The people who traveled with me

 

2016 is nearly over, and I wish to thank all the people who traveled with me to Morocco, Sicily, Iceland and India.

It was a wonderful year, also thanks to each one of you.

I learned a lot, I dared a lot of times out of my comfort box, and I laughed a lot. I made some photos that I am very proud of. I made new friends, I enjoyed the company of old friends who I don’t meet often, and I really enjoyed traveling, with all pros and cons.

We  stayed at an ecolodge to respect the environment, at a secret bay and it took us hours to find it, so secret the bay was, ahaha. We walked naked in a hammam full of other women. We danced in the car at the sound of berber music. We bought carpets, we bought drums, we bought spices.

Some of us ate rotten shark in Iceland, some of us were attacked by Artic terns, and we all enjoyed those long days with no nights. There was not much contact with the locals, but we were there for the landscapes and the horses.

In Sicily we had the best wines, ever. We got to shoot historical reenactments, we slept at the base of a volcano, we learned how to shoot stories that we created ourselves, we drove through closed roads where no cars are allowed because we got lost, we fought the GPS lack of logic in the mountains. We made lots of friends.

We helped a cats and dogs NGO in Morocco, we held a workshop for donkeys owners, we visited several international charities. We stayed at women’s cooperatives for a few days, we visited schools, we had meals using our fingers instead of forks and knives, we walked in beaches that have changed since due to the extreme power of nature. We loved every single moment.

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We are again collecting medicines for a charity in Morocco, please let me know if you can help

In India we stayed at beautiful heritage hotels, we had tea in a remote village in the dark, while women fed the water buffaloes and we sat there, sipping the tea and enjoying the moment. We were invited to visit houses, we laughed with our guide Shiv, we felt overwhelmed at the Taj Mahal, we talked with camel owners, we got surrounded by cattle in the road, we shot from the top of a water cistern and from the roof of our bus; we walked over a dam’s narrow wall for miles, we visited Old Delhi in the back of a rickshaw.

We are still in contact with many of the people we met, models, guides, drivers, hosts…

I will hopefully meet some of you again next year, 2017, in Sicily ( April), Morocco (April)  or Iceland (September).

My next photo trip to India will be in February 2018.

 

 

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Body jewelry

Piercing and the use of body jewelry is a practice that has a very long story. It is believed that in India it started from the time of the Mughal emperors in the 16th century. Many married hindu women wear a nose stud in the left nostril, due to the association in the Ayurvedic medicine of the nostril’s with the reproductive organs.

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quoting Wiki about anklets: ” Rajasthani women wear the heaviest type of anklets, which are silver and signify tribal adherence. The women wear these as costume jewelry, but also to show their bravery as a tribe against other rival tribes. The fashion for heavy anklets is declining in India now, but is still common in rural areas.

In the eastern Indian state of Odisha, which is famous for its traditional jewelry, there are varieties of anklets known as Paunji Nupur, which are worn by women. Another variety, which covers the entire foot, is known as Padapadma. In ancient times men also wore anklets. Traditionally, only Kshatriya (Royal/Warrior caste) people can wear gold anklets, and other castes wear silver anklets.

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Also men wear jewelry, for instance earrings. I did a search to understand more about it, and it seems that Designer Ana Singh said “Earrings in India have long been associated with the Rajput clan and royalty in general. If you happen to go to any one of the parties in Jaipur, you will see many Rajput men wearing a bandhgala with big earrings. Since Rajputs have been warriors, earrings make them look all the more macho and handsome, so it depends how well you are able to carry it off,” she explains.

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Surprising sights

In Rajasthan we were always surrounded by exoticism and there were surprises for us every day. Let me show you the photos and the story of some surprising sights

This particular day had started with monkeys (langur) which we hadn’t seen the previous days. They were everywhere, sitting on the road side and playing in the roof of our bedrooms. They were not shy but they didn’t also seem to search for contact with the people.

After lunch we rested a bit, we had gotten a sort-0f-cold from the dust and the pollution in Delhi, we were coughing and we needed some rest to recover. When I woke up I went looking for the others and I saw this beautiful sight, in front of Beate’s room.

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They also were not shy and they were not concerned with the shutter clicking. Kind of cool surprise 🙂

The other surprising sight, at least for me, were the goats, some were really interesting, judge by yourself. Next time I will surely take better photos of this breed of goats, they are beautiful, some are quite big, and there are some very unique color patterns to be seen.

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Young billy goat at sunset, he was rather friendly and didn’t stink, so probably he was really young:

_pds8090Cows were “decorated” for Dewali, the Festival of Lights, and we were there during Dewali, so we saw plenty of decorated animals, like this cow

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… and a mother with her baby water buffaloes, swimming in the river

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Even camels were painted and decorated, what a sight!

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India is a beautiful, complex, colorful country!