offerings to the small lost souls..

This post is about Merenang Kang Veal, the memorials and offerings to those who've passed into the next life while still very young (from the aborted to the stillborn to those who died at a very young age). The relationship with nature and all living things whether still on earth or physically gone is still very tangible and real in Asia and the Khmer's Buddhist tradition. These shrines and offerings are an effort by those still alive to pay respects and appease the wandering and lost spirits. Notice the toys and miniature clothes, food and water given as offerings. We're doing some research into these to find out more about them. Stay tuned! … [Read more...]

when Asia’s per-capita income catches up to the West’s.. by Hans Rosling

Check this video out. The Asian Century has never been more real, yet it's still surreal for those of us used to a western-centric world. Presented so compellingly by Hans Rosling, the public health infographic brains behind the Gapminder, this modeling sends home a message that isn't new but is quite amazing even for the rapidly changing times we live in. … [Read more...]

Spirit houses in Asia

Spirits-- can't live with them, can't live without appeasing them. In Asia, nature or 'supernatural' forces are very much a part of one's being and not disconnected as it is in the modern west.When people move into a new home they create a disturbance in the natural world. In a gesture of deference and to re-balance the natural surroundings, it is tradition to appease the displaced spirits. Bribes of various sorts ranging from incense, fruits, vegetables, water and rice etc are regularly placed in these houses, sort of like an eviction compensation. It isn't that the spirits will actually eat them, and in fact some of these houses can be left in such a state as to seem that the spirits are expected to clean their little abodes. They will … [Read more...]