Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Bhutan, the Land of Thunder Dragon is a stunning beauty among the nations along the Himalayan range. The land of the Happiness Quotient have done a wonderful job in maintaining their traditions and culture. There is a vast array of mythology and folklore within their belief system and superstition is part of the package.

When I visited Bhutan in 2011, I noticed a sprinkling of abandoned houses, mostly in the rural areas. They are typically sturdy homes as they are built from stone foundations and of rammed-earth designs. In some instances, the new house is built just a stone’s throw away from the old, abandoned house. As expected nature reclaimed what was hers to begin with. Continue reading

Side Effects of Tourism and Globalization

From my jaunts around the world, I have noticed that cultural boundaries are becoming a thing of the past. Regardless whether I am in the Himalayan mountains or deep in the Amazon or on a Safari in Africa – it requires no effort for me to find a man wearing T-shirt and jeans. On the contrary, the chances of seeing a local resident dressed in traditional, local attire are pretty slim, in most cases. Gone, are the days of partial nudism in the name of modesty, conformity – women are bound by restrictive bras and loincloths are things of the past.

Due to the power and spread of technology, mass media, western idealism, and “The American Dream” – more and more cultural groups around the world are allowing their cultural identity to diminish. Many reserve their traditional attire for special occasions or performances. In turn, tourists try on local attire for photos or buy them as a souvenir or as a novelty item. Continue reading

Bhutan and chili…

When friends I met while traveling in Turkey asked if I wanted to join them on a trip to Bhutan – I thought… that would be cool! Why not?!

At that point, I knew nothing much about Bhutan except for these 3 things.

  1. It is known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”.
  2. They focus on their “Gross National Happiness” index.
  3. It is described as the last Shangri-La.

We arrvied at the Paro international airport a week after the Young King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck had married his wife, Jetsun Pema. Continue reading

Without the shadow of a doubt…

Without the shadow of a doubt, 2014 will be a year of change, adventure and excitement!

Photo taken in 2011 while in Bhutan. The Double Dorje = Thunder bolt and Diamond (indestructible strength)

Photo taken in 2011 while in Bhutan. The Double Dorje = Thunder bolt and Diamond (indestructible strength)