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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the ...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
17 Sep 2013

Portrait of the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu,during the launching ceremony of
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's, the Mother of the Nation, book 491 days in Sibaya, South Africa

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela launches he...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
17 Sep 2013

Portrait of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the Mother of the Nation, during the launching ceremony of her book 491 days in Sibaya, South Africa

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela launches he...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
17 Sep 2013

Portrait of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the Mother of the Nation, during the launching ceremony of her book 491 days in Sibaya, South Africa

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela launches he...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
17 Sep 2013

Traditoinal Indian dancers perfom during the launching ceremony of the book 491 days by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the Mother of the Nation, in Sibaya, South Africa

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela launches he...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
17 Sep 2013

Traditoinal Indian dancers perfom during the launching ceremony of the book 491 days by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the Mother of the Nation, in Sibaya, South Africa

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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The Herbawi Textile Factory in Hebron...
Hebron, Palestine
By Elo B
14 Aug 2013

Herbawi Textile Factory, located in Hebron, is the only producer of the original koffiyeh in all of Palestine. The factory was founded in 1961 by Yasser Herbawi

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China: a Town's Traditional Fire Fest...
Dali, China
By Teo Butturini
11 Aug 2013

The town of Dali lies on the banks of the Erhai lake, at the center of the Chinese province of Yunnan. Dali’s Old Town district can be dated back to the fourteenth century, the time of the Ming dynasty. It holds the ancient city wall and traditional houses that are typical of this Chinese region.

In the first half of August, the local Yi and Bai minorities celebrate the Torch Festival to commemorate Atilaba, a legendary character who, according to local beliefs, drove away locusts using torches made from pine trees. It is the largest local festival, and each minority celebrates it on a different day, according to its own calendar.

Most of the people here celebrate with their families. Family members gather for a big dinner before taking the traditional walk on the streets holding torches. Restaurants and hotels prepare for this day by buying huge food supplies to serve thousands of tourists who come to Dali to attend the rituals.
People in the Old Town start their day very early to prepare for the Torch Festival. Street vendors set up their stands at six in the morning to serve the huge numbers of customers.
Pork and chicken butchers slaughter animals brought from the countryside, letting blood run copiously to give a scene that some might not be able to stomach.

By nine in the morning markets and streets are bustle with people selling and buying food, toys, decorations, and torches for the celebrations that will start at night.

A huge number of tourists, both Chinese and foreigners, contribute to the confusion and make it a challenge to walk the streets of Dali on this day.
The smell of all kinds of food starts to spread everywhere, and it is difficult to avoid stopping here and there to have a taste of some local snacks while waiting for the sunset.

As soon as it gets dark the locals leave their homes and light up the big torches they have set up right in front of their doors, or dance in circles around bonfires in the town’s main squares.

Others walk down the road and, following the tradition, hold small torches while throwing a mixture of sawdust and pine resin at other people’s torches to start a flare. This is a way to wish friends and relatives well; throwing resin powder on an old man’s fire symbolizes wishing him long life and good health.

Nowadays the rituals have changed. The younger generations probably got bored with the ancient celebrations, and decided to add their twist. They run around town with bags full of sawdust and take people by surprise by throwing it on their torches to create a flare and scare them.
They indiscriminately attack friends and strangers, and the festival suddenly turns into a of street battle between teenagers. Luckily, flames subside quickly and do not harm those who fall victims to the teenagers’ pranks, even if they might look on fire.

A large number of policemen and firefighters stand by on the streets to keep the situation under control and make sure youngsters do not go too wild. As soon as they leave, though, the game starts again and goes on till late, especially in hangouts like the Bad Monkey. A group of foreigners got together there to enjoy the festival – they got drunk and lit up the road in front of the bar during the whole night.

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Bedouin Women Struggling through Trad...
Arish, Egypt
By zeer news
21 May 2013

Background:

The place of women within the tribal system of the Bedouins of North Sinai is very restricted and anchored to very specific traditions. The situation of Bedouin women, in fact, is connected to the tribal structure. In the Bedouin culture, the status of families is determined by their size. Women are thus both venerated and marginalized to the role of "birth givers". 
Therefore, Bedouin women are obliged to marry as soon as possible and they are subject not only to a strict cultural code, but also to a strict sexual code of conduct. Each individual, through his action, represents his family as a whole in the society. Each shameful or not acceptable conduct will damage the honor of the entire family. 
Being subject to these strict codes and rules, only a very small minority of Bedouin women have access to the public sphere and to social life outside the domestic walls.
In this reportage it will be shown the voices of both Bedouin and Egyptian women and men, that are fighting for a social change for Bedouin women, and that explain the situation for women in Sinai.

Selwa el Hirsh, an active woman of the Billi tribe of Rabaa (near Bir el Abd) shows her struggle in trying to enable Bedouin women to integrate in the economical sphere of their families through handicraft. She explains the importance of women in participating in the economy of the family.
Mona Barhoum, is an activist in Rafah, engaged on women and development issues. She gave more then 5000 ID to Bedouin women and she run as a candidate in the last parliamentary elections.
Sheikh Arafat, a sufi sheikh of the tribe of the Sawarka, is the director of the Al Gora Society (in al Gora, in the nearby of Sheikh Zwaid), an NGO working on human rights and development in Sinai.
Said Hytaiek is a Bedouin activist of Sheikh Zwaid, explaining how the policies of the last 30 years on Sinai didn't bring any progress on the women issues in the region.
Sheikh Goma el Tarrabin, a member of the most facultous families of the Tarrabin, and very famous smuggler, explains ( only audio) the traditions and marriage in the tribal system.
Sheikh Abd el Hendy, an Orfi judge (the traditional Bedouin legislation) of Chabaana, in the nearby of Sheikh Zwaid explains the legislative status of women in the Bedouin traditions.

Shotlist:

00:00 - 01:00 Selwa El Hirsh: “In the name of Allah my name is Selwa el Hirsh, a leader for the women of North Sinai. I am a Bedouin, the tribe of Baradeya, family el-Hirsh.
We have here six places: Bir el Abd, Sinai is Bir el Abd, el Arish, this is the capital, Sheikh Zwaid, Rafah, el-Hassala, Nekhel. We have six areas in North Sinai. Women in the past were very weak, she tried to cultivate to help her husband to grow her boys, girls in the house. There is no learning, no culture, nothing, only she was growing some sheep in the house.”

Images: man on the beach of el-Arish, el Arish University, militaries walking on the beach of el Arish, Chabaana (Sheikh Zwaid )peach trees, palm trees of the beach of El Arish, rooftops and building of el Arish, Orfi tribunal in Chabaana, fruit trees in Bir el Abd, woman with child in her balcony, children playing in Rabaa village, sheep in cage in Chaabana.

01:00- 02:04 Sheikh Arafat (director of Al-Gora Society): “Despite all the services we do for women, there is still a lot of challenges in Sinai community because of the uneducated ones and because the women they cannot finish their education in so many places in this region. And the other places the girls leaving school in the primary school because there are no preparatory or high schools for them. At some other places they stop at high schools because there are no universities and sometimes the university is too far and not easy to reach.”

Images: Bedouin men in peach trees in Chabaana, Flyer of Al-Gora Society activities on women, two Bedouin women in traditional clothes and baby, particular of the mother holding the baby, Bedouin women and the baby, village of Sheikh Zwaid with girls and donkey chariot.

02:04- 02:34 Said Hytaiek (activist):
“The women in Sinai suffer a lot because she lives in a men community that does not believe in the woman goal nor the woman rights. And she lives in a community that puts her role only inside the house.”

Images: Women with Niqab and baby walking in the street, main street of El Arish.

02:34- 03:11 Goma Tarrabin (Tarrabin rich man and smuggler):
“My name is Goma Abu Sahba Tarabin tribe, Sinai, Egyptian citizen like any other Egyptian citizen, Muslim, Arab and we have our custom and tradition in our community that we cannot change. The women’s state in Sinai is not like anywhere else. And because of our customs and traditions that we have for long time, from our grand-grandparents, we can’t change the women state in 10 or 20 years.”

Images: Bedouin men and children in a Bedouin hut on the beach of el Arish, children in the hut, beach of el Arish, Bedouin man preparing Shisha.

03:11– 03:38 Selwa el Hirsh:
“We have here rules, in Sinai, between the tribes. We have rules. No one from the other tribes can touch me. Ok? We have rules here, but now no one care about the rules, women not safe, families not safe, the adults not safe.”

03:38- 04:11 Goma Tarrabin:
“one of the problems women faces in Sinai is education, marriage, even in growing up their children and sometimes the husband gets married more than two or three times. The average of getting married in the Bedouin community starts from 16.”

Images: Bedouin women with children, two Bedouin women (one working) with children, Bedouin teenager girls preparing tea on the seaside.

04:11- 05:39 Judge Abd el Hady (Orfi judge):
“I am el haj abdel hady atteia hassan, from Ashira el Mansoureya, I am an Orfi judge. And one of the most important people in Sinai. The Orfi law is when the people have some problems and they have to sit with Orfi to solve the disputes. The society gives to women a lot of options, a lot of freedom, for ex is she can go to all the houses, so now she is a strange person there, so the father of the house deals with her like if he was her owner. If she wants to divorce she can. If she wants rights, give her the rights. She goes to Massaid and Massaid take a lot of care of her.”

Images: particular of hands taking a cigarette, inside the Bedouin Tribunal, men listening to the judge, three Bedouin men in the tribunal listening to the judge, portrait of one man listening to the judge, portrait of another Bedouin smoking a cigarette and listening to the judge, outside of the Tribunal judge talking with a man, zoom on judge talking with the man.

05:39- 06:59 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Some of us(women) are educated, and we have a job. But the others women here don't have a job, and she wants to help her husband, she wants to make something in the family, for her family. These productions help the family to have many money, so she is trying her husband to bring money to her, she want to increase the income of the family. Our grandmothers give us this: When I was a child my mother gave me one piece and she asked me to look at her and to teach me how to do it. Since the childhood until she becomes an hold woman. All her life. If she increases the income, the Governorate increases its income, the country, all Egypt, increases its income. Our economy is low now, we want to raise our economy, by cultivating Sinai, by these productions, by make factories.”

Images: particular of hands of woman working on handicraft, Bedouin women working, other Bedouin woman sitting beside her husband while she works, handicraft clothes in the trade show in Arish University, Bedouin women laughing with her husband, Bedouin family sitting all together under the shadow of a tree while women are working, old Bedouin woman, market in Arish, manequins of women clothes.

06:59- 07:25 Said Hytaiek:
“ we want to have a civil country to give the woman all her rights, even Mubarak did not commit on the rights of the women and the state organizations they have never given any solutions to solve all the women’s problem in Sinai, or even all over Egypt.”

Images: Arish downtown, woman in Niqab with two daughters crossing the street, Arish downtown, two women (one veiled one in Niqab) with their children.

07:25- 07:48 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Hosni Mubarak government and Morsi government, all of them don't care about Sinai. They (the women) are trying, in politics, to have places in politics in Sinai, on the TV, they want to appear to speak about problems in Sinai.”

Images: Selwa presenting handicraft products made by Bedouin women, Selwa talking with a man.

07:48- 08:56 Mona Barhoum (political activist):
“The situation of women in Sinai, is the same like all the Egyptian women. They got backward in everything that they gained before the revolution, like their membership in the local committees and making the decisions.
The main issue is that there is no faith in woman role in the political life by the political parties. And she is very welcome when she is voting, but she is not when she is a member. As Sinai people now we ask the actual government to invest and develop Sinai.”

Images: Mona walking in the entrance of the court, Mona with her cat, portrait of Bedouin woman in traditional clothes, two Bedouin women with kids in the garden of the house, Bedouin woman eating fruits from a tree, Mona going outside of her house.

08:56- 09:10 Selwa el Hirsh:
“Everything is related to the woman, Woman is member of this society. If the society is good the woman will be good, if the society is bad, the woman will be bad. Everything is back to us.”

Images : Bedouin girls playing a game on the sand.

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Tunisia's Tourism Sector Looks for Al...
Tunis, Tunisia
By Mohamed Haddad
14 May 2013

A Video Report Done By: Sarah Mersch & Mohamed Haddad

Tunisia has long been a favorite destination for Western tourists. Since the revolution, prices went down, but so did the number of visitors - a disaster for the vital sector of Tunisian economy. 400,000 of Tunisia’s 10.5 million inhabitants depend on tourism, which makes up seven percent of the country’s GDP. Despite this, tourism professionals are looking for alternatives, whether it be wellness, cultural or hiking trips.

This is an international version, voice over + original soundbites are on the left track, ambient sound on the right.

Sidi Bou Said, a picturesque village over the hills of Tunis. Once a must for every visitor of the country, the small town is feeling the decline in tourism since the political turnover.

Mohamed Ben Ameur still opens his little souvenir stall every day, but the craftsman struggles to make a living.

SOUNDBITE Mohamed Ben Ameur, craftsman [ar]

There is nobody. Look, it’s Saturday and it’s empty. As soon as the big cruise ships leave, the street gets empty again. That’s what the minister said as well, there are less reservations than last year.

Half a million Tunisians and almost 10% of national income depend directly on tourism. Since the revolution, reservations have gone down by almost 15%.

Hammamet, an hour south of Tunis. It once used to be the hotspot of beach tourism, but the Europeans looking for cheap sun have gone elsewhere. Even though a week of all inclusive sells at 200 Euros.

Many of the three and four star hotels haven’t been renovated in a long time and struggle to keep the standard up. A third of the establishments should close for the sector to rejuvenate, professionals tell us off the record.

For the 4 star hotel Le Sultan, the situation is difficult, but the manager Mehdi Allani tries to keep up a good service. 120 employees are taking care of one hundred clients. An investment for a better future the owner still believes in. Mehdi Allani wants the restaurant setting to be top notch, even though yesterday, only twenty people ate here.

SOUNDBITE Mehdi Allani, Vice-President, Le Sultan hotel [fr]

Today, we are living a crisis. The priority should be reactivity. But this means being very fast. But we still function slowly, we’re in the phase of ‘Ah, we don’t have the money. We should... or maybe not...’. rather than acting quickly. [...] Our competitors are very reactive. If we want to compete on eye level, we need a lot of communication, a lot of events and most of all, reactivity. We need to be hyper-creative and hyper-fast.

After the revolution, Tunisia’s authorities have realized that its prior focus on cheap beach tourism is long outdated and especially vulnerable to political instability.

But the sector is still waiting for concrete initiatives by the authorities, Mehdi Allani says. He voluntarily works in a group of officials and tourism professionals to improve the situation of the industry and promote new concepts.

SOUNDBITE Mehdi Allani, Vice President, Le Sultan hotel [fr]

If we speak about the fact that there was a revolution, it happened in Tunisia, but not at the Tunisian Tourism Office, nor at the ministry. They still need to work on changing the habits, being creative.

Allani wants to go ahead and give a good example. Next to the Sultan, he’s constructing a second, even fancier hotel. Looking for alternatives, some hotel owners are increasingly focusing on golf and spa tourists, a rich clientele that is willing to pay for good service.

At the Hasdrubal, one of the few 5 star hotels in the region, the situation is very much the same as at the rest of Hammamet. Less than 20% of the capacity of this hotel with more than 400 beds is used in late May. But the Hasdrubal features something special:

SOUNDBITE Talha Husseini, General Director, Hasdrubal Thalassa hotel [fr]

This presidential suite is the biggest of the world. It measures 1540 m², features an interior and an exterior swimming pool, five sleeping rooms,....

The Salambo suite, where stars, starlets and politicians once came and gone has been deserted since the political turnover. The hotel opens it up only for TV crews. Nobody sleeps here anymore for 5000 Euros a night, neither Bashar Al Assad, nor Algerian president Bouteflika or Mariah Carey. Talha Husseini is in a hurry to quickly lead us through the suite. Other clients are to arrive soon - at the normal hotel, which has become the Hasdrubal’s main business.

SOUNDBITE Talha Husseini, General Director, Hasdrubal Thalassa hotel [fr]

The kind of clients that use the presidential suite are really part of the upper class. And they prefer not to come as long as the political situation in Tunisia is not really stable. Honestly speaking, 2011 and 2012 weren’t great.

The days of glory of the Hasdrubal have passed. The suite is mentioned in the Guinness book as the biggest of the world. Even though the award features big on the website, it fails to attract the clients the hotel once had.

SOUNDBITE Talha Husseini, General Director, Hasdrubal Thalassa hotel [fr]

When the owner of the hotel was building it, everybody told him that he was crazy. There were no clients for this kind of luxury tourism in Tunisia at the time. So he had to develop the clientele.

The director remains silent about the exact number of guests currently visiting the hotel. Most have been shied away by bad press and security concerns. The few who come enjoy the calm and empty beaches.
This british tourist is on his first visit to Tunisia. He appreciates the increased security measures

SOUNDBITE British tourist [en]

This morning, there were policemen going along the beach in buggies. There is always a risk, wherever you go in the world. I think the Tunisian government has seen that there is an interest and a need to address any concerns and they have dealt with that.

As the Hasdrubal once brought a new category of visitors to Tunisia, tourism professionals today try to develop another new clientele. The Northern region of Kef, once the wheat chamber of the Romans: tourists
have always been a rare sight here. Today, there are even less than before the revolution. But the population tries to promote local initiatives and to attract new clients. A cave serves local painter Ammar Belghit as a workshop. It could be one stop on a tour that takes visitors around the region, from hot springs to Roman ruins and the historical city of Kef. For Ahmed Trabelsi, the revolution was a blessing.

SOUNDBITE Ahmed Trabelsi, [exact function / association]

We are a lot more flexible. There’s no police car anymore following us around to see who these people are and what they are doing at Ammar’s grotto.

Before the revolution, to organise even a small hiking tour with a group of foreigners, guides needed almost a dozen permits from local and national authorities. Now they are free to show the treasuries of a country with rich history, which has a lot more to offer than just beaches.

Conscious that alternative tourism will not save the whole industry, the locals hope to at least attract a customer base which is less vulnerable to political hiccups.

In the meantime, the beaches are awaiting another quiet summer.

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The Christian death-mask Festival
Oton, Philippines
By Mais Istanbuli
04 May 2013

Katagman refers to the ancient settlers of Western Panay. These settlers have a unique burial ritual in which they placed a gold nose disc and gold eye mask on the bodies of the dead in order to protect the deceased from evil spirits. This ancient ritual has Chinese influences, as the natives had a strong trade relationship with them before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines.

Oton was once at the center of trade routes in the Panay Islands. The community was so prosperous and influenced by the Chinese presence that burial rites using gold artifacts, porcelain and carnelian beads often took place. Many such artifacts have since been discovered.

Following the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, Oton was established in 1572 by the Augustinian Friars, and soon became the center of Spanish administration in Iloilo. Once known as Ogtong, meaning reef or tidal flat, Oton was a missionary base for the conversion of the entire region. This led to the Christianization of the native Katagmans.

The Katagman Festival comprises street dancing, painting and dance theatre competitions, that highlight and showcase Oton's rich historical past.

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A festival about deathmask and Christ...
Oton, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
04 May 2013

Streetdancers performing on the streets of Oton, wearing the famous deathmask

Katagman refers to the ancient settlers of Western Panay. This settler has unique burial ritual in which they placed a gold nose-disc and gold eye-mask to their dead people to protect the eyes and nose of their diseased loved ones from evil spirits. This ancient ritual is influenced by Chinese in which the natives have trade relationship with them before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines.

Oton was once a center of trade route in Panay Islands. Prosperity brought about a flourishing community, and so many examples of the early Chinese wares were obtained from the area that it is necessary to explain shortly that Chinese settlers in the area practiced ancient Chinese customs even in the disposal of the remains of their dead. The town became home to several burial rites where gold artifacts, porcelain and carnelian beads where among the rare items recovered.

When the Spanish conquered the Philippines, Oton was established in 1572 by the Augustinian Friars and became the center of Spanish administration in Iloilo. Once known as Ogtong or reef or tidal flat which is the main feature of the area, Oton was a missionary base for the conversion of the entire region. This led to the Christianization of the native Katagmans.

During the Katagman Festival, a street dancing competition, painting competition and dance theater competition is highlighted showcasing the rich historical past of Oton.

Source: http://www.iloilometropolitantimes.com/11th-katagman-festival-in-oton/

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A festival of deathmask and Christian...
Oton, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
04 May 2013

A historical landmark, honoring Oton as the oldest municipality in Panay Island.

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Thailand Water Festival
Bangkok, Thailand
By Mais Istanbuli
14 Apr 2013

Songkran Festival, also known as the Thailand Water Festival, remains one of Thailand's most important celebrations. Celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year, people sprinkle water on their elders, and pay respect to images of Buddha.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (19 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Men spray the crowds from firetrucks in Bangkok's Silom district.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (5 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Crowds at Thailand's Songkran festival. The new year festival lasts for several days (13th-15th in Bangkok).

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Thailand's Songkran festival (18 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Tourists and locals alike gather to celebrate Thailand's New Year in the Songkran festival

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Thailand's Songkran festival (17 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Children taking cover after being squirted with a water pistol at Thailand's Songkran festival

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Thailand's Songkran festival (15 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

A young girl takes aim at Thailand's Songkran festival, Silom, Bangkok.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (14 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Crowds at Thailand's Songkran festival are sprayed with water by firetrucks.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (13 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Crowds at Thailand's Songkran festival are sprayed with water by firetrucks.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (12 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Crowds at Thailand's Songkran festival are sprayed with water by firetrucks. The festival lasts for several days.

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Thailand's Songkran festival (11 of 19)
Bangkok, Thailand
By FirstName LastName
14 Apr 2013

Crowds at Thailand's Songkran festival are sprayed with water by firetrucks. The festival lasts for several days.
Firemen spray crowds at Bangkok's Songkran festival