Sunday, December 12, 2010

McLeod Ganj

We got a bit behind on the posts again:  this time due to slow internet connections, strange Picasa behavior, and general laziness.  No autocratic government to blame this time I'm afraid.  This post was actually written on Sunday, November 14.  I can hardly believe that because it feels like it's been ages, even though it was less than a month ago.

We spent almost 3 weeks in McLeod Ganj (sounds like Mc-Cloud Gonj), and most of that time was spent ailing and recovering from amoebic dysentery, but we still had a chance to do a few cool things.

McLeod Ganj
We saw a performance of what began as traditional Tibetan song and dance and what eventually devolved into an interactive 90s dance pop fiasco.  But it was a good time.

It was definitely more interpretive than traditional by this point.  But note traditional Tibetan coat nonetheless.
We took a short walk to the local waterfall and spent the night sitting around a campfire at a remote café.

That's not me with the guitar, that's a girl who has a great singing voice
We witnessed a limited version of Diwali celebrations as the Indian kids in town lit off extremely loud and precariously aimed fireworks.

We saw Kalachakra Temple and walked a kora around the Dalai Lama’s residence.

One of the Dalai Lama's many seats
Ancient Tibetan texts saved from the Chinese and brought to India
A Tibetan women circumnambulating the Dalai Lama's residence
A prayer flag
We watched monks debate in Namgyal Gompa.  They weren’t as animated and entertaining as the ones at Sera Monastery, but they were debating with foreigners and non-monks.

They were speaking Tibetan
We followed the crowd to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Tibetan Children’s Village School,
where we got to see the man himself, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, speak.  He was really far away and he was speaking Tibetan, but we were there and he was there, so I think that counts for something.

That's him
We also met some new friends, took a couple of yoga classes, played some open-mics, and had a lot of long discussions about the nature of reality and spirituality.  McLeod Ganj is like that.  It’s in the air.

It ain's all beautiful sunsets and poor kids, but there sure are a lot of both

1 comment:

Kate S. said...

Hey guys! Long time no hi! Just swinging bye randomly... so happy you made it to India! McLeod Ganj is one of my favorite places ever, I miss it so much! Hope you're doing great...