Happy Spring: Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome!! Swagat, Dumela, Valkommen, Jee Aayan Noo, Tashreef, Bula, Swasdee, Bienvenido, Tashi Delek. Thanks for joining me.....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Peacock Decanter

I know I have not been writing, but will be back, surely.  I have attended two conferences, done four presentations on three papers. One of which was complete, the other is getting published and one for which I collected data only in April and May.  In between life happens. I was in the US for ten days for the conference and to visit a few friends in DC, where I used to live nearly two decades ago.  Yesterday, I hurt myself……interesting how I do not write personal stuff here,…and am writing it here only to justify my absence.  I am still quite busy and am going to have visitors over summer, and have to attend one more confenrce and write two papers over the summer.  But I am sure I will return to make up for all the weeks that I have missed. In the mean time I am writing a meditation blog, and keep a departmental blog on the research.  So my attention has been diverted.  My heart still lies in this one, for obvious reasons.  This was the first one that gave me a little readership.  I will continue as long as I can.

As for finding my home….well, the search is still on, but yes, summer in Sweden is something else. For me it is Vrindavan….so this peacock decanter that I accidentally found on the net is perfect image.....for the summer....

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Be Back Soon!!

Street vendors, Ayuthaya --Thailand!

In a research meeting I heard 'Everyday a new blogger quits'.  I do not want to be one of those. But I really have been busy, in too many directions.  Although I have over 60 posts in drafts and many more in my head, I do not know when I will work on all of them. In addition, I have started contributing formally to two sites, that are not really that professional but are a venue to reach a certain kind of audience, so it diverts my time. I also have a departmental blog to write about a project that I am a part of.  Something I enjoy and take pride in.  Here, I can say that presently I have the best colleagues I have ever had in any other place.  

And I have also returned to writing my blog by hand, which I had missed.  I need to do more of that.  I love writing by my hand.  

Yet, I am not ready to give up on this, so will be coming back to this soon, even though a few posts will be ultra small and to the point, due to time. (PS: Even in this absence, the traffic to the site has remained the same, which made me think that I should continue, if people are spending time here.  And yes, I do miss writing here too, so will try to strike a balance between all the writing that I am currently doing).  

Thanks for bearing with me. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paskris: Swedish Easter Tradition

Feathers, Colors, Eggs and Birds: Happy Spring

Come Spring, in Sweden you start to hear the birds in the forests and around your house (although funnily enough you hear some throughout the winter--truly swedish birds).feathers on sticks start to be sold in the shops, along with many wreaths made of feathers….

Paskris, or easter twigs (literally easter-rice) is an Easter tradition in Sweden.  The twigs are taken from supple birch trees that are finally enjoying being able to feel the sap in their veins, and are standing erect in affirmation of their own life. 

As, we all know, many of the Christian holidays/celebrations were imposed on pagan celebrations to convert/transform Pagan celebrations to christian celebrations. So, easter is actually a celebration of resurrection of nature from the dead.  Sweden, is one of the few countries, though christianised as kept many of its pagan traditions. 

Swedish Easter Witches---one of Sweden's and parts of Finnland tradition--is a celebrated by dressing young girls as witches and boys as old men.  Some of its traditions are similar to Halloween--as in trick or treat. Girls and boys dressed as Häxa (witch) or Gubbe (old man) go door to door with a  copper kettle (not that common anymore) looking for treats, in exchange for hand drawn paintings. The tradition comes from old belief that witches would fly to a German mountain the weekend before Easter to meet with Satan, and on their way would pick up young children for their meal.  Swedes would light fires to scare them --a practice still prevalent today to light bonfires--and dress young children as witches and old men to confuse the witches. Every easter there are also Påsk (easter) parades, where children, dressed up in costumes, accompanied by parents and a loud band, announce the arrival of spring.  The above pictures were taken at the parade last year.