Indigenous people of North Kerala

I recently had the good fortune to visit some of the small villages of the indigenous communities in Wayanad, North Kerala. Together with our GM Subi from Wayanad Wild, our Chef and a social worker we climbed the hills in the forested areas of the Wayanad plateau. People here still live a lot from the forest, collecting roots, honey and herbs for their daily needs. The create amazing bamboo traps for fishing in the rivers and I was told that earlier they were great archers too. Today the law forbids them to hunt.

wayanad2Their way of live is rapidly changing. Forests have been turned into Plantation, devoid of the food they used to find. National parks have sprung up, restricting their movements to collect honey, herbs and bark for the food and indigenous forms of medicine.

wayanad6Lately their way of using plants and barks for curing has caught the attention of scientists now probing into their secrets of the forest. Unfortunately their lack of school book knowledge will eventually prevent them from benefitting of their old age tradition and art to cure.

wayanad7To me it was a touching encounter with people that live on the earth around them and me a traveller from across the oceans. Their smile and shy laughter turns as always into exercise of humility for me. Communication is nothing but a smile and the words of the social worker in her broken english.

Walking trough their simple village, Standing Rock comes to my mind, where even today the erstwhile owners of the land still have to fight to get their rights respected. And I wonder how much the situation differs from the land across the sea.

CGH Earth shortlisted for National Geographic World Legacy Awards

We are happy to share with all our friends that CGH Earth has made it to the final list for world legacy awards by National Geographic in partnership with ITB Berlin. 150 entries were received from 51 countries, 6 continents. 15 finalists selected. We are one of the 3 selected in the category- Sense of Place. This is an endorsement for our core values which has resulted in the preservation of the authentic and the local.
‪#‎CGHEarth‬ ‪#‎Finalist‬ ‪#‎WorldLegacyAwards‬ ‪#‎NationalGeographic‬‪#‎ITBBerlin‬

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacya…/winners.html

 

Autumn colours

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The colours of life are changing, once more

Reflections in the water, as never seen before

Looking back at the warmth of the year gone by

Snow will be covering what the year brought by

Time to reflect and meditate on the northern winds

A blessing only the harsh, cold winter brings

Sunset musings

After a hard night’s work

Kerala, India

The backwaters

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The Backwaters
Lounging on a deck chair, moving gently, immersed in a rippling , scented silence. Can there be better ways to explore a new world than this? Once, these houseboats were barges, transporting rice along the large and intricate network of lakes and canals that cover the central part of the state of Kerala.

Around the expanse of Lake Vembanad, the backwaters of Kerala are a unique and fragile-ecosystem unlike any other in the world. Enveloping the port towns of Alleppey and Quilon on one end, they stretch like a patchwork quilt clear across the state, up to Calicut in the North. Some are no wider than an arm span, navigable only by canoe. Others are dual carriageways, deep and rippling, sometimes broadening out into vast misty lakes, sometimes curling into twisting worm turns, hemmed by paddy fields and fed by a thousand fat streams from the high ranges of the Spice Mountains to the East.

Experience Tip
To really enjoy the backwaters we suggest at least a 2 night stay on the house boat. Not only can you really get the feel of the cruise, but you will also be able to visit temples, churches and villages on the way, or take a leisurely stroll into the lush and green paddy fields. The boatmen will stop on the way to show you the various trades of the area, like Coconut Farms, Coir spinning and other typical small enterprises.

As an added benefit you will also leave the one night trails of most of the boats, which makes the experience calmer and richer.

For an undiluted and unforgettable experience, please have a look at: http://www.cghearth.com/spice-coast-cruises

Reflection

Sunset by the lake

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

Khalil Gibran

Mother and child

 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Sunset spirits

Fire in the sky

Burning sky