Posts Tagged With: carpets

DEHLI’S SIKH TEMPLE AND CARPET EMPORIUM

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Often our meals are buffet style because it is easy to feed a large group. Our dinner last night was served to us. Steaming hot chicken, spaghetti and antipasto. This is an Indo style Italian place Ranvir chose to give us a break from Indian food.

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I chuckled at this because it looks like Kathy is quite unsure of what is coming from behind.

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But the main event today is a visit to the largest Sikh Temple in the world. dsc09590-copy

Before you can enter the temple, they have a place outside of the grounds where visitors must cover their heads and either go barefoot or put on temple socks. Here Paul and Trish get covered.

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Theo, Chris and Hugo.

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We tend to regard this a bit humorously, but it is very important to respect the customs of the Hindu people and appreciate the enormity and generosity of this place.

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The Holy Book is treated like a being. The priests ritually bring the Holy Book or Scroll out during the day, and  put it to bed at night. There are signs, no speaking; no photos. But people, Indians as well, use cell phones and take pictures. So, we do too, if a bit guiltily.

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The koran is read 24 hours a day. Though more people are educated now than ever before, older people cannot read.

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This is the bedroom where you can peek through the windows  and people here were especially reverent. One woman whispered to me, no photos. I put my camera away and took no more.

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But this temple is special because it can feed thousands of people a day during holidays. And on any given hour, there is 250 to 300 people eating a meal, and another 200 or more in a waiting area, for their turn. This practice continues every day of the year from sunrise to sunset.

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The men standing are dishing out food from a bucket onto each plate.

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This gives you an idea of the enormity of the hall. Isn’t this an awesome accomplishment? dsc09619-copy

What is even more impressive is that the temple elders, and wealthy supporters and their families, voluntarily do the kitchen work. Here they are cutting up melon slices.

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Some need seats because they come from homes that are furnished and no longer serve meals on the floor.

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Carrots in India are red. This full tub with seasonings is waiting to be put in a cooker.

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Bags of rice, beans and noodles are overseen by a watchful storekeeper.

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A huge machine mixes and rolls the dough for nan.

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Mothers and children work in shifts.

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It takes a great deal of effort just to provide the bread.

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Cooked and turned on a giant burner that can hold about 160 pieces of nan at a time.

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Huge quantities.dsc09626-copy

Huge pots from which they fill the buckets of hot food for those waiting.

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This bank of home-made gas burners make a giant stove.

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A second area where food is heating to be poured into the pots as they empty.

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Theo stands next to a great pot to give a perspective on size.

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What I found equally impressive is the friendliness of the people. They work hard, and bend to the task, but they are cheerful and smiling. Not a grumble is heard.

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We leave the temple with the ever resourceful Hugo, setting himself up as a traffic policeman so we could all safely cross the street to get to our bus. He supplies such levity and keeps everyone smiling.

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Our next stop was this silk carpet emporium.

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The beauty and the hand work that takes to make carpets like these is significant.

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You look at a carpet like this and can’t help but ask, is this a painting?

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I bought a silk carpet in Turkey and I was disappointed that this place was just a showroom. It did not show the process from  gathering the cocoons, expelling the larvae, to pulling the strands to make silk thread, and then watching the workers make the rug.

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Even so, they have great beauty, and I bought one. The color from my camera is so different from the real thing that it is surprising.

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As we left the showroom, two children were looking for handouts. They seem healthy. They have shoes. Ranvir tells us that children of poor families have free health care, and they can get food from the government. I sometimes wonder if the word actually gets to the people it is intended to serve. More tomorrow.

 

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SOUTH TO MARMARIS, CARPETIUM

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Busing overland to Marmaris on the Aegean Sea, we see apartment buildings with solar water. It amazes me how smart and progressive people are.

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The terrain is mountainous in part, and beautiful. At one point I saw rock walls similar to those we see in the Motherlode. It reminded me of Calaveras County.

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On our way to board our gulet, an old type sailing/motorized vessel, we stop at a Carpetium. Supported by the government to keep ancient hand crafts like this alive, we learn how the famous Turkish Rugs are hand made from silk and wool, a process perfected in Biblical times and handed down from generation to generation.DSC05301 (Copy)

Our first stop is the cocoon vat, where live cocoons are floated. If the worm dies the silk cocoon turns grey and unusable. They are floated in this vat and the worker takes a rough brush and grabs at them.DSC05303 (Copy)

She lifts up her brush with cocoons attached. You can see the many fibers in the teacher’s hand.

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She then takes the fibers and puts them on a hook to the left of the vat.

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The hooks are attached to a machine that winds the silken threads into a batt. DSC05310 (Copy)

The batts are then ready to be dyed. The teacher challenged us to try and break a strand of silk with our hands. It looks fragile but no one could break it.DSC05279 (Copy)

This woman draws and colors in the designs. Most are traditional, some commissioned, some just new innovations to try for something different.DSC05316 (Copy)

Natural dyes are used for the silk and wool.The back as beautiful as front

Hand made rugs are almost as beautiful on the back as they are the front.

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Silk weaving can be so precise, a talented worker can make a picture like this beautiful wall hanging featuring Ephesus as it once looked.

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Pure wool rugs are much coarser and the patterns are not as precise and fine. They still have a wonderful feel, richness and quality to them.

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We watched the weavers work from a small design. It is a matter of counting threads. It takes great dedication to your craft to stick with one rug for over a year or more. This is pure silk in a very fine design.DSC05290 (Copy)

All of us were invited to try weaving. The worker slips her fingers under two strands of the warp, she separates them, inserts a strand of silk or wool, makes a simple loop and knot and drags it down to the bottom of the carpet. Here Joyce B. gives it a try.

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You can see a nearly complete row of dyed fibers across the width of this carpet. This weaver does one color at a time. She will come back and fill in the white.

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After completing several rows, the worker cuts the excess threads off with a wide, flat bladed scissors.

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I’ve made both hooked and braided rugs and I stand in awe of this craft. These women work unbelievably fast; it was hard to see what lightening fast fingers were doing.

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In the show room, the crew rolled out 50 to 60 carpets for us to examine. He describes the types. You notice they lift heavy carpets with a double fold at the corners, so not to damage the carpet.DSC05353 (Copy)

The teacher explains the nap of the carpet.DSC05358 (Copy)

One of the workers gives a little show before we get to think about whether we want to buy something or not.

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To demonstrate how old some of the carpet patterns are, he showed us a portrait from the London National Gallery of England with a carpet pattern called USHAK draped over the table when a peace agreement was signed between England and Spain. I liked that pattern and color which is more red than in the photo of a photo.

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Owen liked this Tree of Life pattern.

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I ended up with two, the pattern I liked is visible on the left. One similar, to the right which I bought instead, along with the Tree of life. Ouch, I said after dickering the price down. I won’t tell you how much I paid. Expensive, but they last for a hundred years, with care. I hope my kids take good care of them. And, the rug makers tell you, walk on them. Don’t hang them on your wall. They react well to use.

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They fed us an interesting picnic lunch in their yard.

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Everything was tasty. Owen, of course, ordered the chicken shish.

We move on to the Gulet after lunch.

To see an album of pictures, click the link below:

 

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AIR CONDITIONED CARS

There was a time when air conditioned cars were an expensive add on from the dealer. We thoroughly enjoyed our 1972 Pontiac Convertible and didn’t get an air conditioned car until 1976.  In fact, in Southern California, you could buy a car from the dealer without a heater, which we did, once.  Who needed it?

A Bay Area friend of ours bought a brand new 1961, (I believe it was a Chrysler) with an  air conditioning unit, to take a trip from California to Boston. The device was a square container of ice mounted on the hump over the drive shaft with a fan attached to the cigarette lighter. The fan blew air over the ice to cool the air. It worked until the ice melted.  Every couple of hours, our friends had to stop and buy a new block of ice.  It was a  hoot and convinced us air conditioning would never be a standard part of a car. Now, I can’t imagine being without it. Which, in a round about way, is where I’m going this morning, to have my air conditioning repaired. A hose is plugged and condensed water wets the carpet on the passenger side when the air conditioning is running.

And carpet in cars?  Don’t get me started.

Yesterday, I experimented  with pictures around my yard to see what I could come up with and I can’t say that the following close-up has much appeal…

…when the leaf itself is so pretty.

However, I liked this close-up shot of a gold pan.

Maybe because a gold pan wasn’t meant to be as pretty as a leaf.

The cables on Jim’s bike made an interesting shot. Kind of reminds me of when we were kids. Pageant magazine had a  monthly photo that required you to guess what the original object was from the close up. The answer was in the following issue, always a month away. No one in the family ever guessed an object correctly, but we loved trying.

The weather will soon turn wet and cold. We’ve enjoyed these sunny fall days.

 

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