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.
骑在印度-Chilika lake渔民的生活 1月17日
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。
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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.