Archive for 2012年一月
February 18, 2012
- Up and away: A heady feeling. Photo: M.S. Gopal
- A sense of camaraderie. Photo: Sohini Chakravorty
- A small community. Photo: M.S. Gopal
Surfing yogis, bohemian artists, footloose travellers and quirky conversations surround Sohini Chakravorty at the first edition of the India Surf Festival.
The blue waters of the Bay of Bengal and an opportunity to see surfers from across the world battling the waves. No more reasons are necessary for me to land up at the country's first surfing festival. An early morning flight to Bhubaneshwar and a three-hour cab ride later, I find myself at the Konark Puri Marine Drive beach. Long stretches of uninterrupted sand. The February breeze spiked with electronic trance. Decorations of bamboo, strings of colourful threads and wool. Musicians oblivious to their surroundings. And photographers, lots and lots of photographers, amateur and professional, strolling around in search of the perfect shot. Everyone here seems to be travelling light, needing nothing but air to breathe and the sea to set their sights on. I feel like an intruder with my heavy bags. Even my mobile phone has joined the party. It refuses to work.
Out of sync?
The ceremonial inauguration, with a performance of the traditional Chaiti Ghoda dance, feels out of place in this bohemia. The surfers grab their boards and lunge into the waters. There are about 60 of them, from New Zealand, Hawaii and Australia, alongside surfing communities from Mahabalipuram, Vishakhapatnam, Puducherry, Gokarna, Manipal and Kovalam. “It is a beautiful beach and not one bit crowded,” says Yogi, attempting to manage both his surfboard and the curtain of wet dreadlocks that closes over his eyes. In Hawaii, he says, a beach like this will be crowded with 400 people. He spent the past six months in Sri Lanka as a surfing instructor. He will spend the next six months in India. “I started surfing when I was five. I learnt it from my mom and dad. Swimming and surfing, that's the only thing we know.” He adds, somewhat redundantly, that swimming is one of the key skills needed to survive in Hawaii. As if anyone in that island paradise would choose to sit on a shaded part of the shore and just read a book.
A new sport
Nomadic surfers like Yogi fostered the Indian surfing community. Anudeep, a professional yachter who likes to be called Andy, began to learn surfing five years ago when he came across a surfer from the US. “The surfing community is a small one where everybody knows everybody,” he says from Visakhapatnam. Apart from groups like Surfing Yogis, The Surfing Swamis, people like Mukesh from Mahabalipuram have established small surfing institutes, whose graduates are now skimming across these waves. A small crowd gathers around the shore, squinting and craning their necks to catch these surfers and the effortless ease with which they navigate the turbulence of the sea. A man with his camera and tripod wades in, braving the waves to freeze these moments for an eternity. Du Fengyan's journey started on a bicycle from Beijing, continued across Vietnam and Cambodia, and has now ended in India. “You don't need a lot of money to travel,” he says. He befriends the locals and stays with them. There are days he doesn't have to spend more than Rs.100. He will now head to Pakistan.
There are people everywhere, and everyone has a story to narrate. An artist named Vinay Pateel, in a white T-shirt and geeky glasses, is setting up his works in a corner. He was an engineer. He hopped off the treadmill in order to specialise in digital art, a sample of which is on display in the logo on the T-shirts for the event, that of a bearded yogi communing with the waves. Elsewhere, the logo seems to have erupted to life. There are many yogis around me, communing with the waves and with each other. The India Surf Festival, contrary to the name that suggests the commingling of big-name detergent manufacturers, is a melting pot of the most interesting people. A textile designer and with her documentary-filmmaker husband. An engineer turned bookshop owner. An animation artist with her sporting mother.
Feel at home
As the sun sets, Argentinean Sebastian Vilarino begins to juggle in rhythm to trance music. He is joined by the Indie band The Mavyns, with their quirky rendition of songs of The Ventures, and Tribal Flora, a music band from Mumbai that experimented with mouth harps, didgeridoos, drums and flutes. Trip Tandav opted for psychedelia, an amalgam of Sanskrit slokas and bhajans underscoring live painting by artists from the Nova Collective. I spend my first night at the surfing village, and the next morning I am greeted by friendly voices which made me forget I am on my own. Everyone's a friend here, and every friendship has a story. Sand artist and sculptor Sridhar Dash has befriended Scott Jeffery, an Australian who quit his television job in London and began globetrotting on a bicycle with little more than a tent and a very effective GPS. Jeffery has learnt that Dash had no online presence, and he has promised to enshrine his friend in a website before he heads out east. Sanjay Samantaray, founder of Surfing Yogis, the organising group, says, “A surf festival is about 50 per cent surfing and 50 per cent art.” It is also about people, one hundred per cent.
试想到一个像巴黎或孟买这样的城市旅行，抵达时不用寻找出租车，而是已经有人在等你。吃饭的时候也不是到旅游指南上介绍的地方，而是有人带你去吃当地最正宗的小吃。休息时不是一个人在冷冰冰的旅店呆着，而是在新朋友家接受盛情的款待。 BeWelcome 可以使这一切成为可能。
仅仅想象是不够的，所以我们成立了 BeVolunteer，一个在法国雷恩注册的非营利组织。通过 BeVolunteer 的官方决策，我们为民主决议、财务透明和信息安全提供了一个依据，使我们能够保护我们的成员并有效管理 BeWelcome。
好客 交换，也被称为 住宿分享、接待服务和寄宿家庭网络，通常指集中组织的个人非金钱交易住宿的社会网络。虽然免费住宿的概念也包括房屋交换，甚至分享时光，但它主要与旅行者们彼此免费住在一起有关。波兰社会学家 Paula Bialski 甚至将其称为“情感之旅”，因为与当地人见面确实会涉及很多情感因素，也许这就是它与主流旅行团的不同。
上世纪 90 年代以来，这些服务已经越来越少使用印刷目录和电话，取而代之的是互联网用户的高速增长，从 2000 年到 2007 年 3 月，这些在业务结构、布局和地理侧重点上都有所不同的网站，拥有超过 500,000 的注册量。
然而，好客 交换提供的绝不仅仅只是免费住宿。有些成员并不提供住宿，而是晚餐、导游、旅游信息、帮忙找一家便宜的旅馆或其他的住宿方式。还有那些有困难的旅行者，比如残疾人，在像 BeWelcome 这样的网络中找到机会和帮助，这里的成员可以邀请坐轮椅的旅行者（所在地无障碍）并使用搜索工具找到相似的接待者。
是免费的。这个开源的网站由BeVolunter运作，这个非营利组织的志愿者们创建了 BeWelcome 以致力推动“跨越国界, 加深理解”，而非为了个人利益。
我是新成员，如何确定其他 BeWelcome 成员是可信的？
我们引进了许多安全功能来确保你有一个良好的待客体验。 当然，你自己的判断是最好的安全保障，如果待客或与人接触让你不安，那就不要去做。 我们提供多种功能，帮助你在与 BeWelcome 成员接触时保护自己： - 信任体系 - 成员们都应阅读并考虑的免责声明
任何人都能成为 BeWelcome 的成员吗？
是的，任何热爱旅行、乐于分享冒险故事并喜欢与有意思的人交谈的人们，都会被邀请到 BeWelcome 中来，这是一个重要的旅游信息资源网站，会为你制定下次的出行计划或整理之前的旅程提供许多帮助。 BeWelcome 也是寻找来自世界各地志同道合的朋友的极好方式。 如果你的注册由于年龄因素不被接受，请联系我们，我们将尽力解决。
加入 BeWelcome 是免费的，不过如果可以的话，我们鼓励你抽出一些时间，通过接待、与成员们会面或协助管理网站来为团体做贡献。 虽然网站完全由志愿者们来运行，但我们确实有一些不可避免的花费（服务器等）。我们希望通过捐款来平衡这些费用。我们也有一个在线商店，在这里你可以为你的接待者、家人、朋友买一些纪念品或礼物... BeWelcome 是非盈利性的，因此，所有的收入都只用来支付账单。
都可以！实际上我们希望大家单独注册，因为每份个人信息只对应一个成员，这样爱好、兴趣、性别等信息就不会出现混乱。这意味着我们没有家庭账号，但我们鼓励家庭加入并体验这个项目！你可以关联你的伴侣或子女来显示你的家庭（参阅 ' 关联有什么目的 '）你还可以加入我们一个名为家庭的小组，通过 BeWelcome 找到其他愿意接待或见面的家庭或个人！
首先，这会很难保持个人信息 ' 整洁 '，如果它属于好几个人。其次，团体经常会分开旅行或接待，因此需要个人信息来提取每个人的联系方式和评论。我们还想到了 Servas，一个接待网站，当情侣分手时会遇到许多问题。因此，我们决定当两个人都想加入时，请分别注册。你可以通过工具箱中的 ' 添加关联 ' 来显示你的伙伴或室友。这样你的头像会连接到你朋友或伙伴的个人信息，反之亦然。而你将有两个具有实际用途的独立账号。
每个通过 BeWelcome 联系你的成员都需提供他的全名和 BeWelcome 用户名，当然，我们不能完全保证你的安全。不过通过仔细阅读该会员的个人资料和其他成员的评价，你可以对其是否值得信任做出明晰的判断。如果某个成员被严重投诉，我们会在其个人档案上放置一个警告，甚至删除他的会员资格。我们不会容忍对本网站或成员的侮辱。如果你是一位女性，你可以看看女性旅客必读。关于附加的安全措施，我们有一个验证系统。所以如果个人信息上写着 ' 身份已核实 '，那么该注册名极不可能是假的（有关验证工作的细节请阅读以上链接）。
BeWelcome 允许你自己决定在你的个人信息上显示的信息的类型和量，唯一要求的只有用户名、居住地和国家。你可以隐藏你的真实姓名（或真实姓名的一部分）、地址、出生日期，甚至你的性别。出于其他安全考虑并防止垃圾邮件，你的邮箱地址不会显示出来，成员们必须通过网站你联系。所有其他显示信息都是可选的。 不过，请记住，这个网站是关于真实的人们之间的联系，大多数人都非常不愿意回复或联系个人信息为空的用户。基于这个原因，我们建议在充分展示你的个人信息的前提下，不要暴露像地址或电话号码之类的隐私。
好客 交换，也被称为 住宿分享、接待服务和寄宿家庭网络，通常指集中组织的个人非金钱交易住宿的社会网络。虽然免费住宿的概念也包括房屋交换，甚至分享时光，但它主要与旅行者们彼此免费住在一起有关。波兰社会学家 Paula Bialski 甚至将其称为“情感之旅”，因为与当地人见面确实会涉及很多情感因素，也许这就是它与主流旅行团的不同。 上世纪 90 年代以来，这些服务已经越来越少使用印刷目录和电话，取而代之的是互联网用户的高速增长，从 2000 年到 2007 年 3 月，这些在业务结构、布局和地理侧重点上都有所不同的网站，拥有超过 500,000 的注册量。 然而，好客 交换提供的绝不仅仅只是免费住宿。有些成员并不提供住宿，而是晚餐、导游、旅游信息、帮忙找一家便宜的旅馆或其他的住宿方式。还有那些有困难的旅行者，比如残疾人，在像 BeWelcome 这样的网络中找到机会和帮助，这里的成员可以邀请坐轮椅的旅行者（所在地无障碍）并使用搜索工具找到相似的接待者。 动机和社会网络质量 人们为什么要加入社会好客交换网络？成员们的基本动机因素——它们强烈影响到之后的社会交换质量，包括：
机遇、风险和限制 但好客 交换网络对主客间社会交换质量的影响会产生怎样的机遇、风险和限制？ 机遇包括：
How cool is it to ride a bicycle? Would it be safe to presume that it is? Have you ever thought of cycling across the country? Or even across the world? Scott Jeffery and Fengyan Du are cycling across continents on a journey to discover the world as we don’t usually see it. Let’s find out how…
Scott is cycling from Wimbledon, England across Europe, the Middle East, South & South East Asia to the place of his birth in Sydney, Australia. Du began in August 2011, from Nanning city in China, after which he headed for Vietnam and then onto Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia before reaching India. From India he plans to proceed onto Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East and a host of other countries before he reaches his destination ‘The Rainbow Nation’, South Africa.
Both cyclists left their jobs and normal lives behind to tread the unknown with the desire to shake off the suffocating pressure of everyday work and find freedom in a humble bicycle journey. Scott in fact chose to cycle to Australia also to pay respect to his father’s decision to immigrate to Australia and to raise money for the charities, ‘Sustrans’ and the ‘Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’.
They had physically prepared themselves for the journey and had planned their logistics precisely to the point. However, they would still advice anyone aspiring to follow their example and be prepared for unforeseen hiccups.
Unlike other means of transport, a bicycle is proven to be eco-friendly and an excellent exercise companion. Scott would second the statement by adding, “A bicycle is good for the environment, it’s good for me physically; and it’s a slow means of transport which lets me see things in a lot more detail and depth. And it’s relatively inexpensive, as you would only need to pay for your food and accommodation.”
Travelling on a bicycle also allows you to meet people and experience cultures with a more intimate approach. Scott for instance recounts being through the tiny villages in India and seeing what many tourists would usually not see or experience. He was fascinated by the villagers’ unique curiosity about who he was and of what he was doing there and that curiosity made him feel special about being in India.
But if Scott was to highlight his trip to India that would be the beautiful bond that exists amongst the country’s people when creating and sharing food. He elaborates this by sharing his experience of dining with a family at Mangalore who taught him the art of eating using his fingers before he tackled a delicious piece of fish.
Du, who spends most of his nights in a tent, is also captivated by rural India’s friendliness. He fondly remembers of someone offering him a bottle of Coca-Cola when he couldn’t afford one himself despite longing for one. In fact, Du received tremendous help on the road every-time he’s faced with a problem with his bicycle. And in return Du would gift his saviour a precious memorabilia in the form of a photograph.
Both Du and Scott believe that India’s young and adventurous can certainly explore their country and the world at large on a bicycle. Du encourages the youth to not be afraid and to take some time off their busy lifestyles to discover the world’s beauty and the intricacies of their lives as well. And if you’re wondering of how much it could cost to cycle the length and breadth of India, Du says that a budget of Rs. 10,000 would suffice.
Scott’s advice is to start with small steps before choosing to make giant leaps. He clearly understands that resources are difficult to avail in India, unlike in the west. Hence he suggests aspiring cyclists to prepare and save the money well in advance of the journey. Furthermore, he urges people to meet their fellow citizens in the other states or even in the opposite coast to generate valuable connections before embarking on bigger journeys.
The cyclists may have followed two completely different routes; set their sights on two completely different destinations; yet they met at a point and formed a link – a human link, whereby every unique person connects, shares and lives. It is a chain that joins and propels a bicycle forward; hence it can only be a chain that will join and propel us forward as one.