What I did this weekend

Indian street festival Toronto short by VictoriaFenner

Join me for the Gerrard Street Indian Festival. It was a hot time! Especially the Indian Salsa at the beginning ..

The second clip is Kathakali dancers putting on their bells in an Indian dress shop just before the performance of The Toronto Tabla Ensemble

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Two From South Asia

Asia 2006 523

Whew, it’s been a whirlwind of a month. A week in Toronto touristing around with my nieces. Also enjoying the final days of summer (now that summer has arrived .. it’s been a very cool summer here in southern Ontario)

And in between all the vacationing, I’ve managed to produce another podcast AND write a couple of articles for fellow travellers’ websites (more about that in the next post)

First news: The Podcast. In 2006, I had the great pleasure to travel to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka to produce documentaries for the radio/podcast series The Green Planet Monitor. On Episode 6 of The Roaming Ear, I play two of my favourite docs —

a) how the harvesting of medicinal herbs in South Asia is generating health and profits for some of the continent’s poorest people.
b) a celebration of Dasain, Nepal’s highest holidays at Falcha, a local gathering place for social change.

These documentaries have special resonance for me right now .. in August of 2006, I was getting ready for the big trip. Wish I was going back THIS September!

Organizations/issues mentioned in this podcast (with links)

South Asia Partnership – a social development organization with branches throughout South Asia
Falcha – A meeting centre for social development in Patan City, Nepal
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Program in Asia – The International Development Research Centre in Ottawa was a partner in the Aromatic Plants Program in Asia.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development – a major partner in the Aromatic Plants Program.
Mitracure – Ayurvedic Health Centre in Kerala

The Green Planet Monitor

Ramadan on Nagin Lake

My Muslim friends remind me that it’s Ramadan.   Thinking of Ramadan brings back memories of two years ago, sitting on the veranda of my very own houseboat in Srinigar, Kashmir.

Every morning at roughly 5 am, the prayers from at least 21 different places around the lake began.   Then four more times a day.

In weeks to come, I’ll be putting podpress on this site.. I’m still in Beta mode .. my piece Millions of Gods and Goddesses will appear here eventually, as well as some of my other pieces ..