tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Farewell India

So long, India. It's been real. (Sometimes a little too real, like that time you sent your monkey scout into our bedroom.)

We enjoyed your food. Sure, it's oilier than a walrus reunion. And yes, once in a while we took your food and turned it into our food or at least into Middle Eastern food, which was a half-step toward home. But nobody complained about the Tiffins. And I love what you do with eggs.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shrine of the Holy Mother in Dantolingi

In Dantolingi in northern Ganjam district, near the border of Kandhamal, stands a hilltop shrine to the Holy Mother Mary. Legend has it that an elderly Hindu woman was returning home over the hill with a load of firewood, when she became ill and faint. The Virgin Mary appeared to her in a vision and led her to a spring which had never flowed before. The woman drank and regained her strength. The Roman Catholic Church investigated the miracle and consecrated the site of the spring. Each year since, on February 11, thousands of Christian pilgrims visit Dantolingi and climb the hill to pray at the shrine and wash in the spring, which is believed to have remedial powers.

Click here to view the full photo gallery

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tibetan Monastery of Chandragiri

In 1963, about 600 Tibetan refugees arrived in the southwestern Orissa hill country of Gajapati district, in a fertile valley known as Chandragiri. It seems an unlikely spot to run into Tibetans, what with our being a long thousand kilometres from Tibet, as the kingfisher flies.  

Those first refugees arrived here in the early 1960s after fleeing into exile with the Dalai Lama, following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959. The Indian government resettlement program for refugees established a number of camps around India; today the refugees number between 110,000 and 120,000 all over the country. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monkey High Jump

Actually more like a not-so-high jump. Scene from our balcony, Berhampur, Orissa, India.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Night = Egg Roll Night

Ah, the Calcutta Egg Roll stall in Annapurna Market, Berhampur. They serve up a one-egg omelette, wrapped in a chapati, stuffed with chicken masala, onion, chilli sauce and another kind of chilli sauce. Garnished with lime and served in a paper napkin, this ain't your ordinary Egg Roll. It's just not a Friday night out on the town without Berhampur's #1 street snack. Just twenty rupees (or about 44 cents).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chilika Lake

Chilika is the largest brackish water lake in Asia, measuring about 1000 square kilometres. The NGO I’ve been working with, PREM, supports development in 153 villages around and nearby the lake, where the population is mostly comprised of Fisher People communities whose social status is essentially equivalent to Dalit (formerly “Untouchables”).