The Dukha tribe, Mongolia’s last nomadic reindeer herders

My Modern Met:

After living in Nepal and exploring Tibet and the Himalayas for more than a decade, photographer Hamid Sardar-Afkhami decided he would travel to outer Mongolia to document the nomadic tribes and their unique way of life. A scholar of Tibetan and Mongol languages who received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Sanskrit and Tibetan Studies, Sardar was just the right person to capture the Dukha people, Mongolia’s last nomadic reindeer herders. The Dukha are an ancient group of people of Turk descent who are dependent on reindeer for their way of life. In addition to milk and cheese, the reindeer provide transportation for hunting. They’re ridden to hunt wild elk and boar.

The Dukha tribe is quickly disappearing. Only about 44 Dukha families remain, or between 200 to 400 people. In the 1970s, it’s estimated that there was a population of about 2,000 reindeer but that number has since dwindled to about 600.

Sardar has not only captured fascinating photos of this lost culture, he shot a film called The Reindeer People which followed a family on its seasonal migrations.

Synopsis:In Northern Mongolia, there exists a sacred alliance between people, ancestor spirits and reindeer. This film is an intimate portrait of a family of Dukha reindeer nomads following their migration through the forests of Mongolia’s Hovsgol province. They move with a herd of about a hundred reindeer through a sacred forest inhabited by the spirits of their ancestors, who communicate to the living through songs. The oldest Dukha, is a divine seer, a 96-year old shaman, called Tsuyan. She is the link between the healing songs of the forest ancestors, her people and their reindeer. She is the centerpiece of an extraordinary adventure that unites people and animals in one of the wildest regions of Mongolia – where people still live and hunt in a forest dominated by supernatural beings. To live in harmony with them, people had to learn to respect nature and animals and to pass down their beliefs, from generation to generation, by invoking the song-lines of their deceased ancestors.”

The film earned a jury prize for Best Film on Mountain Culture at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Hamid Sardar-Afkhami’s website

Fake 7-Elevens across Asia

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RocketNews 24:

Take a quick look at the picture above. Notice anything strange? Perceptive readers may have spotted something out-of-place right away. If you didn’t, well, no worries, but you’ll probably want to facepalm yourself when you take a second look.

Like this Chinese 7-Twelve, there are a number of fake, localized versions of popular convenience store 7-Eleven scattered throughout the Asian continent. They may think they can slip through the cracks, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time before a lawyer comes knocking at their doors. We have to hand it to them, though–they score high on creativity for coming up with some amusing names.

Let’s take a look at some photographic evidence of the various 7-Eleven wannabes out there.

 

Japan:

You may not have guessed it, but our first offender is actually from none other than Japan! Err, was, that is–this particular store is no longer in business.

7-Mercy apparently opened during the latter years of the Showa Era (1926-1989) somewhere in Miyagi Prefecture. We certainly did a double take the first time we glanced at the store’s logo:

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Ironically, there’s now a real 7-Eleven located right across the street:

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China:

Moving on to China, we’re once again almost, but not quite, fooled by the familiar-looking red and green logo. Perhaps someone was trying to make a statement by one-upping the number eleven? At least they spelled it right…

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Here we’ve got the presumably less-convenient 9-One.” We wonder what the significance of the numbers “nine” and “one” is…

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Vietnam:

If you travel further south in Asia, you can find a mini-mart in the guise of 7-Days.”

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Cambodia:

Does the name 7-Bright suggest that it’s only open when there’s still light outside? Or that the shop workers will greet you with bright smiles? Perhaps only intelligent people can shop here…

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Nepal (Pokhara):

Although the sign reads “7-Eleven,” the merchandise being sold there appears to be fitting only for some kind of school festival.

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Here’s a new one–how would you like to waste the night away at the “7-Eleven Dance Bar”?

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South Korea (Dongdaemun district, Seoul):

Finally, we have this 7-Seven mart located in a popular Korean tourist area. While lacking the chain’s distinctive red and green stripes, the design of the numeral “7” still comes a little too close to the real thing.

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Has anyone seen any other fake 7-Elevens out there during their travels around the globe? We’re sure there’s a whole slew of counterfeit shops for other popular chains, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, as well.

Link

Photo Essay: Stunning images of the ancient traditional honey hunters of Nepal

Bored Panda:

 

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Andrew Newey, an award-winning UK-based travel photographer, has captured gripping photographs of central Nepalese Gurung tribe members engaged in a dangerous and ancient tradition – honey hunting.

Twice a year, the Gurung honey hunters ascend to the base of cliffs in central Nepal and ascend them to collect honey. They use the same tools that their ancestors did – hand-woven rope ladders and tangos, the long sharp bamboo poles that they use to cut the honey-filled hives off of the face of the cliff and drop them into baskets waiting below. After lighting smoke fires at the base of the cliff to smoke out the bees, they climb their ladders and collect their honey.

Besides the danger of falling, they also happen to be harvesting the honey of the largest honeybee in the world. The Himalayan honey bee can grow to be up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length. Due to grayanotoxins from the white rhododendrons they feed on in the spring, their spring honey can be intoxicating, and fetches high prices in Japan, Korea and China. The open cliff-face hives help protect the bees from predators and keeps them warm by exposing them to sunlight.

Honey hunting is among the oldest known human activities. There is an 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain that portrays a man climbing vines to collect honey. One can imagine that these brave honey hunters’ occupation probably stretches back just as far, if not further.

Website: andrewnewey.com (via theguardian)

 

Check out this link:

 

Photo Essay: Stunning images of the ancient traditional honey hunters of Nepal

 

Twice a year, the Gurung honey hunters ascend to the base of cliffs in central Nepal and ascend them to collect honey.

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They use the same tools that their ancestors did – hand-woven rope ladders and tangos, the long sharp bamboo poles that they use to cut the honey-filled hives off of the face of the cliff.

 

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Honey hunting is among the oldest known human activities. There is an 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain that portrays a man climbing vines to collect honey.

 

honey-hunters-andrew-newey-7

 

Besides the danger of falling, they also happen to be harvesting the honey of the largest honeybee in the world. The Himalayan honey bee can grow to be up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length.

 

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Due to grayanotoxins from the white rhododendrons they feed on in the spring, their spring honey can be intoxicating, and fetches high prices in Japan, Korea and China.

 

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Link

Friend Charged in Connection with the Killing of Nepali-American Virginia Tech Student

Samanata Shrestha was a Virginia Tech senior.

A missing Virginia Tech student was found dead last week, allegedly at the hands of a close friend.

Samanata Shrestha, a 21-year-old student at the university, was reported missing by her parents after they became worried after they hadn’t heard from her last Saturday. Concerned, they drove from their home in Vienna, Virginia, to Blacksburg to look for her. Police would later find her body inside her car.

Shrestha’s close friend and fellow VT student Jessica Michelle Ewing has been charged with her murder. According to search warrants filed in court, Ewing reportedly told several people that she “had done something terrible.”

This Roanoke Times piece gives a detailed look at what else was in the search warrants — including the fact that Ewing was said to have told a friend “I killed that girl.”

Keifer Kyle Brown, who graduated from Virginia Tech last year, is being charged with accessory after the fact after allegedly helping to move Shrestha’s body.

Virginia Tech’s president released a statement that read in part:

Those who knew Samanata Shrestha, a senior majoring in biological sciences from Vienna, Va., confirm her zest for school and love of Virginia Tech. One teacher described her as a “faculty member’s dream” because of her exceptional scholarship, love of learning, and “she always had a smile.” A University Honors student, Samanata had minors in medicine and society and psychology. She was inducted into Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges 2013. That an inspiring young woman would lose her life to violent crime hurts beyond belief.

Samanata Shrestha was a Virginia Tech senior.

Check out this link:

Friend Charged in Connection with the Killing of Nepali-American Virginia Tech Student