Archives for the month of: May, 2013

The days that make us happy make us wise. ~ John Masefield

I took this picture on my birthday ten years ago and still remember how happy I was. When I worked in Lhasa, my favorite pastime was to circle the Barkhor with my camera. Drinking, smoking, and gambling large sums of money over mahjong all night with Sichuanese Han or Hui from Gansu didn’t entice me and there was little else to do for fun. That didn’t bother me; outside was always more interesting. In the days before online printing was common and with my Nikon D80 in hand, my first digital camera ever, I took countless photos and developed them at the best quality Kodak store I could find, organized them into albums and either sent them to my mom by airmail or inundated friends’ inboxes.

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Peace begins with a smile. ~ Mother Teresa

A Tibetan woman wearing a large amber-colored stone in the Kham style standing in front of the Jokhang Monastery in central Lhasa. ©2008

Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. ~ Anais Nin

The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another. ~ Jack Kornfield

10g Kargil children (2)In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

lhasa1_6 (2)The language of friendship is not words but meanings. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Love will enter cloaked in friendship’s name. ~ Ovid

Two Muslim women remove the traditional head veil that covers their face (niqab). When this picture was taken in 2004, dress varied widely in Kashgar, a city in the southwest of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). In 2017, Islamic clothing, intrinsic to Uyghur ethnic identity for many Uyghur people, was officially banned by the Chinese state in public spaces across the XUAR. Yet, in other areas of China like Kunming, facekini’s – thin, opaque nylon/polyester full head and neck coverings with cut out nose holes and eye openings – were worn without restriction by Han Chinese women to protect their skin against sun and wind exposure. In a 2004 article on “Ethnicity in China: the Case of Xinjiang” in the Harvard Asia Quarterly, scholar Colin Mackerras wrote that China “has been able to persuade much of the Uyghur population to support, or at least not to oppose, its rule and brought about great societal and economic progress that can be seen in a rising standard of living.” One wonders about Xinjiang’s “great societal and economic progress” in the time since and to what extent his observation still holds significance today and for whom. 

3e-putao-2There is a magic in the memory of a schoolboy friendship; it softens the heart, and even affects the nervous system of those who have no heart. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

1 Turtuk children (2)Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. ~ Woodrow Wilson

1 Turtuk Balti children playing (2)Balti children playing.

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met. ~ William Butler Yeats

Mianyang, Sichuan, China
Students attend their first day of class in a makeshift school setup outside the Nine Continents Stadium – an emergency shelter for survivors displaced by the May 12th Sichuan earthquake

It is not so much our friends help that helps as the confidence of their help. ~ Epicurus