singapore, aga szydlik

Wayang | Chinese street opera in Singapore

aga szydlik, wayang opera

Wayang | The Origins

In Malay language, Wayang means “a theatrical performance employing puppets or human dancers”, commonly referred to Chinese street opera in Singapore (1). Wayang also has roots in the Indonesia and it translates to the "shadow" and when the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theatre, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang (3). Wayang is an open-air theatre performance that incorporates a wide range of art forms such as a song, mime, dance, acrobatics and even martial arts (2).

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photographer

Chinese opera performances were observed in Singapore in the 19th century when Chinese immigrants brought the art form into Singapore. Operas are typically performed as an art form for entertainment, as well as during religious occasions at temples and celebrations at clan associations (4).

Ghosts of the Opera past

One of the most famous opera houses was the Lai Chun Yuen theatre, the famous venue hosted opera stars from China and Hong Kong. The theatre was so prominent that the streets around it were given nicknames that circle around it. Smith Street was known as Hei Yuen Kai (Theatre Street), Temple Street was known as Hei Yuen Hau Kai (Back of Theatre Street), and Trengganu Street was known as Hei Yuen Wang Kai (Side of Theatre Street). The theatre, known as Lai Chun Yuen, was located at 36 Smith Street (5).

aga szydlik, wayang chinese street opera

Lai Chun Yuen was built in 1887, located on Smith Street and designed in the style of a traditional Chinese teahouse. Thaeter staged Chinese opera, specifically Cantonese opera twice a day. It was by far the most popular Chinese opera theatre in Singapore in the late 19th century (5). 

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photogrpher

The theatre was the epitome of vice as Smith Street was the red-light district back then. There were private cubicles designed for discreet activities and opium smoking was a common sight in the theatre. The Chinese considered opium smoking normal and in 1848, Singapore has 15,000 Chinese opium smokers. This represented one-third of the adult Chinese population (6).

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photographer

In the late 1920s, movies were invented and introduced to the world. This had greatly impacted Lai Chun Yuen’s business as people preferred “talking films” as compared to opera shows. The increased in cinema halls in amusement parks like the Great World City was a competition to the opera house. The owner of the opera house wanted to include a movie room to ensure the opera house’s survival but eventually, the opera house was rented to the Shaw Brothers and the opera house was renamed Sun Seng Theatre (6)

LINKS | CREDITS

(1) National Library Board Singapore
http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1218_2011-06-28.html
(2) Chinese street opera in Singapore
https://lionraw.com/2013/09/04/chinese-street-opera-in-singapore/
(3) History of Wayang
http://shadowtheatre-ika.blogspot.com/2010/08/history-of-wayang-kulit.html
(4) Chinese Opera
https://roots.sg/intangible-cultural-heritage-inventory/performing-arts/chinese-opera
(5) Lai Chun Yuen – Famed Chinese Opera Theatre of the Past
https://www.ghettosingapore.com/lai-chun-yuen-famed-chinese-opera-theatre-of-the-past/
(6) Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lai_Chun_Yuen_Opera_House

https://www.dodho.com/wayang-chinese-street-opera-in-singapore-by-aga-szydlik/?fbclid=IwAR27fhYFb1iCkvu4JT1YX1y6j6FY2Kkh_MIdWwvZBP7QODVZpqWilk9mgZg

aga szydlik, thailand

Phuket Vegetarian Festival | Adventures in Thailand

Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most important festivals celebrated in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The annual festival promotes the abstinence from meat in order to aid in preserving good health and peace of mind for all the participants.

aga szydlik, Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Although the origins of the festival are unknown, the celebration is famous for various forms of self-mutilation.

Participants who perform ritualized mutilation during vegetarian believe that the Chinese gods will protect them from harm, and little blood or scarring will occur.

aga szydlik, Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The festival ceremonies are meant to invoke the gods through the participants, who are acting as mediums of the god performing daring acts of fire-walking, body piercings through cheeks, arms, face, legs or back, partial skinning; limb slashing with swords, axes and knives or standing near firecrackers as they are lit.

aga szydlik, Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Phuket vegetarian festival takes place near the six Chinese temples scattered throughout the town. Members of Chinese-Thai community bring their household gods to the temple, along with offerings of food and drink to benefit from spiritual energy that fills the temple.

Publications and Links

https://www.dodho.com/the-celebrations-of-nine-emperor-gods-by-aga-szydlik/

Sources | Links

http://www.phuket.com/festival/vegetarian.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Emperor_Gods_Festival

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........ 

    


aga szydlik, Borobudur

Borobudur Temple | Sacred travel destinations in Indonesia

 aga szydlik, Borobudur Temple

Indonesia: Borobudur Temple|Sacred destinations

aga szydlik, Borobudur
Borobudur Temple at the sunrise

The Borobudur temple is one of the world’s most complex buildings and its creation is shrouded in a secret without any written records or its purpose bound forever to remain a mystery. From the distance the temple resembles a big lotus flower bud ready to bloom, effortlessly floating on a lake, a single stupa build from volcanic rock, in the form of a giant Buddhist mandala when viewed from above, simultaneously representing the Buddhist cosmology and complex nature of human mind.

 aga szydlik, Borobudur Temple

The Borobudur temple was built around 750 AD by the kings of the Sailendra Dynasty about 400 years before Cambodia's Angkor Wat or European Cathedrals, possibly to enhance the image of Buddhism as Hinduism was growing in strength across the Indonesian archipelago.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

The Borobudur temple structure consists of a series of open-air passageways that radiate around a cosmic axis, and ten mounting terraces corresponding to successive stages and forms Siddhartha assumed, before achieving Buddha-hood.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Surreal in its existence, seamlessly blending Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufi-influenced mystical Islam, Borobudur is bound to cast a spell on the visitors and pilgrims. The Buddha statue in an open stupa is oriented to gaze toward the sacred volcanos.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Over 500 Buddha statues grace the temple with their presence distributed over nine stacked platforms (the number nine is mystic in Buddhism), six square, and three circulars, the top is crowned by a central dome signifying the Nirvana. 

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Around 16th century A.D., the Borobudur temple was left slowly to decay on its own for the reasons unknown. Volcanic eruptions deposited ash in the fertile soil, supporting the rapid growth of lush jungle, slowly engulfing temple in the tight grip of canopies. A poetic cycle of never-ending creation (Brahma), destruction (Shiva), and preservation (Vishnu).

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Moving past the base of the Borobudur Temple through the four galleries, the devotee emerges onto the three upper terraces, encountering 72 stupas, each containing a three-dimensional sculpture of a Buddha enclosed within a stone latticework.

The Borobudur temple represents the ten levels of a Bodhisattva's life which one must develop to become a Buddha or an awakened one.  Devotees start their journey at the base, traversing clockwise along walkways, which gradually ascend to its uppermost level, physical movement symbolizing the non-physical—or spiritual— the path of enlightenment.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

The temple was re-discovered in the 19th century by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British governor of Java. Who, after hearing tales about the mystical sanctuary, hidden deep within the island, organized excavation to uncover the temple, bringing Borobudur back into the light and damaging it in the process, as the temple began to deteriorate when exposed to the elements.

aga szydlik, Borobudur

Furthermore, stones were removed and used as building materials by nearby villages and Buddha heads sold to art collections around the world.

Links | Information|Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur
http://factsanddetails.com/indonesia/History_and_Religion/sub6_1a/entry-3941.html
http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/one-greatest-monuments-world-who-built-it-strange-origins-borobudur-and-lost-021609

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........ 

    


aga szydlik, bushmen tribe

Bushmen Tribe | Namibia

bushmen tribe, aga szydlik photography

Bushmen tribe are aboriginal to sub-Saharan Africa and are the first inhabitant of South Africa. Members of the tribe are known as 'Bushman' or 'San' and their genetic origins reach to over a million years ago, revealing the oldest gene pattern amongst modern humans, evolutionary studies support the evidence indicating that San is the closest surviving people to the original Homo sapiens and ancestors of contemporary humanity.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe
aga szydlik, bushman africa
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe

Bushmen tribe is one of the oldest, cultures on our planet, records of their civilization going back to the Stone Age, their hunter-gatherer culture stretches back over 20,000 years. There are quite a few different Bushmen tribe groups scattered across sub-Saharan Africa, with no collective name for themselves as they speak the variety of languages, all of which incorporate 'click' sounds.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

The indigenous identity of Bushmen tribe is based on their language and culture, although families within a clan would speak a common language, neighbouring clans would speak a different tongue. Less than 3,000 of the tribe members have retained their traditional lifestyle of hunters and gatherers, following ancient cultural practices.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

For thousands of years, the San hunter-gatherer lifestyle remained relatively unchanged, as they had no concept of the ownership of land or animal.  The tribe is always on the move in search of game and plant foods, therefore, they do not build permanent settlements, rather they use rock shelters or open camps, the choice depending on weather conditions. When there are no other bordering clans, the migrating tribe may stretch further out, as far as is needed to ensure the safe supply of food and water.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen namibia

Bushmen tribe social structure resembles a loosely knit family, where decisions are made by discussion and agreement by consensus. Although San men are very caring, it's the women who are the primary caregivers. The importance of women in the tribe is very high and their opinions often take precedence, particularly where the food and child-rearing is concerned.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

Bushmen tribe is famous for their tracking skills. Using traps, bows, spears, and arrows coated with various toxins (snake or plant) they are able to track animals for days across the desert plains.

aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
bushmen namibia, aga szydlik photography
https://vimeo.com/320050642
https://vimeo.com/321057650
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
aga szydlik, bushmen tribe

Hunters can easily determine the age and sex of the pray by reading the signs animal left behind,  the poison used by hunters will we removed along with animal's flesh where the arrow pierced the animal body. When hunter’s arrow hits the animal, sortie will go to where it was standing and patiently track it down until the animal falls. Exceptional skill at tracking made San hunters very desired by armies, game hunters, and farmers to pursue guerrillas, game, and poachers.

aga szydlik, bushmen tribe
bushman tribe, aga szydlik

Women spent 3-4 days a week gathering wild plants, going out in groups to search for edible or medicinal plants. Bushmen are botanical experts, who able to recognize over 500 local plant species, which provide balanced nutrition, but also hydration during the drought.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

Boys become of age when they kill their first antelope, and a girl becomes a woman, upon her first menstruation, isolated in her hut.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

During the rite of passage, the tribe will perform the Eland Bull Dance, imitating the mating ritual of the Eland antelopes. The San believe that the dance brings peace and beauty to the girl, overall San marriages are a very simple affair comprised of the groom giving the Elands' heart fat to the bride's parents, and the bride being anointed with its fat.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe

An essential element of the San cultural identity is their medicine dance, in which the rhythm is used to heal the individual. The medicine men have supernatural powers, which enable them to cure sickness.

aga szydlik, bushman tribe
https://vimeo.com/320052063

Links to publications:

https://www.dodho.com/people-of-the-earth-san-tribe-by-aga-szydlik/

Vision Project 

Vision Project is an organization dedicated to the development of investigative journalism, documentary photography, multimedia and education.

Social Documentary Network 
https://www.socialdocumentary.net/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=4513

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photographer

Links to Source(s) of information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushman
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-boys-dna-pushes-back-date-earliest-humans
https://prezi.com/65uiwgfbvwy3/the-kalahari-people/
https://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2013/06/san-bushmen-people-world-most-ancient.html
http://www.krugerpark.co.za/africa_bushmen.html

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........ 

  


aga szydlik, himba tribe

Himba Tribe | Namibia

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Life, Culture and Rituals of the Iconic Red Himba Tribe

Himba tribe is indigenous to Kunene Region (Kaokoland) in northern Namibia and southern Angola. Himba tribe is well recognized for intense red colouring of their hair and bodies with an otjize paste, which is also considered a sign of beauty. The otjize mixture is scented with aromatic resins, deep in orange colour, which is symbolizing the earth’s red colour and blood—the essence of life.

aga szydlik, himba tribe
Crowned beauty

After the bovine epidemic swept through the Kaokoland region, the tribe decided to move south to avoid imminent starvation, causing the split from Herero tribe. Despite famine and hunger, some members decided to stay and ask their neighbours for help to survive.  Impoverished by disease, cattle raiders and hunger, many Himba fled to Angola, where they were called Ova-Himba, meaning 'beggars' in Otjiherero language.

Iconic red woman

Himba women are considered as one of the most beautiful in the world and are very proud of their traditional clothes and hairstyle, Himba devotes significant time for their beauty needs, first, the otjize is used to completely cover women's hair and body. Functioning as a sunscreen, insect repellent and beautifying agent. The otjize is rubbed all over, including not only on their skin and hair but also their hair, clothes and an extensive collection of jewellery.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Elaborate outfits of Himba women are made of goatskin skirts and are embellished with shells, iron, and copper jewellery. The Erembe crown is made of cow or goat leather and is placed on the girl’s head after she’s married for a year or has a child. Women wear a large white shell necklace or heavy necklaces made from copper or iron wire.

aga szydlik, himba tribe
https://vimeo.com/321114456

Goat hair and mud

From the time a Himba girl is born, her hairstyle will identify her place in society, indicating age, clan and marital status of a woman.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

The hair is first lengthened with straw woven together with hair extensions to create dreadlocks, which are then covered in otjize and finished with goat hair, added to give them well recognized pom-pom look.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

A young girl typically has two plaits of braided hair (ozondato), the form of which is decided by the clan (oruzo) she descended on her father's side. A young girl who hasn’t reached puberty and will display two braids at the front of her head, if a girl is a twin, she will wear only one single braid, indicating she is only one half of a pair of twins. At the puberty, girls will wear their braids up front covering their face, letting people know that they are not ready to marry yet.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

When a young woman is ready to marry, same locks will be braided toward the back of the head, allowing potential suitors to see her face. When a woman has been married for a year or has had a child, she will wear the erembe headdress on top of her head.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

The smallest children tend to have shaved heads, although, some might have special haircuts to indicate their clan. New-born babies are adorned with bead necklaces, bangles made of beaten copper and shells are added when the children are a little older.

Love and marriage

Himba people practice polygamy, with both men and women being allowed to have multiple partners as long as the arrangement is open and agreeable by all parties involved. Men tend to have several wives, especially if they are rich in cattle, as the animals’ ownership is passed down from mother to daughter. The more cattle a woman owns, the greater her status and that of her family. Marriage is important in Himba culture, but extramarital relations are encouraged by families.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

When their husbands are away with the livestock, it is common for the women who stay behind to have "affairs" with other men. Egalitarian in their social structure, all tribe members enjoying full equality of rights, decisions being split between men and women, with an overall authority in the hands of the men but economic issues decided by the women. With the clear division of roles, women have the job of tending to children and livestock, which is led by men the to pasture for the day.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

People of the Earth

Himba, like most indigenous people, live on what nature provides for them, their diet consisting mostly of porridge, meat being reserved only for special celebrations. When the pastures run dry, the tribe will travel to a new location, where their livestock can feed. Himba homes are simple huts, made from a mixture of earth and cattle dung and contain little beyond a bed and few kitchen tools.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Memories

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photographer

Links | Publications

https://www.dodho.com/colour-of-earth-and-blood-by-aga-szydlik/?utm_content=bufferc7146&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sources

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/4827/asc-1293873-064.pdf?sequence=1
https://www.association-kovahimba.net/en/the-himbas-history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_peoplehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_people
http://www.philosophy.dept.shef.ac.uk/culture&mind/people/scelzab2/

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........ 


aga szydlik, bagan

Bagan Travels | 10,000 Pagodas and Jumping Monks

aga szydlik, bagan

Bagan | The Empire of 10,000 pagodas

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar.

aga szydlik, bagan

Over the course of 250 years, Bagan's rulers constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3000 monasteries) in an area of 104 square kilometres in the Bagan plains.

aga szydlik, bagan

The prosperous city grew in size and became a cosmopolitan centre for religious and secular studies, specializing in philosophical-psychological studies as well as works in a variety of languages, astrology, alchemy, medicine, and legal studies. The city attracted monks and students from as far as India, Ceylon as well as the Khmer Empire.

Stupas, Pagodas and Hollow Temples 

stupa is also called a pagoda, Bagan stupas evolved from earlier Pyu designs, which, in turn, were based on the stupa designs of the Andhra region. By the 11th century, the stupa had developed into a more bell-shaped form in which the parasols morphed into a series of increasingly smaller rings placed on one top of the other, rising to a point.

aga szydlik, bagan

In contrast to the stupas, the hollow gu-style temple is a structure used for meditation, devotional worship of the Buddha and other Buddhist rituals.

aga szydlik, bagan

The gu temples come in two basic styles: "one-face" design and "four-face" design—essentially one main entrance and four main entrances.  The temples, whose main features were the pointed arches and the vaulted chamber, became larger and grander in the Bagan period.

aga szydlik, bagan

Theravada Buddhism

The culture of Bagan was dominated by religion, which was fluid, syncretic and by later standards, unorthodox. It was largely a continuation of religious trends in the Pyu era where Theravada Buddhism co-existed with Mahayana Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, various Hindu (Saivite, and Vaishana) schools as well as native animist (nat) traditions.

aga szydlik, bagan

About 90% of the Burmese people follow Buddhism. Central to their religious beliefs is karma, the ultimate aim in life according to Buddhist belief is to escape the cycle of rebirth and reach Nirvana, it is through the good deeds that a person will attain Nirvana.

aga szydlik, bagan

It's customary for a male in Myanmar to enter a monastery twice in his life. Once as a novice monk, between the age of 2 and 10, and again as a fully ordained monk, around the age of 20. Some might remain a monk for just a few months, while others stay for life.

aga szydlik,  burma

Life of a monk

Monks hold the highest status in Burmese society.  Very often the young novices start their monastic life in a small village at the age of nine or ten.  When they grow older they get the opportunity to go to a bigger city or religious centres.

aga szydlik, bagan

Early in the morning the monks and novices go out carrying a bowl to get food offerings and spend the rest of their days on religious studies and chores at the monastery.

aga szydlik, bagan

Sources | Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagan
http://baganrazagyohotel.com/index.php/history-of-bagan
http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Myanmar/sub5_5a/entry-3001.html
https://dietmartemps.com/travel-blog/monks-and-novices-in-myanmar-the-buddhism-way-of-life_512/
http://tfgtraveling.com/monks-daily-life-in-myanmar/


aga szydlik, mentawai tribe

Mentawai Tribe | Siberut Island: Journey and Adventures in the Rain Forest

mentawai tribe aga szydlik
Misty Rainforest

Mentawai tribe inhabit the small island of Siberut, located off the Sumatran coast. Mentawai culture is considered to be one of the oldest among indigenous Indonesian societies.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik
Salomon- Mentawai tribe elder and a Shaman

After getting necessary provisions in Muara Siberut, we started crossing the jungles and rivers to get into the heart of Mentawai settlements. The Mentawai tribe consists of around 64,000 members and is known for their distinctive body art and practice of sharpening their teeth, which they believe makes them more attractive.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik
River crossing

December is a wet season in Indonesia and our trek was accompanied by heavy monsoon rain, in between villages we took breaks from a torrential downpour to secure camera gear before walking back into a rain.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik
Wrapping the gear before walking into the storm
mentawai tribe aga szydlik
On the path of Adventure

Rain-swollen river got too deep for the comfort of our shaman and he got a bit of help during the crossing.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik
When the river is too deep for a Shaman

 The main subsistence of the Mentawai is farming, together the members of the tribe raise pigs and harvest fruit, sago palm, yam, taro, rice, banana, papaya, sugar cane, vegetable, and various medicaments.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik

 Kelelawar goreng, a fried bat, is a true local delicacy.... an honest attempt was given.

Mentawai mostly live in small settlements along the river banks, commuting back and forth using a dugout canoe.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik

After gaining independence, the Indonesian government launched a campaign to modernize the Mentawaians. Traditional cultural practices such as shamanism, tattooing, tooth filing, and the wearing of loincloths were forbidden.  Several Mentawai clans retreated into the remote interior of Siberut to escape the modernization in an attempt to retain their original culture.

mentawai tribe aga szydlik

Behind the scenes

mentawai tribe aga szydlik