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    Celebrating Identity: Muharram

    A procession of Tazias and street performers greet you while walking through the main market road, in Mehrauli, on the day of Muharram. The procession is organized by Auliya Masjid and Bakhtiyar Kaki Dargah situated in the neighbourhood.

    Dyeing thread

    The locals did not dye before 1988 because the cooperative department gave out the ready-made dyed threads. But later on they permitted the private businesses to undertake dyeing. They dye yarn for themselves as well as for sale.

    There are two kinds of dyes: natural and chemical; and two types of dyeing techniques: hot dyeing and cool dyeing. For the dyeing process, warm or hot water, cold water, glue-liquid, dye and glove are required. The dyeing process follows the cycle of cleaning (purifying), dyeing, wringing, shaking off, and putting out to dry.

    U Pein Bridge (2): Learning History Through Childhood Poem

    This oral narrative was collected by the students exploring the word concept - belief. 

    The seventy-two year old father of the fried-fish seller told us the following story related with the establishment of the U Pein bridge:

    "I left the monastery long time ago but I remember what I learnt about the history of the U Pein bridge"

     

    အင်းကအော်ညီး ဆောက်လုပ်ပြီး၊ ဉီးပိန် တံတားကြီး

    အင်း၀ရေငံ တွင်းဂျီးစော်နံ၊ တောင်သမန် ရေချိုတွင်း သောက်ပါလေ့ ကို ရန်ကင်း ဘေးရန်က ရှင်း

    ဘရူရာဇာ (ထန်းပင်) မည်သော ထန်းပဒေသာပင်များ ခြံရံလျက်ရှိသောနေရာများကို ရွေးချယ်ခဲ့သည်။

    Learning While Walking in the Forest: Where the Village Practices Shifting Cultivation

    Every day, the youth of Huay Hin Lad Nai community go into the forest to find food. The forest serves as the local supermarket. Accompanying them into the forest today are students from Chiang Mai University, who are part of school's Ethnic Studies and Development program. Both the students and the youth group woke up early at 5:00 a.m to go and learn in the forest together. The local youth shared stories about shifting cultivation, properties of variety of vegetables and herbs, and their way of living with the forest and nature.

    Luntaya acheik: Then and Now

    The weaving of luntaya acheik  or the wavy rope pattern created through the use of hundred shuttles loom and silk thread, is mainly based on seven elementary designs and thirty-three ropes. In the Konbaung period (1752 to 1885), it was a royal fabric that only the kings, queens and high officials were allowed to wear. Now everyone can wear luntaya acheik. People wear this luntaya acheik for special ceremonies like novitiation, wedding, state level events, and convocation. It is a valuable fabric.

    Battling Covid 19 with Thalis

    The sounds in the audio may resemble expressions of jubilation - a win in a game perhaps. But these aren't meant to be. Inspired by Italy, the PM of India, Mr N. Modi, in national telecast called upon Indians to bang thalis or utensil or clap for five minutes at 5:00 pm from their balconies, windows or outside their own doors as part of the Janta Curfew on 22 March 2020. The gesture was in part to show appreciation to the first responders. While it may have been meant to be encouraging. Some people burst fire crakcers.

    Learning To Be an Anthropologist (1)

    This was the first field trip for us and there were many new experiences for us. All of us as first-year anthropology students had never experienced this kind of field trip; and we asked ourselves, ‘What are we going to do?’ We motivated ourselves by asking the question, ‘If we are afraid to ask questions, we will know nothing’.

    Learning To Be an Anthropologist (2)

    When we went to the field to collect oral histories or stories or experiences of U Pein Bridge, we did not know how to explain our tasks or talk about them. Our group then applied what we had observed the foreign anthropologist do -  smile and make eye contact. We adopted this when we spoke to a fried-fish seller who we first thought may know about something of the U Pein Bridge. First, we bought a pack of fried fish with 2000 Kyat before asking her about U Pein bridge. So, we used our money to get data and we were very happy.

    Spirit Continues

    After the corona measures, people are required to adapt to the new situation of staying at home, to understand the abnormal quick-made measures. However, people understand them well and most of them follow the new measures because they know that it will be over sooner if everyone works together. What beauty I found in this crisis is the joyful spirit and humor of people. I believe that this will become the true drive and engine to pass through the dark tunnel. Here I would like to take two examples:

    Spirit continues

    Samen Alleen/We are Together

    One of the most useful Dutch words for all foreigners to learn the language has to be “gezellig”.  It seems, sounds and means cozy, close, comfort, accompanied, warm, etc. This “gezellig” is embedded deeply in the Dutch culture, so you can hear it often on many occasions.  For example, if you ask someone to join you for coffee, he or she will reply “gezellig”!

    Taungthaman Bo Bo gyi (1): The Guardian Spirit

    This oral narrative was collected by the students exploring the word concept - belief

    In U Pein Bridge, our group interviewed a second-year law student from Yadanabon University which is located near U Pein Bridge. She shared a story which she had learnt from her grandparents:

    “We believe that Taungthaman Bo Bo gyi is the guardian spirit of the village. Now there is a pole erected in the middle of the Bridge to mark his death. It is known as Thet-pyauk-taing .

    Taungthaman Bo Bo gyi (2): Strangers Beware

    This oral narrative was collected by the students exploring the word concept - belief

    “There are many beliefs that are linked with Taunghtaman lake and Taunghtaman Bo Bo gyi, our guardian spirit. I was told by my grandparents and we also believe that strangers who visit U Pein bridge should not shower in Taunghtaman lake because the bather will take the place of the one who died before him/her.

    According to another belief, if someone misuses the word ‘kyar/tiger’ (an animal which killed the guardian spirit) and then visits the lake... that person dies.

    Thet-pyauk-taing: The Memorial Pole

    This oral narrative was collected by the students exploring the word concept - belief. 

    The guardian spirit was once an ordinary man. One day, while he was crossing the strem, he was bit by a tiger or kyar and died. The villagers erected a teak wood pole as a memorial to him and named it Thet-pyauk-taing. And from then on he became Taungthaman Bo Bo Gyi, the guardian spirit.

    Staying in the Circle

    I am at an ATM cash machine at 9 pm waiting in my circle for my turn. Ayanagar, New Delhi. It was the first time i found myself physically disatanced in public place. A big change from the evening before where I was jostled as usual in a grocery shop by customers at 8pm. "I thought that you were not yet buying, only looking," said the only one who bothered to answer.

     

     

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