at that tender age I knew children were starving in Bangladesh, but of course I didn’t know why. And I never really did know why, until now. Everyone knows about what happened in Cambodia just a few years later, but Bangladesh was worse (I know it’s not a contest) and I get the impression this is not widely known or acknowledged or remembered in the West.
Kantanagar Temple, near Dinajpur
My favourite site in Bangladesh. Kantanagar is a Hindu terracotta temple, and although it’s currently undergoing significant restoration, the richly detailed sculpted panels are still really easy to see and understand, provided you are willing to stick your head in under the bamboo scaffolding and look.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling
Tenzing Norgay is a local hero around here, not only for his personal climbing achievements but also for the legacy he has left behind in training and developing trekking-tourism in the area. A visit to the Everest Museum at HMI had me reflecting deeply on the burden of passion for mountain-climbing; not only for the climber but for their families, friends and colleagues. I don’t begin to understand it, but I kind of admire it.
All the Dzongs, Bhutan
A very small country with a very small population, Bhutan has managed to protect its sovereignty through the ages, no doubt in part due to the system of regional fortresses it has in place. These fortresses, or Dzongs, were the centre of monastic and political life. We visited a few, and each was beautiful and unique although bearing basic similarities to the others.
Chelela Pass, Bhutan
The highest pass in Bhutan and reputed to be a sky burial site. Desolate but beautiful, it doesn’t take much imagination to see it being used for that purpose.