Our home in Cotswold is a 400 years old stone cottage, although tiny in size it is a cute little house with a quiet charm. Located in scenic English countryside, every summer tourists from overseas snap numerous photographs around the village. My father-in-law got very upset a few times when working in the garden – somehow tourists often mistook him as a gardener, so they would ask him to hide behind the cottage, not to get into the “perfect” pictures of the building. Sometimes we have studious travelers buried their noses in Lonely Planet, cross checking everything they read in the book with everything they saw in the street. We thought our visitors might like to see something “historically” trivial – so we put up this sign outside the house, in a position that will make in to a perfect picture.
Wish everyone a nice week ahead.
OK this is the second time I am here for the Weekly Photo Challenge. From the brief the submissions are supposed to be thoughts provoking, curiosity provoking, and hopefully a glimpse of different culture foreign to our own.
So I decided to cheat a bit, I chose a subject that most cultures will either shy away or try to be quiet about it, but not in Bhutan, a country that Buddhism religion, mythology and history have interwoven tightly into each other for thousands of years…
Yes you are seeing it right, your eyes are not playing a trick on you. What painted on the wall of this humble cottage are a Garuda – a mystic bird, and two Phalluses – erected penis. Both are considered auspicious signs that would ward off evil spirits and protect households and habitants.
The story goes back to 600 years ago, the legendary Drupka Kingley, aka “The Divine Madman”, subdued demons in a form of flying phallus so as to protect villagers and their processions. Drupka Kingley holds an important role in Bhutanese history and mythology. Many stories are related to him and his unique ways of teaching through dances, songs, and sometimes erotic forms.
I guess that’s why we travel – to see the world from various angles and to hear stories from different sides. I love it!
Never thought I would take part in the Weekly Photo Challenge, however when I read the theme of the week I thought of this photo immediately.
I took this picture earlier the year when visiting Dujiangyan, a city located in southwest of China. Dujiangyan has a history of over 2000 years, it is famous for the irrigation works built in 256BC in Qin Dynasty, the oldest and the biggest of its kind in the world; the city also survived an earthquake of 8.1 in Richter scale in 2008.
What captured in the photo is the escalator that takes tourists up to the temple on the top of the hill where Li Bin, the mastermind of the Dujiangyan Irrigation Works, is worshiped over the past centuries. The escalator is one of the city’s many measures to revive tourism after the earthquake. Missed out the last run of the escalator, it took me 2 hours went up and down the hill, although tired, I was impressed by both the natural beauty and the effort people made to preserve the heritage.