Beautiful Peoples

The cultural landscapes of the globe are very diverse, from cuisines to costumes to musical instruments to languages to legends to…the list can go on. I wonder if there is a way by which we can capture them all. You are served a local dish at a local restaurant, and you ask ‘which cultural group does this dish belong to?’. You see a woman dressed in a unique costume and wonder ‘which cultural group does she belong to?’. You go to a local music store looking for a compilation of pan flute songs. Which Peruvian tribe plays them? You learn that Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo is endowed with beautiful legends. Whose stories are they? The questions of Who and Whose are frequently raised. In my humble opinion, the peoples are the best representation of the various cultural elements. They are the owners of those elements, after all. I have had the fortune to encounter some beautiful peoples in my travels. I hope to see more as I inch my way to different parts of the world. This particular blog post will be a platform for me to showcase the beautiful peoples with whom I was lucky enough to cross paths. They are not necessarily the peoples who purposefully act as a living attraction in the tourism industry. Many times they are the ordinary peoples with whom I make eye contact or smile, or who catch my eyes during a people-watching session, and most importantly, who have made a lasting imprint on my life.

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A school assignment with a group of Murut dancers in their beautiful traditional costumes at Monsopiad Cultural Village in Sabah, Borneo. Urang Sabah baini :-D.

Bali 1

Balinese Hindus and the sacredness of their beliefs- offerings and blessings.

Bali 2

Balinese Hindus performing the Kecak Dance in Uluwatu.

China 1

Adorable Chinese kids. Ni hao :-D. A message from the little boy: buli ko lawan rambut tompurung saya? hahahaha!

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Dressed as the emperor and empresses of China. By the way, the couple between my mom and me were not with us. We thought ‘what could be a better way of deepening the experience than posing with Chinese tourists dressed in the costumes of their monarchs in ancient China?’. Location: Forbidden City, Beijing, China.

Egypt 1

The Bedouins of Egypt@ Giza (left), on the way to the White  Desert (top right) and Nubian Village (bottom right). PS> Shuzytha Bidder, jangan ko pura-pura tidak pernah nampak buaya hahahahaha!

Egypt 3

A photo with a group of Egyptian school kids at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. They had a school trip there. I thought it was amazing that they were exposed to the beautiful history of Ancient Egypt through a first-hand experience.

Egypt 2

Left: a beautiful Egyptian woman performing the seductive belly dance; Right: a handsome Egyptian man performing the whirling, dervish dance. These dances are also found in other parts of the Middle East and Turkey. The pictures were taken on a cultural cruise in Cairo.

Jordan 1

Two Bedouin friends in Jordan and their little bar, with Shisha as the main treat.

Peru 1

Peruvian natives on the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca, Peru. They are well-known for their distinct textile art. UNESCO declared their textiles as the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity. The little girl had very thick and healthy hair! She was selling colorful woven bracelets. 5 for 20 Peruvian Sol. I usually wear one when I travel. It is my lucky charm :-). Also, pay attention to the skirt- it is layered. The chief villager told us that the skirts are of different colors, representing the rainbow, which perfectly describes the people there as happy people. I loved the concept!

Peru 2

Beautiful people of the Uros Island in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Look at the cheeks of those little girls’- like a chipmunk’s :-D. Very adorable! A ride on a traditional reed boat was simply amazing! My encounters with the Peruvian natives told me they are among the most colorful peoples in the world :-D.

Taiwan

Beautiful Taiwanese ladies dressed as the Atayal tribal people. Location: Wulai Atayal Museum of New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Tanzania

The Maasai people in Tanzania. That very tall man on the left was the chief villager. Look at the women’s unique pieces of jewelry. They are truly one-of-a-kind.

Thailand 1

The long-necked Karen in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Thailand 2

Ladyboys in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They remain one of the most unique sights I have had in all the travels I have done so far.

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Adorable little Thai kids in Chiang Mai.

Vietnam 1

Adorable little Vietnamese kids encountered while trekking in Sapa.

Vietnam 2

The youngsters in Vietnam. I found the contrast between the two pictures fascinating: educated young Vietnamese on their graduation day vs. a young Vietnamese boy rowing a wooden boat for visitors to financially help his family.

Vietnam 3

The Black Hmong minority in Sapa, Vietnam.

Vietnam 4

One of the hill tribes in Northern Vietnam. I failed to recall the name of this particular tribe. Anyone who knows, please let me know. PS> uik dorang pun ada kuih pisang 😛

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Trend of Nudity

Two days ago I read the news regarding the arrest of two visitors for taking nude selfies at Machu Picchu. My first reaction to the news was ‘what’s wrong with those people?’ I was also reminded of a similar incident that occurred on Mount Kinabalu about a year ago when a group of climbers stripped naked and urinated on the mountain. There is an extensive number of sites deemed sacred by indigenous peoples across the globe. I wonder if we will hear more news of tourists’ nudity. Is it becoming a negative travel trend? What is wrong with those visitors? There are rules governing tourist behaviors. However, they seem to be unable to curb disrespectful behaviors. Are the rules not effective? Or perhaps some of today’s tourists are just mentally deranged to perform such uncivilized act? I remember there is a huge banner just next to the Machu Picchu ticket counters reminding visitors of the site sacredness and the imperative need for deep respect for the site. Apparently, ignorant visitors are ‘blind’ to it. I trust there is no expectation placed on the visitors to accept as true what the indigenous peoples believe. What is expected (should be demanded!) is that visitors show respect by behaving well during the site visit. If they can’t honor that, perhaps they should not step foot on the site.

 

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