Mar
7

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Fresh Fish? The Market in Bandar Abbas • IRAN

Each morning fishermen haul in their loads from the Persian Gulf and the haggling begins: crabs, sharks, fish of all kinds and colors. Many of the bandari woman wear a traditional mask called the burqa.
 
The music is from a 45 RPM recorded in the 1970s from a singer in the region around Bandar Abbas. It features a musical instrument called an our and a singer probably from the Baloch people living between mainly between Bandar Abbas in Iran and Pakistan. The song isn’t about fish, but it does help to transport you to Bandar Abbas! (The song is about love – what else!? “My eyes are waiting for you.”)
 
You can find this song and other rare Persian recordings at this great website: http://www.oirvm.com. In Iran, all recordings published before 1980 are in the public domain.
Mar
3

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Dare to Dream • Dhurba’s Sapana Village in Chitwan • NEPAL

For many of us, dreams are about “getting” something; they’re selfish….For Dhurba, dreaming means giving.

“My parents are farmers. I never finished school.” He came from a poor village in the jungles of Nepal and worked as a waiter to tourists who came on safari. One day at the restaurant – he had a long chat – with a couple – visiting from the Netherlands. They asked him – an unusual question: “They asked me my dream and I was surprised a little bit.”

But with NO cash, to make his dream come true, Dhruba forgot about his dream and the Dutch tourists. “Then after 5 -6 months they send me the letter. The say we have money for you and please send us your back account. and I was surprised. I couldn’t believe it. I thought they were making a joke.”

With a backpack full of cash – Dhurba bought land from a rice farmer and starting building a hotel. A hotel he named “Sapana Village”. “Sapana means dream and I work for the dream.” Sapana Village looked nothing like other hotels in the jungle. He built his lodges to look like a traditional Tharu village. “Tharu are the original people and they should get something back from the tourism but nothing they get.”

So in addition to the typical tourist activities – elephants rides and safari trips – Dhurba asked Tharu families to show his guests their traditional ways of life. “And 50% of the profit go to the local community”. Dhurba now puts his profits in local development projects.

For many of us, dreams are about “getting” something; they’re selfish….For Dhurba, dreaming means giving.

Find out more about Dhurba and the development projects his Sapana Village are spearheading at sapanalodge.com.

Music by Binod Katuwal: youtube.com/channel/UCSLPg–3m41JPZh7EgiYuiA

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