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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

This picture confirms my agnosticism about India’s economic future

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This picture of chaotic traffic in an Indian city says much of it for me.


The picture says it all. Not one city bus in sight! And the road looks hopelessly blocked. Indian cities = urban chaos!

Everyday I travel several kilometres thru streets in Dalian that seem busy but on the whole not chaotic. Bus fare is cheap and buses are very available offering a dependable service. They are not the most comfortable conveyance but 10 km trips are completed in less than 15 minutes. Cross city taxi rides don’t cost much (about $3CDN) and travel times are manageable. Dalian is a second tier city in China and has a viable infrastructure with good in-city transportation, plentiful drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity and rental housing.

From what I read not even the best organized city in India can offer a viable city infrastructure and the country doesn’t seem to have the kind of government that can deliver it in any foreseeable future. This is not the picture of an emerging world class economy!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/06/16 at 21:30

Phallic symbols in Bhutan

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Bhutan shares borders with India and China.

The image below is clear evidence that Asia offers many cultural variants that would be considered gross and completely immodest in Western cultures and maybe even in China.

Check out this link to learn how and why Bhutanese use phallic symbols to “protect” their homes.

Here is an image that is clear evidence of the use of phallic symbols on outside walls of family homes in Bhutan:

Yes, the caption says that the phallic symbols “welcome visitors” to Bhutanese homes. Is it the Himalayan mountain air that affects them?

I wonder how phallus symbols fit with use of the left and right facing svastika in Eastern cultures. No doubt politically correct fanatics will deplore these “far out” symbols but those are Western values and in this global world all symbology should have equal visibility and cultural treatment. That is my humble opinion!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/08 at 17:34

I visited Yili Yining in Xinjiang Province last Sept

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picture of a wallpainting in a laotian temple,...
Image via Wikipedia

When I was leaving I decided to buy a few mementos, first an English language description of the SAR and its special touristic features. Then I bought a small bracelet that features a left facing svasticka symbol along with a set of nice stones.

More than one person has wondered why I should have bought such a controversial artifact. I have always said that the left facing svastika had some connection with Buddhism and peace. Here is an authentic sounding explanation copied in from Wikipedia:

The paired swastika symbols are included, at least since the Liao Dynasty, as part of the Chinese language, the symbolic sign for the character 萬 or 万 (wàn in Mandarinman in Korean, Cantonese and Japanese, vạn in Vietnamese) meaning “all” or “eternality” (lit.myriad) and as 卐, which is seldom used. The swastika marks the beginning of many Buddhist scriptures. The swastika (in either orientation) appears on the chest of some statues of Gautama Buddha and is often incised on the soles of the feet of the Buddha in statuary.

My family and emotional connections with this fractious world is so varied and light that I feel ok about wearing a semi-religious symbol that is connected to so many East Asian cultures and quasi religious origins.

I kind of like the sense that I feel ok wearing a symbol that has such a complex history.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/21 at 16:24