Archive for November, 2009

Kecak dancers of Bali, Indonesia

Posted in Celebrations, Dance, Festival with tags , , on November 21, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

Holiday Season is fast approaching & what else to illuminate the mood than festivals & dance. While travelling in Bali, Indonesia – not to be missed is the Kecak Dance. The stage is the Uluwattu Temple area on  Jimbaran Bay – overlooking the Ocean & surrounded by cliffs.

Enter the Kecak performers, male singers  in Black & white checkered regalia to perform the Hindu Religious tale of Ramayana with their voices…Enter the 2 dancers to tell the story / dance the story of Ramayana – Sita & Ram…

In unison, Kecak, kecak,  the words repeated over & over, fast & slow, high & low, alto & baritone, kecak , kecak is all you hear in rhythmic unison…their clothing Black & White check to represent good & evil. This cloth is seen draped over religious statues throughout  Bali.

Surrounded by dancers, flames, movement…the viewer is enveloped in the ecstasy, the colors being a feast for the eye & the lack of instruments is not even missed…human voice is the only instrument…kecak ,kecak, kecak…

Surrounded by Natural wonders & the simple things in life, day to day dance events to celebrate life…what more could a traveller ask for as a blessing for a journey thats inexpensive & uplifting both spritually & emotionally. An enjoyable upcoming Holiday Season to all.

Autumnal Lanterns

Posted in Hoi An, Shopping, Vietnam Travel with tags , , on November 2, 2009 by MOUSUMI DUTTA

The arrival of Autumn not only brings a bounty of seasonal shades of pumpkin, squash, chestnuts to our palate but Halloween & Jacko lanterns add to the festive lore.  While travelling in Hoi An, Vietnam, these handmade silk lanterns in Autumnal colors caught my eye…


The lantern maker starts off with a bamboo frame like this

bamboo lanterns 

Patterned silk is then cut & sewn to fit onto the bamboo frames in a Handmade shop

hanmade shop

A tassel added on the bottom as a decorative touch & voila…purchase as is or custom create your lantern

   lantern shop

 in a Shop cum Home where everything is HandMade. In todays  mass market world, I wonder if anyone studies what they purchase or wonder how things are made.  So, the next time you purchase a shade…study it carefully…& maybe just maybe you’ll transport yourself to the Country of Origin where it was made by reminiscing about this post on Lanternmaking Handmade style. With that a festive Autumnal Season to you.