To the extent that art is about catching the essence of something, or someone, a reflection must show there is another side to everything.
An old lady rests against the church wall for hours on end reflecting on life in general, or perhaps her grandchildren in particular; well, who knows? Ethiopians are proud of their cultural heritage and fiercely independent.
- They are deeply religious. In 325 AD, Ethiopia became the third country in the world to adopt Christianity as the official religion, 12 years before the Roman Empire. The patron saint is St. George.
- It is the only African country to have its own written language, Amharic. The alphabet has 34 letters.
- They also have a unique liturgical (church) language, Ge’ez, equivalent to Latin in medieval Europe.
- They have their own calendar. Every year consists of exactly 365 days; 12 months of 30 days and one month of 5 days. To complicate matters further the calendar is similar to the Julian calendar that was used throughout Western Europe until it changed in 1582. In Ethiopia it is currently 2012 AD.
- 2013 begins on 11th September of our calendar. It approximates to the start of the rainy season, the planting of crops and the growth of fresh pasture. It makes much more sense than 1st.
- Each new day starts at 6am instead of midnight. Being so close to the equator this is also far more logical because it roughly coincides with sunrise throughout the year.
There is plenty more for an old lady to reflect on.
Shwedagon, the Golden Dagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon), is the most sacred Buddhist shrine in Myanmar (Burma ) and believed to contain the relics of four previous Buddhas before the present kalpa (epoch). The gold-plated dome of the stupa (temple spire) is reflected in a tiny puddle of rainwater on the stone pavement while the meniscus around the edge forms a golden halo. 2500 yrs. old, according to legend, the 100m spire is topped with diamonds.
LLYN CELYN, NORTH WALES
Llyn Celyn is a reservoir next to the A4212, NW of Bala, but the beauty of the landscape and its reflection in the tranquil water masks a troubled history. The construction of the reservoir in the 1960s resulted in the forced eviction of residents from their homes in the hamlet of Capel Celyn which, together with the adjacent farmland, now lies beneath the surface.
SAMODE PALACE, RAJASTHAN
The 16th Century fort outside Jaipur was converted into an extravagant palace in the 19th Century merging the Rajput and Muslim styles. It has been used as a film and television set. The walls in one bedroom consists of thousands of precisely cut, diamond shaped, slightly curved mirrors. In predating selfies by some 200 years it is clearly a narcissist’s paradise. Or a voyeurs.