Jon Crispin's Notebook

Symbols

swastikawp

  Whenever I am here in Nepal I always keep an eye out for bricks, as seeing them makes me think of my good friend Richard Pieper.  Most buildings are adorned with them, and the walls surrounding the Royal Palace are all brick.  On our daily walk to the World Education office we pass by a large section of the Palace wall which is undergoing a post earthquake renovation.  I saw this pile and noticed the markings and didn’t think much of it at the time, but the next day I stopped and took this picture.  It is not at all uncommon to see the swastika used as a symbol in various ways around Nepal.  It got me thinking about how we in the West are so conditioned to see the obvious negative aspects of it.  I went to the wiki page and learned a lot of interesting facts about its history and usage.  I would encourage anyone interested to check it out.  What got to me especially was that under the section of the wiki that showed the varieties of swastikas, the Hakenkreuz (second row, bottom left) gave me a visceral reaction.

We head back to the US on Sunday.  I have managed to pick up a bothersome cold and have been a bit less active than I would like, but Cris’ work ends today and we will have some time to goof around tomorrow and Sunday morning.  Thanks for following.

Walking and Bricks

Posted in Cities, Construction, Dogs, Landscape, Rivers, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 15/06/2016

Nepal 14 June 2016

I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu.  Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper.  He loves bricks.  It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored.  I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate.  I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them.  I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days.  It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see.  It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali.  But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it.  So today I am showing you bricks.

Nepal 14 June 2016

And another representation of Krishna.

Nepal 14 June 2016

Here is the Bishnumati River.  I almost didn’t take this picture,  and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way.  Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point.  Water quality is a huge issue here.  This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some.  It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up.  And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that.  But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out.  I just wonder what it will take.  Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure.  Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am.  Maybe someday.

bricks

Posted in Construction by joncrispin on 18/03/2010

Whenever I see bricks, I think of Pieper.  There is  massive brick production is Bangladesh and he would love it here.  With a building boom going on, huge stacks of new bricks are everywhere.  The Bangla word on this one is crane, like the bird.

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