Tag Archives: Culture

May Tree Celebration or Maibaum Tradition from Germany

9 Aug

One of my favorite things about traveling is learning newer and unique customs / things of the places that I visit. One such unique custom / festival that we learnt about during our Europe trip was the traditional festival of a Maibaum or the May Tree celebration. We came across this festival in Vaals when we were staying with our friends P and J and couldn’t understand what these colorful hanging trees were. It’s then that P and J explained about this festival to us.

A Maibaum that we saw in Fussen

A Maibaum that we saw in Fussen

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Stree Shakti (Women Power) in Purkal

7 Apr

“There are some people you meet who inspire you to do something meaningful in your lives; and then there are some people you meet who just inspire you to make your life more meaningful”.

On a recent trip to Dehra Doon I happened to meet someone who inspires you to make your life more meaningful and I just had to write about her and Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti. I happened to discover this place through my friend Archana’s blog – Talking Qalam ‘s blog post One Thing Leads to Another. This got me interested in this place and as I was planning to be in Dehra Doon for a work related trip, I added this to my visit list.

Nestled amongst beautiful hills, Stree Shakti is a women empowerment scheme based in a small village called Purkal near Dehra Doon where they teach local village women the skill sets to create hand-made quilts and patch work handicrafts. They have an entire complex in Purkal where they have a learning and production centre for women, a small display centre that retails their creations and an early childhood development centre for their kids.

The display centre, Shtree Shakti, Purkal

The display centre, Shtree Shakti, Purkal

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Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

2 May

I have seen and experienced Hong Kong in bits and parts. What I mean by it is that I have been there quite a few times, but always on official work and never on a dedicated holiday. Hence I have never had a chance to completely explore this city but somehow managed to see individual parts in my spare time like the Causeway Bay, the Peak, Kowloon, the Night Markets, LKF, the longest elevator, a few Malls, Victoria Harbour, etc. Over all these visits I have come to really like this city because in a number of ways it reminds me of Mumbai – with its crowds, chaos, traffic, smells, etc. But that’s a topic for another day and another post and today is for the Chinese New Year.

I had once visited Hong Kong just before the Chinese New Year when the city was beautifully decorated all over for this festival. Everything was decorated with props, beautiful lighting, paper cuts and flowers.

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