m̌ ḫ's photos

Durga idol admired

10 Sep 2017 17 10 104
From humble community beginnings in 1970, Durga Puja celebrations have grown into an elaborate affair for Delhi's Bengalis who spare no effort in celebrating their biggest festival with flair in CR Park. Durga Puja is the biggest annual Hindu festival celebrated by Bengalis, originating from the Indian state of West Bengal. In Delhi, a neighborhood called Chittaranjan Park or CR Park is home to a large Bengali migrant community, who celebrate Durga Puja on a grand scale here every year. The festival marks the victory of goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura after a 9 day battle, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Huge temporary structures called pandals are set up with large clay idols of goddess Durga. Each day has special rituals and the last day culminates in immersing the idols in water. The celebrations in CR Park bring the look and feel of Durga Puja in Kolkata to Delhi - from themed decorative pandals, cultural events like music and dance performances, crowds thronging for pandal hopping, to lip-smacking Bengali food stalls.

Hiking trail marking

01 Jan 2024 6 2 71
Slovakia has one of the most comprehensive hiking trail networks in Europe, with over 14,000 km of marked trails. This trail marking system was added to Slovakia's UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2022. The marking system uses colored stripes - one red, blue, green or yellow stripe between two white stripes. The stripes are painted on trees, stones, etc to mark the trails. The color of the stripe denotes the type/difficulty of the trail: Red marks the most important and long distance trails like the European E8 trail crossing Slovakia. Blue, green and yellow mark other trails based on length and difficulty, not strictly ranked.

Mom and aunt Iva

28 Dec 2023 21 8 145
The 1960s brought winds of cultural and social change around the world, which also reached communist Czechoslovakia. While restrictions were loosening during the Prague Spring of 1968, shorter skirts and fashions from the West challenged traditional norms. Younger Czechs and Slovaks enthusiastically embraced youthful styles like mini skirts paired with boots, viewing them as freedoms long denied under communist rule. However, shorter skirts tended to be worn only privately or when socializing, remaining largely unacceptable in schools, workplaces or formal settings. State authorities and older generations saw them as symbols of Western decadence and individualism, clashing with the regime’s values of modesty and conformity. So while avantgarde designers like Mary Quant inspired Czech/Slovak fashion followers, uptake of radically short skirts was generally more underground. Most women navigated a delicate balance, cautiously adopting modern fashion elements from the West while paying lip service to communist dress codes and sensibilities in public life. Shorter skirts may have represented liberty for youth cultures, but came with an implicit risk of censure for being perceived as anti-socialist, dissident behaviors. The complex politics around fashion leave the popularity of 1960s mini skirts in Czechoslovakia is difficult to fully assess from a modern-day vantage point.

Bangladesh Parliament Building - South Plaza

10 Dec 2016 16 7 96
The geometry of the parliament building centers around circles and spheres, with the main assembly chamber being circular. This circularity emanates out in concentric rings to the other eight halls. Squares and triangles also feature prominently in the architectural details. Overall, simplicity of form and purity of geometry define the building's style.

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, designed by renowned Americ…

10 Dec 2016 13 3 118
The Bangladesh Parliament Building rises from the earth like a monument to the spirit of Bangladesh, its geometric forms evoking simplicity and order amidst nature's complexity. Known as the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, or National Assembly Building, this landmark encapsulates Bangladesh's national identity and democratic values. Originally conceived by the Pakistani government in 1959 and designed by the renowned American architect Louis Kahn in 1962, its construction was interrupted by Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence. Once completed in 1982, the building transcended its initial purpose as a monument, becoming a beacon of democracy. This architectural gem integrates modernist vision with Bengali vernacular, distinguishing it from other modernist structures. More than a government complex, it poetically conveys the nation's resilience, its design thoughtfully attuned to local contexts and culture. The building's completion marked a pivotal moment, emblematising Bangladesh's transition from Pakistani rule to self-governance.

Late Autumn mountain panorama facing Vlkolinec

17 Nov 2023 13 1 89
Like a painting come to life, the view from Vlkolínec captures the essence of a Slovakian winter scene. The forests of the Veľká Fatra mountains are capped with strokes of white powder, the early snowfall dusting the peaks in the distance. Below, nestled in the foothills, lies a village lost in time. The winding cobblestone streets and weathered log cabins of Vlkolínec seem untouched by modern life. Situated 718 meters high on the slopes of the Carpathians, winters arrive early here, transforming the traditional homes into a winter wonderland long before the lower valleys see snow. The few residents go about their days, hardened to the cold and accustom to the hibernating tourism of the off-season. While the summer months attract more visitors with quaint shops, folk dances and festivals, the village holds a certain magic in the colder days. The snow-laden roofs, smoke billowing from stone chimneys, and the crunch of frost underfoot immerses you in winter as it was for centuries past. Vlkolínec remains an open-air folk museum, where the onset of winter reveals as much preserved beauty as the height of summer.

Bratislava at night

21 Dec 2023 15 14 95
The UFO Tower in Bratislava, Slovakia is an iconic landmark situated atop the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (Most SNP). This unique flying saucer-shaped structure was constructed between 1967 and 1972 based on designs by architects J. Lacko and A. Tesár. Perched 95m above the Danube River, the 7th largest suspension bridge in the world, the UFO Tower has become an integral part of the Bratislava skyline. Originally opened in the 1970s and voted Building of the Century in Slovakia in 2001, the tower underwent renovations in 2005. A restaurant with 80 seats, two modern bars with capacity for 60 guests, and an observation deck with panoramic views up to 100km were added. The UFO Tower is now a member of the World Federation of Great Towers, recognised internationally as a symbol of Bratislava. The iconic tower can be spotted in the background of every postcard, an unmistakable fixture in the capital's urban landscape.

Gori, Stalin's museum

15 Jul 1999 4 1 44
Stalin was responsible for the death and suffering of millions through labour camps, starvation policies, executions, deportations of minorities, and suppressing the truth about his crimes. His rule as dictator of the Soviet Union was marked by extensive atrocities and horrors. Examples: 1. Stalin oversaw a brutal system of labor camps known as the Gulag, where millions perished. [1] 2. Stalin pursued ruthless policies like collectivization that led to famine and starvation of millions of people. One article notes his "ill-conceived and often purposely cruel policies" caused millions to starve.[3] The famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933 known as the Holodomor killed 4-10 million people.[3] 3. Stalin ordered the execution of hundreds of thousands of people, including an event where he personally approved death sentences for over 3,000 people in one day.[5] In total, over 20 million people died under Stalin's rule.[2] 4. Stalin enacted atrocities against minority groups like mass deportations of certain ethnic groups and prisoners of war to labor camps where many died.[4] These included Crimean Tatars, Chechens, Poles, and others. 5. Stalin spread propaganda to cover up his crimes and had journalists and historians who revealed the extent of his atrocities discredited or killed. Gareth Jones exposed the Ukranian famine and was later killed, while journalist Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for denying the famine.[3] Citations: [1] history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/joseph-stalin.htm [2] www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-07-25-9707250034-story.html [3] fee.org/articles/the-hero-of-the-holodomor-who-exposed-stalin-s-horrors-and-paid-with-his-life [4] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_crimes [5] www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33788518

Ska & ethno

15 Jul 1999 4 2 70
Credits: Hero

Somewhere in/between

15 Jul 1999 5 2 71
In 1999, bus travel in Georgia was quite an adventure. Unlike the typical scenario where you would switch buses at a designated bus station, in Georgia, you would disembark at any point along the route and wait for the next bus. Surprisingly, this unconventional method worked fairly well.

Ethno & punkrock

15 Jul 1999 2 53
Credits: Roko

Gori fortress

15 Jul 1999 5 2 59
Gori Fortress is a medieval citadel located in the city of Gori, Georgia, standing atop a rocky hill overlooking the city. Archaeological evidence indicates the area had been fortified since at least the last centuries BCE, but the fortress first appears in written records from the 13th century. Its strategic location along important trade routes meant that controlling Gori Fortress was critical for maintaining political and military control over the Shida Kartli region of Georgia. As a result, it was continually fought over and captured by Georgians, Ottomans, Persians, and Russians over the centuries The fortress underwent major renovations and rebuilding numerous times, most significantly in the 17th century under King Rostom and in the late 18th century under King Erekle II, giving it much of its current structural form. Key surviving structures today include the western-facing Tskhra-kara ("Nine Gates") walls and a small church in the southeast section. However, the fortress suffered major damage in a 1920 earthquake and remains largely in ruins. Visitors can access the fortress by a short walk up the hill from Gori city center. Despite its dilapidated state, it offers impressive views of Gori and is an interesting glimpse into Georgia's medieval military history for travellers.

Meeting the local boys

15 Jul 1999 6 1 91
On the third day of our camping trip in this magnificent, nearly deserted UNESCO-protected site, we were visited by a group of local boys. They warmly invited us to go swimming and join them for a light breakfast. We gladly accepted and spent a pleasant morning getting to know them before we had to leave for Svaneti.The boys were very friendly and curious about us and our travels. Though we came from vastly different backgrounds, we were able to find common ground and make a human connection through simple kindnesses like sharing a meal.

With locals, at Gelati monastery

15 Jul 1999 5 69
Kutaisi was the first town we visited in Georgia, and we were immediately struck by the warmth and hospitality of its people. As we explored the city, a friendly family - two women, a daughter, grandma, and their dad - approached us at the beautiful Gelati Monastery. Though we were total strangers, they invited us to take a photo together, excited at the opportunity to meet some travellers visiting their city. Their kindness and inclusiveness embodied the Georgian spirit of treating every guest as a gift from God :)

Gelati monastery

Gelati monastery

A gate to the greenery

Narikala Fortress

15 Jul 1999 5 1 76
Narikala Fortress is an ancient fortress located in Tbilisi, Georgia, overlooking the city and the Mtkvari (Kura) River. The fortification consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulfur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. It was established in the 4th century and has since played a significant role in the city's history, serving as a military stronghold and a symbol of the Tbilisi's resilience.

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