Monday, 11 April 2016

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Friday, March 25th, 2016
Durban, South Africa

Under the Sun

Heat!  Humidity!  Stupidity!  That's if you don't address the heat properly.  Kala and I decided to declare war on the sun by purchasing these straw-like cowboy hats. People commented “Fashionable”.

Yes, the Chariots Festival, in its 28th year in Durban, had kick-started at 11.30 AM after a speech by monk Bhakti Chaitanya Swami. Afterward a dance troupe performed.  Coconuts with camphor cubes aflame the tops were thrown and smashed in front of the leading chariot of Balarama.  This is a regular part of the ritual before the pull of rope that mobilizes the chariots as the walk of the leg begins.

Everyone gets to walk.  That is the unique thing about this festival.  I would say that this 2 1\2 to 3 kilometre walk is not what people are used to.  Participants in the event come in their fancy cars. Furthermore walking at this time of day, under intense sun, is also novel for South Africans.  Like all over the world people love cars.

Just as we were about to embark on this walk to pull the chariots, one cream-coloured auto (the make I don't know) slowly plied through the crowd as a service vehicle.  It got me reflecting on how it is such an endeavour to secure one of those machines.  They are expensive. Convenient?  Maybe!  Destructive?  Yes!  In so many ways.

In any event, it was nice to observe the organics of people walking such a long distance (note the sarcasm) and even enjoying it.

May the source be with you!

9 km

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