Monday, June 25, 2007

Mystery date

A twist with destiny
Kathmandu, Nepal

...screamed the headlines today.

Supposedly, we're having the Nepali Constituent Assembly election polls on November 22nd. (For those of you unfamiliar with Indian history, it's a reference to Nehru's address given on the occasion of Indian independence in 1947. "We had a tryst with destiny....")

Reaction 1 - I'll believe it when I see it.

Reaction 2 - I will bet money that this date was arrived at only after lengthy consultation with astrologers such as Mangal Raj Joshi and other
traditional soothsayers.

(You think I'm kidding? this is a nation where we
still get public holidays for a solar eclipse. Not that I am complaining, or even criticizing...just observing.)

It's raining a bit more every day. I think my persistent headaches are caused by needing new glasses. Either that, or the humidity and that stupid cover band down the street that keeps playing "La Bamba" every night at 7.45.

Stop the press
Oh, did I tell you the one about the Maoists shutting down some newspapers? They organize (ie, semi-forcibly recruit) "labour unions" on the pretext of caring about workers' rights. Then they got (in this case) the paper carriers, vendors and so on to "strike for better working conditions." Of course, it just happened to be a group of papers they were pissed off at for saying unfavourable things about them. I am afraid this is a taste of more things to come.

The papers are back on the stands today, after a four-day hiatus.

Here are some more photos from the Magic Kingdom. It's too hot right now to wander around taking new ones, so most are from last year. Believe me, very little has changed.

Giant mask of Seto Bhairav (reputedly the original "Little yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu"), unveiled only once annually at Indra Jatra time. September, 2006

Mahankali Pyakhan or Great Kali Dancers of Bhaktapur; performing for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad convention in Kathmandu. September, 2006

Kids dressed up for traditional stick dances, Kathmandu, Sept. 2006

Winnowing rice during harvest season, Bhaktapur. October 2005

Crowds assembled in Kathmandu Durbar Square for Indra Jatra, Sept. 2006

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