Tag Archive for ‘smoke’

stories of times gone by~ Yi woman~ Yunnan

stories of times gone by~ Yunnan~ Yi woman

stories of times gone by~ Yunnan~ Yi woman

It is such a common sight in Yunnan to see these strong women from the Yi ethnic minority with pipes lit in their mouths puffing at tobacco smoke around the streets, markets and village homes. The pipes are hand crafted and each woman holds on to hers for life proudly. When I asked about the place where we can buy one, I constantly received puzzled looks, “you don’t buy these, you get one made for you when you come of age”!

The prayer

going inwards to find it~ Jade Buddha Temple~ Shanghai

going inwards to find it~ Jade Buddha Temple~ Shanghai

We might declare our allegiance to a religion or to a non-religion, but either way, there will be moments in our lives when we just feel the need to close our eyes, turn inwards and try desperately to connect to something bigger, greater and more knowing than we are. No matter how amazing and above it all we feel and think we are, the fragility of our very mortality will at some point in our lives humble us to the greatness of what caused us to be in the first place, regardless of what we may call it.

Day 30~ October 30th~ Yunnan

from the West to the East~ the gift of smoke

Since the 7th century in China, Opium was ingested for medicinal purposes and never smoked. Then in the 17th centurycame the Europeans and introduced the mixing of opium with tobacco to be smoked making it the most addictive practice among the Chinese. This led to the two famous opium wars and after several attempts from the Chinese to ban the import of opium, attacks on the shores of China by the British and eventually several treaties that according to historical accounts marked the beginning of the century of humiliation of this Asian nation.

Today, everywhere you look, people, young and old are smoking tobacco on the streets of China.

Day 14~ October 14th~ Yunnan

gathering of the locals~Mu Shan village~ Yunnan

If you grew up like me in a small village, you would have had the pleasure of meeting the village locals, fixtures in the village square. In them resides the angel of the village, and they are in many ways the keepers, watchers and essence holders of the whole place. They sit in their usual spots and remain there patiently for long hours during the day monitory the goings on of life around them. Meeting them is meeting the truth of the village.

Day Three Hundred Fifty Four, January 11, 2012

the smoker

One third of all cigarettes worldwide is being smoked in China. More than 300 million smokers, about 3000 deaths per day due to smoke related illnesses according to the most recent WHO study. And still, an unbelievable 60 % of the smoking population does not know about health risks associated with smoking…

Children as young as 3 years old have been seen smoking and inhaling smoke in China with pride. It certainly hurts to watch this go on, especially in a country where air pollution alone can blacken your unsuspecting lungs…

Photo taken: woman smoking on a cold day on a Shanghai street

Day Two Hundred Sixty Three, October 12, 2011

upholding the faith

At any moment of the day, somewhere on this planet, someone is stepping out of their daily fog and taking a few minutes to try and send a signal, from here to there, from known to unknown, from visible to invisible, from earth to ether. The message is so simple as is their faith, a yearning to connect to something higher. Even in Shanghai, a city of 20 million, there are temples where you can find an incredible stillness and where people still uphold their faith.

photo taken: a man praying at the Jade Buddha temple (a very special place)

Day Thirty Six, February 27, 2011

between the ages of lollypops and cigarettes

Today I was having lunch in a Shanghai neighborhood where many expatriates reside. I was stunned to see at what a young age children are starting to smoke cigarettes these days, or was it always like this? These skaters looked so young, and so “cool” with the whole attitude of “look at me I am totally grown up now”.. and yet I felt that a lollypop would me much more fitting at their tender young age.

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