Posted on February 26, 2016
No. MB was not placed on top of a funeral pyre and just about to be set alight!
The first part of the actual burning of a dead body on a Hindu ‘funeral pyre’ is to set alight some straw that is stuffed into the mouth of the dead person, after placement on a bed of timber logs. This is considered to release the soul to be reborn again through reincarnation, on its journey through multiple reincarnations to eventual Nirvana. Later the body is covered with timber and straw, the entire pyre set alight and the body is reduced to ashes, which are washed with a few buckets of river water, into the holy Bagmati River, in the case of the below photo which MB took in Kathmandu, Nepal, approx three years back.
There is a state of wonderment and awe at the whole funeral ceremony and burning of the body amongst all the relatives and onlookers. The funeral ceremonies are considered happy occasions because of the whole reincarnation idea, unlike the West where much sadness and shedding of tears will be part of the service. And wonderment and awe was equally on the mind of MB as he had the privilege to witness the whole event from start to finish.
Posted on January 22, 2016
Posted on October 30, 2015
Back home in HX, the two favourite types of music of the natives are: country and western. Read More
Posted on March 18, 2015
All over the third world you will see thousands and thousands of motorbikes and scooters in daily use, as people seek the cheapest possible means of motorised transport. A woman may be attracted to a man who owns a bike rather than one who does not. In many countries the law on safety helmets is extremely lax. The below photo was taken by MB in Nepal where the law requires only the driver to wear a helmet. The huge level of poverty means that more often than not a second helmet is not acquired. Consequently many many women die in vehicular accidents. Kathmandu, the capital city reports some 130 serious accidents every day and thousands of minor ones.
Posted on March 6, 2015
Posted on April 25, 2014
Have decided to post a photo per day for 30 days, each based on a word or theme. Feel free to offer a word or theme challenge to MB in the comment box below.
Thanks to Blogger – A Silver Voice From Ireland who posted earlier today on the occasion of ANZAC Day (nice read – http://thesilvervoice.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/anzac-day/#comment-2546).
In her post she mentions that approx 3,000 Irish-born (amongst the British forces) lost their lives in Gallipoli, more than the number lost by New Zealand (some 2,700 from my research).
When I was in Istanbul 2 weeks ago I looked into taking a bus trip to Gallipoli but it was a 5 hour journey away, and time (as well as a 13 year old daughter!) just did not permit. Met an Australian lady who was heading onwards in that direction and she was hopeful of attending the morning service on the beach – which I think is now a ticket-only affair.
The capture of Istanbul was the main reason the allied forces invaded but it was repelled by the Turks. More than 100,000 men lost their lives over the ensuing months and more than that number again were badly injured.
Liam Clancy (Bob Dylan’s favourite ballad singer) sings the definitive version of the famous anti war song written by Scottish born Australian Eric Bogel:
War is not nice!
Posted on January 2, 2014
Posted on February 14, 2013
It’s Valentine’s Day ladies and am only thinking of my female Crossers of course. So big Middle East greetings and affection to you all, where ever you are sunning yourselves.
Am sure your man gave you the traditional flowers or chocolate, but MB is far more adventurous than that ladies and now has much Arabic influence on his brain to expand the possibilities. So ladies – just for you – I give you the following – as special gifts for the day that’s in it:
Forget the blue tablets ladies. We have natural solution for you man’s problem. But its a honey mixture only for the ‘married’. Any ‘singles’ caught in possession are immediately jailed, as we know what they are up to – totally and utterly haram.
This weeks photos have no consistent theme ladies, and are a mish/mash of few shots I took in last week or two. Am revisiting some places that I showed you previously, plus a few new locations.
We Saudis are sadly starting to turn away from the traditional arranged marriages ladies, where some local Biddy will receive contact from family elders seeking partner for some lad or lass that has come of age and needs to be married off. She will take fat fee, and guarantee everlasting love and happiness, resulting from the suitable partner she will unearth from under some desert rock or where ever.
But no lads, that is not good enough for some of us any more. We are turning to on-line match makers, where we can take a look at some pics and actually see what we are marrying. Fast disappearing is the thrill of your first night of marriage with a partner that you maybe have never seen previously, or seen briefly only once or twice. This can not be progress lads. I fear we are losing our way. Absolutely no good can come of it. Um Sami is also none pleased!
The cooking pot at the Afghani cafe where MB has been eating the mutton stew & arabic bread of late. Masha’allah! The chef tends to put in lots of raw sugar with many (all) of his mixtures. MB told him to cop himself on with the sugar, and just trust the food to speak for itself. Think he really appreciated the astute culinary advise of Irish Michelin 3 Star chef MB.
Riyadh: In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.
More than 200 Twitter users and dozens of other forums on the internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as “organised prostitution.”
“Social networks undermine our work and everything they offer is virtual: they use nicknames and they are not reliable,” said Um Sami, an elderly woman and well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
For her, many of these websites are “fraudulent” and some are even an organised form of prostitution.
“Marriage via online platforms is one hundred per cent doomed to failure,” she said, stressing that only her traditional matchmaking method can lead to a successful marriage.
For matchmakers like Um Sami the business has flourished by word of mouth…………..
JUST about everybody knows that St Valentine is the patron saint of lovers. You may have known that he was a priest in Rome in the third century, and if you’re really on top of your game, you may even have been aware that he died in jail, but you probably didn’t know that his final resting place is Dublin.
In fact the good priests of the Carmelite Order have been looking after his remains in their priory in Whitefriar St, just off Aungier St in Dublin, for over 160 years.
We have a good deal of information about St Valentine, but separating the fact from the legend is a bit like trying to separate a teenage couple at a school disco.
It seems he was martyred in 269, supposedly for marrying couples against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II who felt that single men made better soldiers. Legend would have it that he died for his faith on February 14th of that year, and that this is why we celebrate him on that day. However, it’s likely that the fact that we celebrate St Valentine at this time of year is more to do with the ancient Roman spring fertility festival of Lupercalia, which like many other pagan holidays was christianised when in 498 Pope Gelasius decreed that February 14th would be St Valentine’s Day.
But how did a Roman Martyr, who had never even set foot in what was later to become an island of saints and scholars, end up in a Dublin church.
In the 1820′ and 30’s, a Carmelite priest by the name of John Spratt had earned a reputation for his work with the destitute citizens of Dublin’s Liberties. A man of apparently boundless energy, Spratt started the building process of the Carmelite church in nearby Whitefriar St in 1825.
Ten years later, he was invited to speak at the Jesuit Church in Rome, the Gesu. The elite of Rome came to hear him, including representatives of Pope Gregory XVI. As a token of recognition of the work of Spratt, the Pope ordered the exhumation of the remains of St Valentine from St Hippolytus cemetery near Rome to be shipped to Whitefriar St Church, in Dublin.
In November 1836, the remains were received with great pomp and ceremony, but with the death of Spratt some years later, the remains ceased to be of major public interest.
Some 40 years ago however, they were restored to the public eye having gathered dust for decades in the nether regions of the priory, and are now featured in a purpose-built shrine in the church itself.
This year on February 14th, at 11am and 3.15pm, as has become customary, there will be a special celebration of St Valentine in the place where he now rests, Whitefriar St Church. Carmelite priest, Fr Tony McKenny will celebrate mass and conduct a ring blessing ceremony for engaged and married couples.
It would appear that neither cohabiting couples nor teenagers need apply!
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