Asia


The Kumbh Mela is one of the major religious celebrations of Hinduism, and also the busiest one of the existing around the world. It’s a gigantic meeting of crowd in the banks of the Ganges, whose waters are believed to become, at the time appointed by astrologers, in holy nectar that everyone wants to drink and is able to wash away sins; this common rite involves the whole India. Hindus believe that when immersed in the water...

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While I recognize that the first time I heard of them was in Istanbul, the fact is that the dervishes are Islamic Sufis. Sufism is a spiritual stream, which, like Zoroastrianism, also born in Persia before the Christian era, and which have resulted in a rich culture especially in Turkey and Pakistan.   Subsequently, this trend was integrated in Islam, and is a Sufi community of fifty million people worldwide. Dervish literally...

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Buddhism enjoys of a very good health in Burma, because as we know, around ninety percent of the population practices it with devotion. But this is not an impediment to coexistence in perfect harmony with other animist beliefs prior to arrival of Buddhism to this country; we talk about the cult of the nats or spirits. It was the devotee king Anawratha, main sponsor of Buddhism which integrated the cult of nats within the new official...

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The venerated Mahamuni image,  located in a temple  in Mandalay, is also known as “Rakhine Buddha”, as it is in this state of western Burma known before as the kingdom of Arakan where they brought the image from (now sadly in the news for ethnic conflicts between Muslims and Buddhists). It is the most venerated image of the country by its historic and religious significance and is a must-see for any “pilgrim” passing...

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In Mon State, about two hundred kilometers away from Yangon we will find the second of the most sacred Buddhist shrine in Burma. Reaching the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo, where we find the peculiar Golden Rock, is to enter into the rural life of the country, through small villages dotted along the main artery of the state, a one-way road, shared by all types of vehicles and road traffic, both animal and human traction. You will find...

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Burma is a country of deep Buddhist convictions, since Buddhism arrived to the country almost a thousand years ago. King Anawratha was persuaded by Arahan monk to convert to Buddhism that we know today, Theravada branch, which is practiced in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia. So, in 1057, Anawratha sent an army to subdue the Mon ethnic group, whose capital was Thaton, which conserved the Tripitaka Buddhist canon. From this...

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So the Persians baptized long before Alexander the Great conquered it in the fourth century BC, although the first inhabitants arrived seven thousand years ago. If in a previous article we talked about the beauty and uniqueness of the landscape of Pamukkale, in another part of the country, the landscape of this region of Turkey, Central Anatolia is not for less. Here again, nature is the protagonist. Cappadocia is a land full of...

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Actually the Kandawgyi Festival is the annual festival of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the biggest in Inle Lake, this Burma magical place located in the Shan State, where people live in floating villages on the lake itself, and where crops are obtained in small floodplains stolen to it. The intha people have perfected a technique that allows cultivating on the surface of water. Based on successive layers of dry silt, algae or hyacinths,...

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