Posts Tagged With: beggar

INDIA, JAMA MASJID MOSQUE

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After our bicycle rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk Market we load into a bus for our next destination. Street hawkers persistently pursue tourists with their wares for sale. Our guide, puts on a “bus bazaar.” For instance, the man in the white shirt is selling the beads he wears on his head. After we are seated, Ranvir  holds up their wares and gives the price. If he thinks the items are of decent quality,. he holds his thumbs up.  If not, he holds his thumbs down. We pass items around before we decide.. There are usually five to six vendors crowding around the bus entrance and someone always buys something.

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We arrive at the Jama Masjid Mosque, the largest in India. This is the outside entrance gate, swarming with people.dsc09348-copy

This is the inside at the back of the temple, also swarming with people. Hard to tell the difference.

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This is a Muslim temple and we must wear cover-ups, provided, and no shoes are allowed. This is the women of our group, from left, Carol, myself, Kathy, Pam, Ellen, Diane (almost hidden),Trish, Sandy, Chris, our guide and Hazel.

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While Manju gave us a history of the temple, Indies gathered around interested in we tourists. This fellow wanted his picture with Theo. I took one and he had his friend take one for him. Then followed about six more guys who wanted pictures and we finally had to refuse anymore pictures.

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A huge pool sits in the center of the square, where people wash their feet, and hands.  I just missed a picture of a guy swabbing his beard. They come to pray. 25,000 of them can fit into this square.

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This arch is beautifully inscribed in marble. Muslim religion does not permit idols, there is only the holy words of the Koran. This arch leads into the entrance to the tower, where the Iman calls the prayer.

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The tower is I believe over twenty-two meter’s high and is now closed to tourists because of a suicide.

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This carved marble gate allows worshipers into the Iman’s area of the mosque. Except for tourism, The mosque is now used only on festival days.

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Heavy, ornate doors can be closed. It is interesting that in ancient times, people did not use tables or chairs. They covered their stone floors with carpets and sat cross-legged and did all their business from the floor. dsc09351-copy

People feel quite comfortable laying down to sleep, or rest, or sit cross-legged just about anywhere in public.

dsc09259-copyBack into the crush of traffic, we drive around the city as Manju Sharmi gives us a history of the seven cities of Dehli.

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This load is so high, it reaches the bus window. Had it been open I could have reached out and touched the boxes.

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We first drive through Old Dehli, pronounced Dealie with a history of 500 years.  The city transformed and rebuilt seven times But this part of Dehli is the squalid, crowded lanes where only the poor live.

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A one-legged man begs in the street.

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Commerce is very local. You can find live goats, chickens, and ducks for sale.

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This man is selling fried chicken. Ranvir described it like this. “It is crispy chicken, beloved by all. It takes on more flavor as the day goes on with the dust and diesel fumes enhancing its flavor. I would die if I ate that food, though I used to eat street food. The people here have a powerful immune system it doesn’t bother them at all.”

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When your vehicle is overloaded, you can use it like a wheelbarrow. Look at the snarl this load is headed for. Take note of the electric wires hanging on both sides of the street.

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It is not my intention to make fun of these people and their way of life. They are survivors and they work hard and do what they can  to keep body and soul together.

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Pictures taken from the window are subject to movement of the bus and glare, but notice the tangle of wiring above this juice stand.

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We see these pictures on the internet and laugh. One can’t help but think of the safety regulations we live with and how can this be maintained without fires?  In fairness, on our entire trip, this is the only place, in this poor neighborhood, in old Dehli, where this wiring situation exists.dsc09352-copy

The window is a sideshow while Manju gives us some interesting statistics. One child is born every second. The city has 16.5 million people.

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The wealthy keep their homes from generation to generation. Sixty % of Indies rent. The city covers 1,408 square miles.  India has the second largest population of Muslims in Asia second only to Indonesia with 14.2 billion. India is 86% Muslim. We are headed to visit Mahatma Ghandi’s resting place. More tomorrow.

 

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STONE DRUM VILLAGE

It is Halloween. Vicki wishes us a Happy Halloween.  It’s strange  to think  of this American Holiday in the midst of  a an ancient city, dining on fried dumplings and sweet black  rice in a hotel with no glass in the windows.  We hate to leave this beautiful mountain village of Jiliang as we are still aglow with unforgettable memories of our time here.

From the bus, we see overladen donkeys hauling goods, people walking the roads, scenic villages, cows, horses, children drying corn or grain outside.  Most pictures from the bus are too blurry to keep.

We look back at the Eastern Himalayas, our last look at the beautiful mountain and marvel at the many exciting experiences we had in this special area just 250 miles from Tibet. So close. Tour mates discuss our next trip and we swear it will be Tibet. Someone recommended the movie, Seven Years in Tibet, Lady Yang, about a famous concubine, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and so it goes as we head for the airport  to fly to Kumming. (koo-ming.)

At the Naxi Stone Drum Village, we stop for lunch.  The restaurant is crowded with Naxi people. Service here is more casual than other restaurants we’ve been to, Vicki tells us. The food simpler. Did we care?  The place was fascinating with its chili pepper curtains, dividing the outdoor diners from the indoor diners. We are seated inside a  small room with a wonderful view of this interesting gathering.

The faces are intent as they play mah jong. We realize no one is eating lunch but us.

Everyone plays. Women tend to stick to tables with women, but mix when the numbers are uneven.

This old fellow sits and watches the game, quietly smoking his opium pipe.

Viki said it is unusual to find this group of people gathered  here and she asks around and finds out a government official is set to visit the village and the “seniors” are waiting in the courtyard to hear his speech.

I sneak a peek into the open air kitchen.

There is no refrigeration. Everything is fresh or stored in vinegar.

A photo bonanza for us, as we watch the activity and listen to them chatter among themselves. They totally ignore us. This table of women is playing some kind of card game and have apples to snack on. One woman is asleep at the table with her head bent low.

When the government official arrives, they listen with rapt attention.

Their meeting ends about the same time as our lunch.  Wanning, with an interpreter tries to engage this elderly gent as everyone leaves the restaurant.  But,  the dialect is obscure, and she nor the interpreter can understand anything he says.

Now the Naxi are very curious about us. They do not shy from the camera and enjoy seeing themselves in our little screens with smiles and much straightening of their clothing. No hands come out for money.

We walk around the area to see what we can see and stretch our legs. This gentleman apparently has a car. He took out a bench from his trunk and proudly showed it to us. Or, maybe he was hoping we would buy it. We couldn’t tell. A car here is quite rare. We see almost no private auto traffic on the roads.

As we load into the bus, a beggar woman stands outside our window gesturing her need for food in her plastic covered dish or to sell us something Viki speculates.  Vicki says it is too late but those in the bus who have snacks demand to stop and hand her some salty nuts, candy bars and a few yuan we offer. Vicki disapproves of encouraging begging and she says it is also very unusual to find a beggar in this remote village.

As we get back on the road in the bus, we see these two Naxi women walking back to their homes. Everyone seems to enjoy relatively good health and good spirits. Walking is their main mode of travel. Tomorrow, Kumming.

 

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