Yesterday and today were great days out in the field. This morning we met with three families. It amazes me seeing extended family all living together and helping out one another. Today, I walked into a shamble of a fort where at least twenty family members reside. The place was dirty, but cheerful. Though these people live off next to nothing (less than $200 a month for 6 people), they were hospitable and kind. Another thing that struck me about these villages I’ve seen is that they are colorful, a huge difference from the places I visited in Guinea and Liberia. A lot of the homes are painted red, yellow, green, etc.
Last night I attended the Konark Festival 2012 with Dr. Panigrahi; it was amazing! It was the last night of the fesitval that started with an Odissi Dance which was two twenty minute dances, one by women and one by men. The second act was Deepa Tharangini directed by Guru Smt. Manjula Ramaswamy, an acclaimed Nattuvagam artist in India. These young girls were standing on balls with a candle on their head and two in their hand. They would then lift up their legs and pose, and then they would turn. It was absolutely spectacular. And the climax of the show was Ustad Zakir Hussain, a classical tabla artist, who now lives in the United States. He was unbelievable and it was amazing watching him. Last night he received the 2nd Guru Gangadhar Pradhan Lifetime Achievement Award. Unfortunately, my camera did not to it justice as it did not take good photos, but I did capture some video. I am unable to post them to this site as they are too large of files. The concert took place at he Konark Natya Mandap located in the midst of casuarinas and cashew trees on a sand dune. It is a replica of the Natyashala of Sun Temple of Konark (which some say is the 8th wonder and is located 1 km away).