3/21/11

India Kumbh Mela 2010: "Sab Kuch Milega"

I was checking through pictures and videos from my India trip today. I was sitting in my sofa on my own and literally cracking up... Soooo many good and funny memories!!

One of the first things me and my "travel buddy"/cousin/best friend, Nicole (also called Nickel in India) did when we got to India was to go to the Kumbh Mela festival. It's said to be the biggest religious festival in the world. Last year, 2010, Purna Kumbh Mela was celebrated from 14th january to 28 of April in Haredwar, about 75 million people attended. On April 14, 2010, approximately 10 million people bathed in the Ganges river. I was one of them :)

Having a swim, cleaning their karma,
in the Ganges

According to the story, during a fight between gods and demons trying to get the elixir of immortality, four drops fell in four different places of India, one of them in Haredwar.


In the feet of the Himalayas, everybody wants to see the sadus Nagha Baba, warriors and defenders of knowledge, but also ex fathers, husbands, architects and doctors who left everything to reach knowledge and illumination. As a kind of penitence they can decide not to speak or to stand on their feet for years (even sleeping, I saw many babas with deformed legs because of that). They live isolated in caves and forests, and only come out in festivities like this.

After squeezing in in a "Sleeper bus" with another 100 indians (nos exagerating, in every 1-person seat there were minimum 3 people sharing, as well as the whole floor full of ppl) for about 16h from Delhi we arrived in Haredwar. Thanks to Couchsurfing we even had a place to stay (would not have been easy or cheap to find a hotel in those days!), we met up wih Deepak, a local guy, and then we left our stuff at his families' house, and then we went to the Kumbh Mela.

Deepak already hosted 3 other "westerners" and one japanese girl, and we all went together to the Kumbh Mela. There were not many "westerners" there, so we dragged a lot of attention! But it also gave us some privileges, since it gives "status" to the sadhus to have westerners in their camping. We were aloud to go in in the Sadhus camping, were we sat down with them, smoked chillum and tried to understand each other using the international sign language :P

video
Our "boss" sadhu moking charras (indian hashish) from a Chillum

The sadhus were completely naked, covered in ashes and with long dreads. And they were constantly stoned and smiling :)

Smile :)

One of the strangest things I saw, over and over again, was a sadhu rolling his penis around a stick and then letting another baba stand on the stick...
I don't have a penis myself, but I'd think that HURTS!!
Good friends this guys...Auch!


This sadhu has had his arm up in the air for more than 30 years. Check out his nails!

You could get a blessing from the sadhus (after leaving some rupees, of course..)

The "western crew" with a clean Karma after a bath in the Ganges :)

We were really lucky, Deepak managed to fix so that we all could sleep in the camping with the babas! So after a long day enjoying the Kumbh Mela we were aloud to "sleep" in the little camping of one of the main sadhus. We were not allowed to lay down though, nor to put our feet towards the sadhus, that's really disrespectful. After a while "the boss" felt pity for us let us lay down on the ground with a stone as a pillow :) that was def an experience!!

I don't think I'll be sleeping on the ground surrounded by hundreds of completely naked sadhus many more times in my life!

video
Before going to bed we were invited to sit down, sing and smoke with the sadhus

Next morning. The camping where we slept. Me and my cousin are sitting to the left,
that was our bed for a few hours :)


This is the cutest baba ever, he was soooo sweet and funny and smiley :)

BFFs :)

The boss sadhu had read hair...hmmm...that makes me think he wasn't indian...
(I had just woke up, like 6am..)

I felt like i'd traveled hundred of years back in time! Like to 1001 nights or something!

There are even Bob Marley styled Babas :)
(Check out what he has in his hands...)

"Bob Marley Baba" helps "Cute Baba" fix his hair to be a Bob Marley Baba
and sweet baba is really proud and ask "picture picture!" and pose :)

This guys were having tantric sex or something through eye contact...

Still some time over to get pretty and the local hairdresser ;)


Sadhus walking for the holy bath

Holy bath

Of course such an adventure had to end with another adventure. The day after we were trying to get to Delhi. But we were not the only one.

After walking and walking and asking for buses to the capital a bus passed buy, without stopping, the driver screaming "Delhi Delhi Delhi Delhi Delhi!".

We had to jump up on the back of the bus, while it was moving, and climb up on the roof. So we were actually travelling on the roof of the bus for about 4h, watching the stars.

Until the bus broke down and we had to fit in an already full indian bus (I'm telling u that's crowded...) with ppl on the roof into another full indian bus, but without letting anybody travel on the top of the bus.

I'm telling u it was not a comfortable journey, but def memorable!

When we got to Delhi we could barely move our arms and legs, but the experience was SOOOO worth it :)


"Hindustan me, sab kuch milega"

In India everything is possible

And it's true...


Photos: my own.
Links:

3/14/11

Louis Vuitton vs Nadia Plesner

Nadia Plesner quiere ayudar a los niños hambrientos de Darfur con su arte, pero en su intento ha terminado debiéndole 200.000€ a Louis Vuitton, que la han llevado a juicio por dibujar un bolso.


Darfurnica

La historia de ”Nadia Plesner vs Louis Vuitton”la estudiante de arte versus el gigante de la moda – empezó en el otoño del 2007, cuando la danesa se cansó de que los verdaderos problemas del mundo ocupaban demasiado poco espacio en los medios.

Pensó que si Paris Hilton podía llamar la atención por llevar bolsos de diseño y perritos lo mismo debería funcionar con los niños de Darfur. Asi que diseñó una camiseta con un niño muy delago con justamente un bolso de diseño y un chihuahua. La camiseta se puso de moda, y con los ingresos Nadia compró medicinas y equipo médico que se enviaba a Darfur.


El problema surgió cuando Louis Vuitton se enteró de la existencia de las camisetas las camisetas, y decidió denunciar a Nadia Plesner porque el bolso que llevaba el niño se parecía a los productos de la compañía.


De 5.000€ al día que pedía la compañía, pasó a pedir 15.000€ después de que Nadia Plesner publicara en su página Web el nombre de la empresa (con un coste, según LV, de 5000€ al día) y la carta de la denuncia (coste de 5.000€ según LV).

Pero la estudiante de arte, que tanto en ese momento como ahora, vive de préstamos de estudio, no se rendía. Como las camisetas se vendían por todo el mundo, desde Singapore a Pennsylvania, aguantó cerca de dos meses. En ese tiempo la deuda había aumentado a una cantidad bastante elevada. Además le debía mucho dinero a sus abogados, asi que decidió cancelar las ventas. Louis Vuitton cerró el caso y anuló la deuda, pero aun así Nadie le debía más de 10.000€ a sus abogados.

Uno de sus abogados la informó de que, al tratarse de una camiseta que en los ojos de LV tenían un fin comercial, tenía derecho a demandarla por derechos de autor. En cambio, si pusiera al niño en un cuadro LV no podría decir nada, porque entonces se calificaría como arte.

Inspirada en la Guernica de Picasso, Nadia Plesner hizo una versión más moderna de la obra: Darfurnica. Tardó 14 meses en pintar el cuadro de óleo de 32 metros cuadrados, y en ella podemos encontrar a Barack Obama, Britney Spears y la estrella del Gran Hermano británico Jade Goody, que falleció de cáncer. Además de varios productos de marca y de moda.

El niño con el chihuahua y el bolso de diseño se encuentra en el centro del cuadro. Esto provocó de nuevo la furia de Louis Vuitton.

En enero Darfunica se expuso en el Odd fellow Palace en Copenhague. El ministro de cultura danés Per Stig Møller lo inauguró y a los visitantes se les recordó lo que está pasando en Darfur.

Pero mientras Nadia Plesner - que estudia en Amsterdam - estaba ocupada con sus cosas, Louis Vouitton consiguió llevarla a juicio y la declararon culpable por infracción de los derechos de autor.

Un día llegó a casa y tenía una carta de LV donde decía que la resolución de la sentencia era que ella tenía que pagar 5.000€ por cada día que el cuadro se mostrara al público, ya sea en un museo o en su página Web.

Nadia no sabe cómo llegó a esto, nunca le dijeron nada, no tuvo ni si quiera la oportunidad de defenderse.

El abogado de Nadia Plesner, Jens van der Brink, afirma que las lobbys de la industria de derechos de autor holandesas han estado ejerciendo mucha presión, consiguiendo hace un tiempo la creación de una ley que hiciera posible esta acción. La compañía tiene derecho a un juicio rápido ante los tribunales, con consecuencias inmediatas, pero implica solo escuchar un lado de la historia.

– När jag kom hem låg ett brev från företaget på dörrmattan. Där stod att rätten dömt mig att betala 5.000

En el caso de Nadie, según el abogado, este sentencia supone una violación tanto en la libertad de expresión con la libertad artística.

Louis Vuitton alega que relaciona los crímenes de Darfur con la marca. Según el abogado de Nadia esto es una gran equivocación, pues ella nunca les ha atacado. Simplemente ha utilizado el bolso como símbolo del rico occidente.

Según Jens van der Brink si fuera por empresas como Louis Vuitton el popart nunca existiría:

- Andy Warhol utilizaba este tipo de símbolos para comentar la actualidad y el comercialismo, recuerda.

Como el DOMEN el 28 de enero, Nadia Plesner tiene que pagar 5.000€ por 41 días [a día 09/03/2011], que supone 205.000€. Y esta cantidad aumenta por cada día que pasa.

Además Louis Vuitton ha retomado el caso anterior. Nadia Plesner ni sabe la cantidad que quieren que pague.

A pesar de todo, Nadia haría lo mismo otra ves si tuviera la oportunidad:

- No me arrepiento de nada. Ni de mi primer dibujo ni de que he luchado contra Louis Vuitton. El resultado ha sido que he podido ayudar a personas en Darfur.

En estos momentos se ha hecho un segundo envío de medicamentos a la región, donados por hospitales daneses. Además Darfur se ha nombrado mucho más de lo normal en los medios de comunicación, lo cual a Nadia le parece fantástico.


DN.se informa de que ha contactado con Louis Vuitton, que via Rossana Mariano dice no querer comentar el caso.

Traducción realizada por Anna Kuylenstierna del artículo de Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) disponible en DN.se

Como opinión personal me parece importante destacar la poca repercusión que ha tenido esta noticia, pues he intentado buscarla en otros idiomas sin demasiado éxito. Difundamos la voz. Una estudiante de arte, que podría ser tú o yo, intenta hacer algo por mejorar el mundo, trata de aportar su granito de arena, y termina siendo demandada por el gigante de la moda, Louis Vuitton, que gana millones y millones cada año, debiéndole 200.000€, pero, ¿en qué mundo vivimos?

LV ha tenido suerte de que esto no ha llegado a muchos medios, por eso no habrá repecutido mucho en su imagen de marca, pero hagamos que eso cambie.


Enlaces

Página Web de Nadia Plesner

Artículo: "Målade en väska - ska böta 1.820.000" en DN.se

Article in English "Painted a bag - to be fined 1.820.000"

3/8/11

PARIS!!!! Here i come!!!!


Sooooooooo...... I'm going to Paris for the first semester next year!!!! :D I'm soooo excited!!!! I'll go there as soon as I finish my final exams at my last year at uni, in mid june, do a French course and try to get a job...Then in Augusti I'll start at the university Ecole Superieire Libre des Sciencies Commerciales Appliques (I'll need a course just to be able to say that!!) or Paris ESLSCA. I have NO idea about this university...anybody knows??

I'll be living in Paris for half a year!!! yippiiii!!!!! :D And then off to Shanghai!! I have a pretty exciting year in front of me...:D

Now i need a job and an apt in Paris :)


Au revoir mon chéri!!!


Nervous

I applied for a scholarship to go to Clemson University in South Carolina or to University of North Florida in Jacksonville...I actually sent an email yesterday to cancel my request for this scholarship, because I got an Erasmus scholarship accepted on Friday to go to Paris, but they haven't answered me from the US scholarsip...so i'm "refresh refresh refresh"...

I want to go to Paris!!
How amazing wouldn't that be?? :D



3/7/11

Hello England

Haven't been writing in a while! I don't have internet in my apt so every time I want to go online I have to sit in the staircase...not very comfortable i have to say...!

Anyway...so what has happened since the last time I wrote? A lot...

I went to England for 2 weeks after my exams, for some well deserved holidays. I completely fell in love with Brighton! The atmosphere is really cool, you find people with all kind of styles, there is urban art everywhere and you can find all kind of stuff in the little shops in the southern and northern lanes.

My favorites were the second hand shops and the flea market in the northern lanes, I was walking around for hours and hours watching old jewelry, clothes and all kind of imaginable little things, from old black and white photos to ice-skates.


It was raining almost all the time too, so that defienetly helped for the whole "being inside second hand shops" thing... raining in England? Unexpected, i know...



Casette Lord leaving his sign all over Brighton (Who is he? interview here)

Hammer in hand helping Aaron throwing down walls :)

I also helped my friend (who I met in a bus on our way from Delhi to Manali in India, almost a year ago) with his new house that he's renovating! :) fun times!

I really enjoyed London too....my favorite area is definetly Camden! It reminds me of where I used to live in New York, East Village...

Camden Market

On the door to Costas Café in Camden....really? no monkeys are used in the making of their coffee??
Good to know...i guess?

As soon as i got to London i went to the bar where my cousin Denise works and started drinking pints of beer at 4pm with some crazy aussies...guess who was drunk as hell at 2am?? I think I had about 14 pints of beer....haha!

My lovely cousin Denise putting me another pint of beer :)

Haha smile!! :)

I really enjoyed walking around the small streets in Soho too. Was trying to avoid the too touristy areas, I'm really bad on doing the tourist stuff...
Cute little shop,
in Soho, they were about to shoot a viral when i passed by, and invited me to have a look in the shop :) They have the most amazing dresses!

One of the days I dragged myself to watch the London Eye, Leicesester Sq (Even the museum!!) the parks and, the Big Bang and the castle...but i got it done in couple hours :P Enjoyed Leicester Sq most!


Sushiiiii!!!

A real entrepreneur selling disposable cameras in Leicester Sq :)

Free hugs and some dancing :)


Pretty cool plastic shoes! Melissa Dreams


Canaria soy bailo salsa con reggueton!!! :)

I had couple fun nights out in Camden with two israel friends, they took me to The Hawley Arms, LOVED it!

I will have to go back again...but i have to say it wasn't love at the first sight with London...it was with Brithon, same as with NY...but London hasn't got my heart yet...the city will have to work a little bit more for my love :P