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    Moving Roundabouts

    “The tea and snack joints at Mangalwara Chowk have always been very integral to the town of Pipariya. During the 1950’s and 60’s, there were two very popular joints here. One of them was called ‘Bharat Hotel’ and belonged to a Sindhi fellow. Sindhis came to this town after partition and set up small scale confectionary shops. The other one was run by Mr. Shyam Jaiswal. These joints were the hubs of all the political and social gossip in the town.

    Chedema Baptist Choir

    This is a choir from the Chedema Baptist Church singing on the occassion of the 69th Naga Plebiscite Day.

    It talks of a creator, Christ in heaven, who be praised and  who blesses the congregation to stay together as one.

    The Naga nation is that one holy congregation which seeks to remain as one, together in its mission to spread the word of God.

    Mapping the Neighbourhoods

    A Google map representation of the town of Pipariya situated in Madhya Pradesh, India. The map is marked with 25 local neighbourhoods (names in Hindi script Devnagri) that were an often-recurring reference point in the oral narratives recorded with the residents of the town. Highlighting the politics of everyday spaces, the map can be considered a visual marker of a settlement where some places are more or less relevant than others.       

    Grazing the Grounds

    Suman Bai Goojar is a resident of Puraani Basti, one of the oldest settlements in the town of Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. Hailing from the semi-nomadic pastoral Goojar community, hers is a narrative where fields are connected to pastures and communities to spaces. A snippet from our recorded conversation:

    Pitha - Rice cake

    Pitha is the common name used in Assam for rice cake. The Boro pitha is traditionally prepared during the harvest festival. In earlier times indigenous varieties of rice were used for making pitha. Each household has its own way of making pitha/ rice cakes and it is generally women who engage in such activities.  Now-a-days with indigenous rice varieties slowly disappearing, hybrid rice varieties are used for making pitha; and pitha is no longer related with festivities alone.

    Aux Portes de Saint-Louis: La Gare Routière

    La gare routière de Saint-Louis est un lieu oú transitent des centaines de voitures, ainsi que des miliers de personnes. A part les chauffeurs et les passagers, il y'a des employés et des vendeurs qui viennent y travailler tous les jours. Sur notre photo nous voyons, devant le poste de contrôle, six personnes entrain de partager un repas, autour d'un bol. Il y'a parmi eux des coxeurs (hommes qui organisent et tiennent la liste des véhicules et qui sont chargés de rabattre les clients vers un taxi ou un autocar), des agents de la mairie, et des chauffeurs.

    Carrying Earth God and Showered by Firecracker

    Residents of si-tai-kou (the Mouth of Theater, 戲台口) carrying their earth god to rally in the settlement. 

    The Earth Gods' Parade (夜弄土地公) is held on Lantern festival (元宵節), the 15th of the first month in Lunar New Year in Shezih region, Taipei City. The region has a long tradition with earth gods' parade and lantern watching on Lantern festival.

     

    What Is the Original Color of Rembrandt Bridge in Leiden?

    Rembrandt Bridge (Rembrandtbrug) was built in 1983 as a replica of a 17th-century bridge that was in the same place. The bridge was rebuilt in color white. However, according to archive research from Heritage and Environment of Leiden (Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken), the original bridge design in 1768 was in English red with black. The research did not please some of the local residents. Friends of Rembrandt Bridge (Vrienden van de Rembrandtbrug) made petitions against the change of color and stuck the "Liever wit dan dit (Better white that this)" over the trial color. 

    First Church Visited in Leiden: Marekerk

    First church visited in Leiden: Marekerk. Architecture may be reminiscent of a Catholic church, but our guide told us that it is a Protestant church. The building is majestic, a round dome overlooking it, and it is still used by the Protestant community of Leiden. The past and current relations between Catholics and Protestants in Leiden are relatively complicated, and certainly competitive, as everywhere else. We did not expect it. Nor did we expect so many churches and stories in this city.

    Memories of absence

    The Netherlands was placed under German occupation during the second World War after the  country was invaded by the Nazi Germany on the 10th of May, 1940, which continued till the German Surrender in 1945. Nearly seventy percent of the country's Jewish population was killed in Nazi concentration camps during these years. 

    Streets of Leiden

    The 1890 photograph of ‘laundry day’ shows people washing, bleaching and drying their clothes on the side of the canals of Leiden. According to our sources, the people in Leiden used the water that was centrally heated by the factories, once a week, to wash their clothes once a week. They needed the entire streets for the laundry process and used it as a community.

    Modernity with Tradition

    “Laken” means woollen fabric or cloth. Weaving became the main economy for Leiden in the 17th century and the city became the working center. The city was populated due to the availability of works in the weaving industry. During the Dutch Golden Age, Leiden cloth was imported via Amsterdam, made quality cloth, national uniforms and the process was carried out by people of all ages of the city, from as young as 4 years old to and old person. To secure the quality of products which was the prestige of the city, they built the Lakenhal in 1641.

    Saturday Market

    The setting of the Saturday Market is a completely different image from the other local shops during the weekdays. It opens twice a week - a small one on Wednesdays, and the main one on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is full of products from local and as well as non-Ducth origin (e.g Mabroek). The uniqueness of the market makes people visit it and makes the experience worthwhile. People come not only to shop but also to relax, to enjoy their Saturdays with family and friends.

    The Keys of Heaven

    The keys are a symbol of Leiden and are found everywhere. As a first time visitor I found them odd. As we talked to different people we were told that these are the keys of Saint Peter. Like the coats of arms in Ghana that talks about the belief of the people and acts as a cultural symbol, the keys of Saint Peter have become a symbol that people identify themselves with.

    History Frozen in Memory

    The Stadhuis Town Hall, in Leiden, was built in the 1600 in what is called the Renaissance style of architecture. Made of German sandstone, it is also the longest Town Hall building in the Netherlands. One February morning in 1929, a fire broke out in the Town Hall burning it to the ground as it was so cold that part of the water being used to extinguish the fire froze as soon as it hit the façade. It was then re-built in the old style using what material remained.

    Comparing Leiden and Amarapura (Myanmar): Handloom weaving

    There are many old buildings and records in Leiden. Weaving was the main economy in the 17th century and the city was known for its quality. But now there are only about 15 weavers. They weave using eight looms. Weavers, though few in numbers, keep the practice alive through different ways – efforts of the volunteers, group meeting, preservation of buildings like Weaver’s House, Museum De Lakenhal, publication in weaving magazines etc.

    Fish Selling in Leiden and Elmina Market

    On my visit to the Leiden Market, I witnessed a scene where the fish sellers were singing in unison with each other. There was a man and woman selling and singing, while scraping herrings. But in my home country, Ghana, the fishermen sing when pulling the nets of fishes out of the water whilst the women await and take the fish away to sell at market like the Elmina fish market. The women are the one that sell and the atmosphere is mostly of chaos.

    Three terms that tell something about craft

    While visiting the craft beer brewery, Benjamin, one of the co-founders of the brewery, was the tour guide for our visit. I find three terms were used frequently in his talk: 'to be honest,' 'but' and 'the beauty is.' The image been built from these word choices breaks some stereotypes on craft in my mind, but also proves some imaginations I had. 

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