Commonwealth Games 2010 – What is it about the Commonwealth?

Posted by Angélique Vassout • Thursday, June 24. 2010 • Category: In Depth
Nowadays, in India’s capital New Delhi everybody seems to be talking about the Commonwealth Games. New metro lines, construction of roads and flyovers, stadiums being renovated and many other buildings appearing out of nowhere, the whole of Delhi is changing under the impulsion of the Games. And that's only the beginning, as the Games start only in October. The vision of the Commonwealth Games is becoming increasingly visible all over Delhi – but what exactly is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 54 member states on all the continents, bringing together about 30% of the world's population, which means around two billion people of diverse cultures and faiths.

Historical Map of the British Empire in 1897

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Gadhimai Mela - The Largest Sacrifice

Posted by Enrico Fabian • Friday, June 18. 2010 • Category: People and Places
In the last quarter of 2009, the famous actor and animal rights activist Brigit Bardot wrote a letter to the president of Nepal, urging him to intervene in the planning of an upcoming religious festival. Her request was received, but shunned by the president; the Gadhimai Mela, held every five years, would again go on as it had for centuries. It is considered the biggest single animal sacrifice on our planet. The festival’s name, Gadhimai, comes from a goddess whose temple is situated in a vast complex near a tiny village in Nepal not far from the Indian border.

© Enrico Fabian (www.enrico-fabian.com)

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Urs at Ajmer: Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti Rules

Posted by Daniel Ratheiser • Friday, June 11. 2010 • Category: People and Places
The Urs celebrations of the great Muslim Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti at Ajmer are famous all over the world - not only among Sufis or other Muslims. Sufism (also referred to as tasawwuf) is the inner, mystical dimension of Islam, which focuses on direct knowledge of God and the experience of mystical union or direct communication with ultimate reality. One can hardly overemphasise the importance of Sufi Islam as the key channel for Hindu-Muslim interaction in South Asia throughout the centuries, which resulted in an extremely fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas, thoughts, sciences, and arts – and there is no place in South Asia where this is more evident than in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and even more so during the Urs festivities.

© Knowledge Must

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Interview: Bond Talks about Graffiti in India

Posted by Daniel Ratheiser • Sunday, June 6. 2010 • Category: Arts and Beyond
If you have been to Ladakh lately, or to some of the rather hidden parts of Delhi, chances are you all of a sudden found yourself staring at a – at least for India – still very unusual sight: graffiti. And by graffiti we mean not just some tags or bombings, but instead most detailed, multi-coloured 3D fonts and graphics that inevitably make you think: what is this and how the hell did it get there in the first place???

It is as much the skilled design itself as it is the location and how the art is embedded into the surrounding environment, what makes these pieces so special to both the layman’s and the professional’s eye. ‘Bond’ - the man responsible for these artworks - has graciously agreed to answer some of our questions…

New Delhi, India / © by Bond

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