Artem Zhushman

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Timal shamans festival in Nepal

Published August 23rd, 2013

Nepali shamanism is a unique mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism and ancient Bon religion. It’s based on belief in balance and harmony between human beings, nature and divine. People turn to shamans to get healing, blessing and protection in both physical and spiritual aspects of life.

In Nepal shamans commonly called “Jhakri” or “Dhami”, but every ethnic group has its own special word as well. The main ethnic group in Timal area are Tamangs. Originally related to Tibetian culture, tamangs have their own rich traditions and spiritual practices.

Shamans are important persons in village communities for they are not only healers, but also storytellers, artists, dancers and musicians.

For thousand years shamans were the main chain in human beings relations with natural superpowers. They played roles from healers to mystical teachers. On one hand, nowadays they may be called vanishing culture. But on the other - many twenty-first-century people are interested in learning and e ...

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Poy Sang Long celebrations in Pai

Published August 19th, 2013

Poy Sang Long (thai. "Festival of jewel sons") is one of the main Buddhist festivals celebrated by Shan (Thai Yai) community in Myanmar and Northern Thailand. Literally, it's a novice ordination ceremony. Young boys aged between 7 and 14 are ordained as novices to learn the Buddhist doctrines. It's believed that they will gain merit ordaining for their parents.

Location: Pai, Maehongson province, Northern Thailand

Photo: Artem Zhushman

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Paropakar orphanage - the home of hope.

Published July 6th, 2013

Paropakar orphanage is the first non-government organisation in Nepal. It was established in Kathmandu in 1953.

"Paropakar" the word derived from Sanskrit language means "Doing good to others". Doing good to others is the basic spirit of oriental philosophy, culture and civilisation.

Children who have no parents, relatives and social background were spoiling their lives by moving as street beggars and turning gradually into anti-social element. Getting to orphanage is a huge step to better life. Here orphans have a proper education, shelter and medical care. From this point their future depends on their efforts in studying and social integration.

You can contact and support orphanage through - http://www.virtueschildrennepal.org/

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Vegetarian festival on Phuket (colorless story)

Published October 17th, 2012

"The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the vegetarian festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. During this time, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known as "Ma Song"."

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES OF SELF HARM

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Magic Tattoo festival. Thailand, 2011.

Published March 25th, 2011

Magic Tattoo festival (or Wai Khru - "Honor the teachers day") held every year in March at Wat Bang Phra.

This place is very famous for it's masters. Temple located about 50 km away to the west from Bangkok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Bang_Phra).

A thousands of people come here to make a new tattoo with magic power and monk's blessing (or renew a power of an old one's). It's believed that recipient gets the defensive features or forces of sak-yant tattoo images.

Thai believes that these tattoos will protect them even from real weapons. That's why the majority of the devotees are soldiers, policemen and criminals.

Festival start at night when people come to get a tattoos from masters. These tattoos are created by hand with a long sharp steel needles and special ink made by masters.

Then at morning the main ceremony starts. Crowd listening to monk's chanting and some of the people entering trance-like states, start shaking, yelling and growling as their magic animal spirit. And the ...

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