Vlog: The ID Spring Roll, An Event to Remember!        
By Michele Costanza…bringing you a humorous view on consumer topics in an all-too-serious world . When’s the last time you spent an evening eating 15 different authentic Cambodian dishes followed by a Molly Moon ice cream chaser, while watching upstanding local business people stuffing their faces with piles of crunchy spring rolls? I know, it
          Mission (just about) accomplished        
I was tired when I got home from Cambodia (via Istanbul), and the last thing I really wanted to hear was that my staff were having problems in Niger and I needed to join them as soon as possible in order to rescue the mission.

It turned out that none of the planning had been done as one team member had been confined to bed with a painful attack of gout.  The other team member had arrived in Niger late after her flight was delayed by ten hours, and also stressed from her experience on the flight.  Stopped at Bamako for some passengers to leave and others to join the flight, she suddenly realised her laptop was missing.  In her distress she managed to persuade the crew to let her briefly disembark to chase after the departing passengers, and finding them still in the terminal she announced that her laptop was missing and she wanted everyone to open their bags.  A man who'd been sitting near her (and trying unsuccessfully to chat her up for much of the flight) came forward and handed it over.  He'd thought it belonged to another woman who'd got off the flight, blah, blah, blah...

Perhaps her immune system was down after the stresses of her journey, as she then fell sick with malaria and spent the next five days in bed.

So they needed me to join them much earlier than intended so as to take on some of the work.  I ran around changing my flight, getting an additional few days' visa, etc (all made more difficult by the fact that all of my admin and logistics colleagues were away on a training course), and flew out to join them on the Saturday evening.  Due to full hotels we were all staying in different places, so they had agreed to bring a big pile of files to me on the Sunday as preparatory reading for my intended two days out in the field visiting projects, but the taxi drivers were all on strike so I had to sit there twiddling my thumbs until an office driver got to me on the Monday morning.  Laden down with the files we drove the 160km to the Dosso field office, and after the day's work I spent the evening, until midnight, on my reading.  There was little else to do in any case as the hotel restaurant was closed and with no street lighting and no torch I was restricted to a beer from the hotel bar for my dinner.

The next morning I was therefore quite hungry and could hardly believe it when told that the restaurant was still closed, with the chef not expected in for another couple of hours.  So I wandered out into the street, searching for somewhere selling food.  As Dosso is a kind of crossroads for travellers (mostly truckers) going from Niger to Benin or Nigeria, I quickly found somewhere.  No menu, just a chunk of baguette served with hot white beans, a dollop of mayonnaise and a glug of oil, but it was nicer than it sounds and a bargain at only 40¢.

Once in the office, I gave them the list of projects I wanted to visit so that they could make the necessary arrangements.  They came back looking concerned.  There had been a kidnapping of six NGO staff on the Sunday night, so apparently meetings had been held the previous day between security officers of the NGOS and the UN agencies, and the decision had been made to stop all field visits.  I was also told that there was to be no movement between the country office and the field offices, so I had to stay put.  With two policemen guarding my room that night!

I have to say that I felt it was all a huge overreaction; the kidnap had taken place 650km away, and as the kidnappers now had six hostages to deal with I thought it unlikely that they would be on the hunt for more.  Besides, this wasn't the first kidnapping of NGO staff in Niger over the past few years.  But I am not an expert on security matters, and obviously had to do what I was told in the circumstances.

Overreaction or not, it meant I couldn't carry out the work that was my reason for going to Dosso, so the next day they agreed to transport me back to Niamey.

Thankfully the other half of our planned project vists had been done a couple of days earlier so we were still able to draw some conclusions from our trip and produce a final report.

Time to go home, and although our homes are in different places the first leg of the journey, Niamey - Ouagadougou, was the same for all three so we travelled together to the airport early on the Wednesday morning.  This trip hadn't done with us yet though, as we found that the aeroplane had not arrived the previous evening, and with no other flights departing Niamey that day we could not be re-routed.  So we were sent back to the hotel to wait.  A chance to phone my Mum, to take a dip in the pool, it wasn't all bad, but at the same time I really had been away for long enough and was keen to get home.  Friday was a public holiday so I had a long weekend to look forward to.

Eventually, late afternoon, we got the call to go back to the airport; the plane had finally arrived.  At check-in I was asked whether I wanted to collect my luggage in Ouagadougou or check it through to Dakar.  I pointed out that as I had missed the midday connection with the Dakar flight it was a bit difficult to answer without more information on the rearranged connection.  At this they looked a little confused - it turned out they hadn't thought about that so I hadn't been booked on to any new connecting flight.

After more than an hour waiting for information, I was told that unfortunately the next flight from Ouaga to Dakar was not until Friday lunchtime and so I would have to spend two nights in transit in Ouagadougou.  I was not pleased but of course there was nothing I could do.  In fact I was nearly removed from the Friday flight as I refused point blank to pay $50 for a transit visa, arguing that it was the airline's fault and so they would have to pay.  Fine in theory but all the airline's staff were off enjoying the public holiday...  But I made the flight and finally collapsed into bed at home on Friday night.

Getting things done in Africa is rarely easy but this trip had managed to really pack in the challenges.
          Monkeying around        

Despite not getting to Angkor Wat, Cambodia ended up offering me a few good experiences.  On the last Friday evening I went out for a bit of culture.  Not the classical dance, unfortunately, which is hard to find in the capital, but a performance by an arts group of what they called 'Hanuman and the big drum'.  There were actually two very big drums, two quite big drums, and a number of smaller drums and gongs.  Not to mention a few other traditional instruments (not sure what they are called, but the Cambodian equivalents of the West African balafon and njarka).  The drumming was excellent, and was accompanied at one point by some very good male dancers.

The best part for me though was the reference to Hanuman (the monkey god).  We were making our way back to our seats after the interval when some 'monkeys' came through the audience area to investigate the empty stage.  These were the male dancers but this time wearing sky blue ceramic monkey masks, and displaying all the mannerisms of monkeys in the way they moved, scratched, etc.  There was just something about their behaviour, and in those masks, that made all of us in the audience smile, then giggle, and then laugh out loud, and I really did go back to the hotel with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

Then on my last Saturday morning, just before heading home, I tried out a completely different activity, with a visit to the Phnom Penh shooting range.  You can try your hand at everything from AK47s to a Rocket Propelled Grenade (although the latter costs $350).  I went for the revolver and the Ruger sniper rifle.  The revolver was difficult - the recoil was strong and tilted the gun upwards even before the bullet had left, so all my shots flew well over my target's head.

But I was much better with the rifle.  As you can see I didn't manage to hit the actual target (it looks as though I was aiming for his gun instead!), but nine of my ten shots would have killed my target man, and the tenth probably broken his shoulder, which isn't bad for a first attempt.
          (Not a) holiday in Cambodia        
It was a nice surprise to get sent on an assignment to Cambodia, even if it was in the middle of their monsoon.  We have two main field offices in the country, one in Kampong Cham and the other in Siem Reap - and at the latter some of the projects we are funding are in communities that live right within the area of the Angkor Wat ruins.  I saw the ruins on a holiday in 1998 when I spent a whole week based in Siem Reap, but I was very hopeful of a trip back there.

But it wasn't to be.  My colleague got to go to Siem Reap whilst I was assigned to Kampong Cham.  I did my research to see if there would be anything to visit at the weekend, but luck didn't seem to be on my side; the pagoda with the resident python is inaccessible during the monsoon, and the 100-year-old wooden temple was closed following the collapse of a beam in May.  So on the Saturday morning I just went for a walk, to take a better look at an area we'd driven through on the way to visit projects in the week.  I estimated that it was at least 5km away, so took a motorbike taxi there (swerving to avoid a snake in the road on the way!) and walked back.

Cambodia must be the wettest country I have ever been to.  Full of rivers, lakes, flooded rice fields, puddles - and of course the rain, which fell in torrents throughout my stay.  But fortunately we had a few dry hours during my morning outing, so I was able to get a picture of the wonderful local fishing nets without ruining yet another camera.

Then another, quite unexpected, opportunity to experience something new came on the drive back to Phnom Penh, when we passed some stalls selling local food.  Deep-fried spiders!!

I bought one to try, then was asked if I wanted to see a live one.  Well how could I resist!  Here it is on my arm:


More impressive than it probably looks as I'm actually terrified of spiders.
          Cambodian court opens landmark Khmer Rouge trial        
PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Four top Khmer Rouge leaders went on trial at Cambodia’s UN-backed war crimes court on Monday for genocide and other atrocities during the hardline communist regime’s reign of terror in the 1970s. The case, described as the most complex since the Nazi trials after Worl...
          New York Times Op-Doc Shows Buddhist Monks Helping Cambodia’s Imperiled Chong People        
If you’re going to watch one thing today, watch this. At the New York Times‘ website, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam describes her short film “A Threat to Cambodia’s Sacred Forests,” the latest op-doc for the paper, this way: In southwest Cambodia, at the foot of the Cardamom Mountains, is a single dirt road that meanders through the heart […]
          12 belos locais do Patrimônio Mundial da Humanidade        
Há muitos sítios históricos e lugares no mundo que nos dão uma visão e evidências das civilizações passadas. Estes locais nos ajuda a saber mais sobre a vida e cultura dos nossos antepassados​​.


Acrópole de Atenas
Angkor Wat - Camboja
Bagan - Mianmar  
Cappadocia 
Hampi - Ãndia 
Machu Picchu - Peru
Monte Saint-Michel  
Petra - Jordânia  
Pirâmides de Gizé - Egito 
Rapa Nui - Chile  
Cidade Antiga de Sigiriya - Sri Lanka
Tulum - México  


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          Thanking Good People (Pass it on)        

"Sometimes life's events just come together at the right time, and things falls into place. The last few hours have been exhilarating, and a perfect ramp up for me to celebrate today's internet holiday: Good People Day 2008."

Thus blogs Kristen Forbriger inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk's declaration that today, April 3rd, be a day to thank good people.

And thanks to a randomly read tweet, I've been virally infected with this meme and picking up the phone (3 am just as it was for Kristen), I find myself speaking to Cambodia. Why Cambodia? Why now? Who thanking? I'm making good on a promise I began to keep a week ago, when I sent a small package to a tiny village 5 kilometers outside of Siem Riep. There, last December, together with my friend and my son, we found ourselves cared for and nurtured by Mr. S., a survivor of the Pol Pot Child Labor camps and our guide through the history, past and present, of his country, Cambodia. He, like his fellow countryman(woman) Chanrithy Him, lost his parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles in the killing fields.

Mr. S. is a spiritual person. He shared with us his beliefs, his dreams for a quiet and peaceful and pastoral life. It seemed to us, that he supported and guided a handful of "relatives" whose only relation was experiential. The family who shared their wood hut with us had suffered the same fate as Mr. S. and I can truly say that never have I met a more generous or good family. Chanrithy's words resound here:

"As a survivor, I want to be worthy of the suffering that I endured as a child. I don't want to let that pain count for nothing, nor do I want others to endure it ... . Throughout a childhood dominated by war, I learned to survive. In a country faced with drastic changes, the core of my soul was determined to never let the horrific situations take away the better part of me. I mentally resisted forces I could only recognize as evil by being a human recorder, quietly observing my surroundings, making mental notes of the things around me. There would come a day to share them."

So I called Cambodia to say a simple "thank you". I did not detail the reason. The gratefulness and privilege I felt that other human beings had opened heart and family to us was what I was acknowledging. Mr. S. has not yet received the package, but the joy he imparted across those many miles was for the call. "I am so happy you called and hope to speak to you often". Thank you Mr. S., from my family who learned from you and your family the recognition of the purest goodness. The acts of generosity and kindness to total strangers, the gifts of sharing the enormity of your past and the remarkable resilient hopefulness of your future. You've passed it on.


          Beyond holiday - putting a little "community care" in the luggage        
Just as I was putting finishing touches on my personal end-of-2007 vacation itinerary and finalizing SAP TechEd '07 Bangalore plans, I met with James Farrar, who is VP of Corporate Citizenship at SAP and author of the sustainability and CSR blog: Wisdom of Clouds. This coincided with a growing interest of the SAP community members in such matters and plans for the launch of a new area under the Business Process Expert Community called Corporate Social Responsibility.

I was very excited about the inauguration of the website: SAPfeedingknowledge and our SAP Community initiative to help provide "Food for Points".
But here I was ending the 2007 year with personal plans for a full month's break/vacation itinerary and the longest hiatus ever from my engagements with the SAP SDN and BPX community....or was it to be so? Was I to be a voyeur or an emissary in my travels, or a bit of both.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2007, my 16-year old son, Dahn and I set out for Bangalore with further plans for Cochin, Madurai, Vietnam and Cambodia. Upon arriving in Bangalore, we had arranged to link up with my dear friend of (gasp) 35 years, Naomi Tocher. Naomi is a Kiwi who, ever since we met volunteering together on a kibbutz in Israel those many years ago, has dedicated her life to working in social services and of late heads support services for interpreters and translators in New Zealand. Naomi, Dahn and I had been formulating our travel plans together. Naomi had almost apologetically suggested we detour a bit from the usual tourist stuff and get to interface with locals. She had many personal contacts from within the Cambodian and Vietnamese refugee resources she worked with, and so was able to broker some "home stays". She also raised the possibility of our visiting a Children's home outside of Madurai and perhaps a rehabilitation hospital in Cambodia and made the tentative arrangements.

We agreed, never guessing how the worlds of exotic adventure travel and a more humanitarian and human set of experiences would coincide.

What follows are some journal notes from one of the most intriguing, disturbing, inspiring and moving trips I have ever had the privilege of taking. And truly, thanks to all those that contributed to this enriching journey: family, friends, work colleagues and the SAP Community, which in this hyper-connected world of ours is also a combination of all those entities.Especial thanks to the generous, brave, kind and helpful people of all those places we visited. I hope to tell some of your stories.


December 1st, 2007

We call the Illam "Children's Home" (orphanage) in Nilakottai near Madurai and ask if we can visit and what we can bring. School supplies? Books? They modestly say fruit. So armed with the only shopping bag at our disposal we head off for the market to buy 70 kilos, one for each child we visit.

We are greeted by Mr Khader, the head master of the school. We are welcomed and introduced in the most delightful way. You can see more photos of our day with the students here.
Everything resonated goodness. The foundation DHAN associated with the school has a microfinance program at work helping empower women in the community. The school absolutely indoctrinates the children with the goals of professional achievement. And these children, many of whose families, if they have any, are so destitute that they cannot afford to have them schooled, are also imbued with a pay-it-forward education. Each child successfully completing this program has vowed to help another child achieve those goals as well.
And if I understand it correctly, this whole project started through an individual's vision and dream. Her name is Jean Watson, and she is a 74-year-old Wellingtonian (New Zealander) who spends some of her time with her community in India. I've just finished speaking with her by phone in Wellington and thanking her for the gift she unwittingly gave us as well. As I write this, my friend Naomi shares her correspondance with Jean.
Naomi writes to Jean:
"We received a beautiful welcome from the children, Gero, some teachers and Mr.Kadher. After a traditional welcome, the children danced for us, showed us around their home and talked with us. We sang them a song and began to teach it to them. We had a scrumptious lunch - the cook is a real find. We also visited the lush garden at the back of the Ilam and learnt of your future plans for it.
I promised to bring back love to you from everyone at the Illam and let you know about the visit. They talk about you all the time and are looking forward to you being back with them.Jean, you are a real inspiration. I am so impressed by your foresight and your commitment to follow through on your vision. And what a satisfying result it must be to have a houseful of such lively, happy and talented children. I am particularly impressed by the encouragement given to each child to be successful in their life, and even more by the "obligation" that they will help another child."


Genromani volunteers as a teacher and Mr. Khader encourages the students who engage with us, to share with us some of their dreams and aspirations: computer engineers, teachers, health-care givers abound in the breathless and excited gaggle of grins and curiosity about us. These kids have lofty goals. And they make us believe they will attain them. We came to bring gifts. The truth is we received them. Amazing what ordinary people can do....feeding knowledge.
          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          CAMBODIA, JUNE 12-16        
June 12-13, 2017 The team spends a restful two days at Veranda Eco Resort, a densely vegetated hotel that feels like living in the Swiss Family Robinson house. Five team members rent motorbikes for $6/day and explore the area while the rest of us relax at the hotel. We have a great evening of fellowship […]
          CAMBODIA, JUNE 10-11        
JUNE 10 It’s an early start for our trip to Kep, Cambodia with the kids and staff of all six Prek Eng homes of Asia’s Hope. There are 157 of them, and 10 of us on three buses. They had planned to leave their campus at 6 am to meet us at 7 am in […]
          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          MUST DOWNLOAD APP: PENSHOPPE        
I must admit that I used to be not into mobile apps for the sole reason of me foregoing "experiencing" the world and just rely everything that I need on technology. Online shopping? It was not for me. I wanna physically experience the thrill of the hunt. The interaction with the people. The victory of finding a good deal.

But that was then when I was younger (and with no credit card to my name -hehe). As I grew older, I started to slowly venture into the wonderful world of mobile apps. I actually downloaded around 30 in the past 3 months. Several of those were online shopping apps. I'm hooked! I guess, aside from age, it also goes with the amount of responsibilities that I have taken on putting physical shopping on the bottom of my priority list.

But I realized, I also need my exercise. Just armed with the convenience of mobile apps.

One mobile app that I recently discovered is Penshoppe. "Finally!" I thought when I found out about it.  It's not an online shopping app by the way. It's a balance between physical shopping and being updated on the latest about the brand with lots of perks and rewards!

So what's with the app?

Here's an overview:


After completing the first two steps, you can now start earning points and redeem rewards!

What I like most about the app is that aside from the usual features you see on other retail mobile apps like the Catalogue, Store Locator, etc.,

Penshoppe's also come with a beefed up MyPenshoppe Loyalty program where you can earn 1 point for every Php10 spent (Php1,000 = 10 points) and more! How do like a discount e-voucher on your Birthday? How about an invitation to Penshoppe's exclusive events? All that is in the app!

Plus, it's also nice to see your celebrity crushes and idols wearing the latest from Penshoppe on the home page enticing you to visit the store and shop now!

And as a launching treat, the Penshoppe App will give 10% off e-voucher welcome gift to new subscribers for a limited time only.


About Penshoppe
Founded in 1986, Penshoppe is the flagship brand of Golden ABC, Inc. Known for its fresh take on casual wear, Penshoppe has since evolved into an international fashion and lifestyle brand located not only in the Philippines but also in other countries in Asia and the middle East, including Indonesia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, U.A.E, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and in Taiwan through online retail partner Zalora. To know more about Penshoppe, please visit www.penshoppe.com or follow them on Facebook at Penshoppe, on Instagram with handle @penshoppe, on Twitter as @PENSHOPPE, and on Snapchat at @teampenshoppe.

          Kew Gardens ’17: Voices from Kaw Thoo Lei (short)        
Burma’s Mainland China-aligned military junta loved to rename things, starting with the nation itself. Similarly, the region known as Kaw Thoo Lei by its ethnic Karen population became the Karen state. In this case, you might credit the government with some degree of honesty, since Kaw Thoo Lei means “peaceful land.” Tragically, state-sponsored terrorism and ethnic cleansing have made the region anything but peaceful. Survivors of the genocidal crimes tell their stories in Martha Gorzycki’s experimental short documentary, Voices from Kaw Thoo Lei (trailer here), which screens during the first ever Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.

Gorzycki insists we focus on their testimony, so she strips away distractions that come from talking head interviews. We will only hear audio of the speakers, superimposed over eerie animated images generated from over ten thousand black-and-white photos. They are mostly impressionistic rather than representational, but they express a deeper truth about the state of human rights in Burma.

As you would expect, the stories are chilling and heartbreaking. At regular intervals, the Burmese military would descend on Kaw Thaw Lei like locusts, burning all the huts and food stores in sight. Women were raped and orphaned children were left to fend for themselves in the rain forest.

You cannot accuse Gorzycki of using cheap tactics to gin up sympathy. There are no manipulative images of bloody corpses or crying children. Yet, we understand in no uncertain terms such suffering frequently resulted from the government-sponsored rampages.

Voices is one of several recent avant-garde-ish short documentaries that use unconventional means to chronicle crimes against humanity. Some enterprising festival ought to program it together with Alexandre Liebert’s Scars of Cambodia and Alisi Telengut’s Nutag – Homeland. They are all challenging films, not because they are hard to watch, but rather because they are hard to face. Very highly recommended, Vocies from Kaw Thoo Lei screens this afternoon (8/10) at the Queens Museum, as part of the inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
          BANG BANG: Brian Darr        
[BANG BANG is our week-long look back at 20!!, or "Twenty-bang-bang," or 2011, with contributions from all over aiming to cover all sorts of enthusiasms from film to music to words and beyond.]


5 x 5 by Brian Darr

2011 was a year filled with terrible and wonderful things for me. When it comes to film-watching, there was plenty that fell into the "wonderful" category. My relationship with the cinema, and especially the "new" cinema, is constantly changing, and finding a way to put together a coherent top ten list encapsulation was more of a struggle for me than ever this year. So in true obsessive fashion, I've made a "modular" top ten, exploiting various quirks of eligibility that diehard list-watchers and -makers may recognize, but that everyone else can just read as an excuse for a nice round top 25.


Five magnificent films that had a week-long "commercial" release in San Francisco in 2011. Definitely on my top ten list, no matter how you slice it.
  • Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011) From the beautifully slo-mo opening sequence of Manhattanites in ritualized motion, reminiscent of James Benning's early collaborations with Bette Gordon, I suspected I was seeing something special. Drying my eyes during the closing credits, I knew for sure that I had. "You will weep and know why." If you've heard of this sprawling, 150-minute character drama about a teenager (Anna Paquin) struggling with every emotion under the sun in the wake of a traffic accident, you've probably also heard how it was given short shrift by a studio contractually obliged to release it but seemingly determined to take a loss on it. Though frustrations of the legal system is a sub-theme of the movie, (as are poetry, post-9/11 stress, burgeoning sexuality, opera, and a million other concerns) it's a shame that the story of Margaret's belated and shoddy distribution has overshadowed all other discussions about the film. To be expected when prints disappear from theatres after a week or two, and perhaps reversible now that the film is re-opening at a Greenwich Village theatre today; I hope a Frisco Bay venue tries the same gambit soon.
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Part Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010) Into the cave.
  • The Tree of Life (Terence Malick, 2011) Into the light. Multiple viewings and much ruminating have made its evident flaws insignificant in the face of its visionary design.
  • A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 2011) Keira Knightley's polarizing performance in this impeccably composed, perfectly Cronenbergian film, led my way to a new understanding of my long-least favorite genre: the biopic. Historical figures perform specific functions for modern humans; why not allow actors to embody these functions by acting them out on screen?
  • Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010) It's a bit strange that the San Francisco Film Critics Circle picked a largely English-language film for their 2011 Foreign Language Film award. I'll approve and attribute it to the masterful illusionism practiced by its Iranian director, its French star (Juliette Binoche), and the Tuscan countryside setting. All three create a mesmerizing surface beneath which there is even more to see, and contemplate. English-language films just don't do that, do they? Except for the exceptions.


Five superb films I saw in 2011 that screened in San Francisco for the first time this year. All had so-called "commercial" releases except the first one listed; it played for a week in New York but had only a handful of screenings at the San Francisco International Film Festival here.
  • The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaucescu (Andrei Ujica, 2010) "Look in my eyes; what do you see?...I'm the smiling face on your TV..." The past months have seen the final days of two of the world's most reviled dictators. We can hope, but not really expect, that they won't be replaced by others equally heinous somewhere in the world. But how often does tyranny conform to the images we expect from it? Such a question is at the center of this three-hour compilation of naked newsreel footage taken from the archives of the 1965-1989 Romanian leader's personal photographers. Kim Jong-il's father Kim Il-sung makes an astonishing cameo appearance.
  • The Time That Remains (Elia Suleiman, 2009) Palestinian director Suleiman applies the darkly absurdist, somewhat Tati-esque style he perfected in his previous film Divine Intervention to even more overtly autobiographical material. If its predecessor is any indication, it should only grow in my estimation with repeated viewings in the coming years.
  • The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010) A strange and remarkable work. The documentary tradition in theatre is long but little-known, so bringing some of its techniques for merging non-fiction material with acted performance into a cinematic sphere feels like a real breath of fresh air. It's particularly inspired in the service of its subject: the life and legacy of Yorkshire playwright Andrea Dunbar.
  • The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar, 2011) I run hot and cold on Pedro's filmography, and had even skipped Broken Embraces after being disappointed by his previous two features. I'm back on board. Here, he forays into horror and science fiction without upsetting his delicate balance of telenovelistic melodrama and cinematic spectacle. To hint at why this film is something only Almodovar might have devised is to give too much of its plot away. I'll just say that maybe Bad Education could've been improved with a hint of Karl Freund's 1935 Mad Love in it.
  • Inni (Vincent Morisset, 2011) Is this monochromatic, visually experimental shadow box a new way forward for the concert film? If you prefer imagining the Icelandic band's sustains ricocheting against the back of a darkened concert hall rather than off beautiful mountains and lakes (as in 2007's Heima), then this is the Sigur Rós movie for you.


Five beautiful films which I didn't see in 2011, but which were first publicly screened in San Francisco this year and were a big part of my conversations about cinema. Having seen them in 2010, I wish I'd made time to see them again when they played in local cinemas in 2011.
  • A Useful Life (Federico Veiroj, 2010) I never had to see a Uruguayan film before this one to fall in love with this neorealist-goes-expressionist oratorio for that tiny country's cinema culture and one average man's place in it. And out of it.
  • The Mysteries of Lisbon (Raul Ruiz, 2010) A fitting swan song for one of the most mysterious filmmakers I know. The impossible-to-peg Chilean died in August but not before gracing us with a beautiful, sprawling adaptation of a novel by 19th-century Romantic Camilo Castelo Branco. (No, I hadn't heard of hm before either.) Dig those digital split diopter shots!
  • Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010) The British misanthrope-or-is-he's most Ozu-esque film to date.
  • Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2010) One of the American filmmakers best at portraying the so-called "outsiders" (or should I say the 99%?) of our modern society points her camera into history, showing us the stratifications found among a small community of pioneers heading West circa 1845.
  • Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2010) Just as exciting as The Fugitive except far more ambiguous and ambivalent about its moral position. Pure cinema.


Five terrific films that I saw at San Francisco festivals or other alternative venues in 2011, that have yet to secure "commercial" distribution in this country, as far as I am aware. In alphabetical, not preferential, order.
  • 28.IV.81 (Descending Figures) (Christopher Harris, 2011) A brightly-colored dual-projector comedy set amidst a Florida amusement park passion play where baseball caps mingle with Centurion helmets.
  • Chantrapas (Otar Iosseliani, 2010) Films about filmmaking are cinephile catnip, right? Well, this certainly trumps The Artist as an authentically moving tribute to a vanished mode of production left behind for a new life and search for meaning.
  • Disorder (Weikai Huang, 2009) Around Guangzhao in an hour. Dizzying in design, execution, imagery, editing style, and political audaciousness. Truly the closest thing to Dziga Vertov's vision for his kinoks the 21st Century has seen thus far in a single work.
  • HaHaHa (Hong Sangsoo, 2010) One of the funniest and most thought-provoking films from one of my favorite working directors. Need I say more?
  • Lethe (Lewis Klahr, 2009) Klahr's collage films can provide a closer look at vintage comic book art than even the most finicky collector is likely to take unless scrutinizing that line between "very fine" and "near mint". We see the visual DNA of colors and shading magnified, and at the same time we read between the panels, guided by the filmmaker's temporal and spatial dislocations. The standout of a strong set of new-ish work Klahr brought for local premieres this year, Lethe is a remix of a 1960s Doctor Solar story that becomes a noirish drama set to Gustav Mahler.


Five amazing films I saw in 2011 that have yet to screen publicly anywhere in San Francisco. In alphabetical, not preferential, order.
  • Almayer's Folly (Chantal Akerman, 2011) Entrancingly old-fashioned adaptation of Joseph Conrad's first novel, transposed to stuck-in-time Cambodia.
  • the Day He Arrives (Hong Sangsoo, 2011) Is Hong's return to black-and-white cinematography, eleven years and as many films after Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, a sign that we should question the veracity of every scene, but this time around without a bifurcated structure to help guide us?
  • Ghost Dance (Mark Wilson, 2009) Named for the call to apocalyptic change performed by the Modoc (as beautifully described in Rebecca Solnit's book River of Shadows), this brief, but spectacularly ever-expanding animation recalls Eadweard Muybridge's own technological call for for a paradigm shift.
  • Longhorn Tremelo (Scott Stark, 2010) Begins and ends as a study of black shadows against mobile fields, but goes through a dazzling array of burnt-orange-and-white permutations in between. A version is viewable on vimeo, but I'd love to be able to see the full two-projector version somehow.
  • The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr, 2011) A Nietzche-inspired tour-de-force from one of the most forceful visions around.

THE DAY HE ARRIVES


____________________________

Brian Darr lives in San Francisco, where he watches movies, though he's been known to travel for cinema as well. He blogs here and twitters here.

          MobiTel, Smart Fight It Out Over Prices        
With competition rife in Cambodia’s telecommunication market, two of the country’s largest mobile phone operators have engaged in a battle over prices and are at odds over the tactics being used to gain market share. On Friday, the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) ordered all mobile phone companies to abide by a 2009 law that […]
          Second Burger King Expected in Phnom Penh This Year        
U.S. fast-food chain Burger King, which opened its first restaurant in Cambodia at Phnom Penh’s airport last month, plans to open another in the city before the end of the year, a representative of the company holding the franchise for the chain said Friday.   Source: accordance The Cambodia dailyFiled under: News Tagged: Cambodia business, […]
          Burger King is going to open in Cambodia?        
  Burger King to Open at Phnom Penh Airport Advertisements have gone up at the Phnom Penh International Air­port bearing the famous Burger King logo, with a message saying that the chain is “Coming soon.” The outlet is going up on the perimeter of the airport terminal build­ing, next to the existing Pizza Company and […]
          Cambodia CityLife E-magazine issue 15        
CityLife is Cambodia’s premier FREE guide magazine, bringing good reading to all those in Phnom Penh and around town who like to keep their finger on their city’s pulse. Every two months, a glossy new volume of CityLife delivers fresh information on the best restaurants, bars, cafés, places, attraction, shop and many more in your […]
          Cambodia CityLife E-magazine issue 14        
CityLife is Cambodia’s premier FREE guide magazine, bringing good reading to all those in Phnom Penh and around town who like to keep their finger on their city’s pulse. Every two months, a glossy new volume of CityLife delivers fresh information on the best restaurants, bars, cafés, places, attraction, shop and many more in your neighborhoods and right […]
          Cambodia CityLife issue 13        
CityLife is Cambodia’s premier FREE guide magazine, bringing good reading to all those in Phnom Penh and around town who like to keep their finger on their city’s pulse. Every two months, a glossy new volume of CityLife delivers fresh information on the best restaurants, bars, cafés, places, attraction, shop and many more in your neighborhoods and right […]
          Cambodia inflation low in 2012        
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Cambodia will have a very low inflationary rate to 3.5 per cent this year, which is 0.1 per cent below the goverment’s new revision but 0.5 per cent higher than the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Olaf Unteroberdoerster, senior economist for the IMF’s Asia Pacific Department, conducted a mission […]
          iPhone 5 still rock Cambodia like iPhone 4 did        
I remember 2 years ago i wrote iPhone 4 review where everyone willing to spend their penny on shortage supply of iPhone 4 in Cambodia, first week of iPhone 4 released the price went up to $US1,200 for iPhone 4 16Gb and at that time Cambodia iPhone users has limited access to iPhone 4 due […]
          Best Of: Recipes        
It's difficult to winnow down a list of what seems like hundreds of recipes, mostly not from my own brain, down to just a few.  As I will do with my favorite restaurants and favorite posts over the next week, I will try to do just that.  I wanted a top ten but the smallest list I could make up was twenty.  Plus, I still feel as if I've left out way too much.

In alphabetical order, here are my twenty favorite recipes of the blog, plus one or two that I never wrote about to begin with.  Very few of these are my own recipes, but when they are I'll note it.


Allergen-Free Crumb Cake (American/allergen-free - featured in the post "Food Ethnography on a Budget: Allergen-Free III: Crumb Cake", published March 23, 2010) - I don't have any food allergies that I know of, but when I wanted to see how those with them do eat our favorite desserts, I was struck at how amazingly buttery a crumb cake can be without butter, eggs, milk, gluten, soy or tree nuts.  Check out Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook for this recipe.  Your friends will probably  never know it's allergen-free at all.

Asado (Uruguayan - featured in the post "World Cup Buffet: Asado (URU - Uruguay)", published July 5, 2010) - I'm unfamiliar with the foods of South America.  What better time to familiarize myself with them than the World Cup?  While the next one doesn't come up for another year and a half (hello, Brazil!), at least we can revel in the magic of Uruguay's 11th trip with one of the country's favorite things: meat.  I still haven't bothered to find the recipe for suprema Maryland, a type of milanesa-style chicken found, surprisingly enough, in Uruguay.


My Aunt Florence's Crab Cake (Chesapeake - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: Maryland I - Crab cakes like mah great-great-aunt used tah make, hon", published August 28, 2011) - For a short while, I wanted to do a new blog project after the state-by-state one where I wrote about my experiences interpreting my great-great Aunt Florence's many recipes.  This sole recipe is the result, one of two of her crab cake recipes.  Because, well, crab cakes.  Delicious, crab-(as-opposed-to-breading-) filled crab cakes

Bacon & Pancetta Wot (American/Ethiopian-style - featured in the post "Bacon Cook-Off: Bacon & Pancetta Wot", published June 13, 2010) - From the Great Grapes bacon cook-off in 2010, I created a recipe for a decidedly un-Ethiopian wot with several kinds of pork.  Delicious, but it'd never play in Addis Ababa.  And it amazes me that I took no photos of this.


So I'm using this lovely one taken at Great Grapes by Lyndsay Polloway.  Bacon and injera.  It's just wrong, isn't it?

Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bourbon Sauce (Cajun - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: Louisiana IV - Bourbon? Vanilla? Butter? Yes, please!", published August 10, 2011) - This was such a decadent bread pudding, and so reminiscent of one I had in New Orleans the previous year, that I had trouble not gobbling the whole thing down all at once.  Instead, thankfully, I froze some for later, especially with that hard sauce.



Chincoteague Single-Fried Oysters (Chesapeake - featured in the post "What to do with a quarter peck of oysters", published May 7, 2008) - Don't you just love cornmeal-fried urshters  you shucked yourself, hons?  I sure do.

Cochinita Pibil (Mexican/Yucatecan/Maya - featured in the post "Cochinita Pibil", published August 3, 2008) - In Mexico and the US, I've enjoyed eating cochinita pibil whenever I can find it.  But in Maryland it's not easy to find it, so get a pork butt, some achiote paste, bitter orange juice and banana leaves.  It's time to slow cook some cochinita pibil!


Crawfish & Shrimp Étouffée (Cajun - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: Louisiana III - What you say? Étouffée!", published August 7, 2011) - Buttery, silky, crawfishy.  About all I can say about it.  Next time though I hope to find actual Gulf Coast crawfish for this recipe.

Domino's No-Fail Quick Fudge (chocolate and vanilla) (candy/American/"back-of-the-box" - featured in the post "All Night Fudge-athon!", published December 6, 2006) - One of my first recipe posts, this one is usually no fail for a reason.  Even better, I left the chocolate out of half of the batch and made vanilla and chocolate fudge.  That was one memorable cookie swap.

Double Chocolate Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (cake - featured in "Post #666: the Recipe of the Beast", published April 26, 2008) - For my "hexakosioihexekontahexaphilic post" I made the most chocolately devil's food cake I could.  And it was damned good.

Eastern North Carolina-Style BBQ (Smoked in the Slow Cooker) and Cole Slaw (Southern/barbecue - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: North Carolina I - East Is East, West Is West, Never the Twain Shall Meet", published March 11, 2012) - I guess I just have a thing for pork.  But Carolina pork barbecue smoked in the slow cooker?  Blasphemous, you say. But others have found a way to do it, by golly!



Fleur de Baie Caramels (candy - featured in the post "'Fleur de Baie' Caramels", published July 25, 2009) - This was my attempt to make sea salt caramels, re-interpreting someone else's recipe for fleur de sel caramels with one specifically Marylandish touch: Old Bay.  Freshly made they had a very subtle Old Bay flavor, so I rolled them around in more Old Bay.  Waiting a few weeks proved to me that this was a mistake, as the subtly flavored ones became more strongly flavored, while the ones I rolled in Old Bay became - how did I put it in my August 4 follow-up post again?  Oh yes - wince-inducing.

Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich (Chesapeake - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: Virginia II - More of that Bounty of the Chesapeake", published October 21, 2012) - In exploring the seafood of the Commonwealth, I made a soft shell crab sandwich not unlike my maternal grandmother's, only immortalized by John Shields in his Chesapeake Bay Cooking (his recipe came from a crusty old feller in Virginia, but it was more or less the same).

Lidia Bastianich's Tomato Sauce (Italian - featured in the post "Lidia Bastianich's Tomato Sauce", published October 2, 2008) - I saw Adam "Amateur Gourmet" Roberts make this at the Baltimore Book Festival not long before I put up this post.  While I like mine a little thicker (I just simmer it longer), it's still a good go-to basic Italian sauce.



Murgh Makhani (Indian - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: New York II - "Murgh" is the word!", published February 29, 2012) - One of my all-time favorite things to eat is murgh makhani, or butter chicken.  And now, thanks to Julie Sahni and this state-by-state project, I can appreciate just how complex and laborious a process it is to make it!

Nana's Dressing (American - featured in the post "Nana's Dressing", published January 22, 2007) - My late Italian-American grandmother - whom we called "Naa-naa" (not "Naa-nuh" or "Nah-nuh") -  made a fierce stuffing.  It was not, in any way, Italian.  It was still good.  And no, she never deep fried it on a stick.


Um, Miss Paula?  Hellooooooo...

Nataing (Cambodian - featured in the post "Food Ethnography on a Budget: Cambodia II - Nataing, Crispy Rice Cakes and Jícama Pickle", published November 11, 2009) - When I got the idea to do a snacking culture-by-culture/country-by-country series in 2009, I started with Cambodia, and found an amazing coconut milk and paprika pork dish from Elephant Walk Cookbook author and Cambodian-American chef Longteine "Nyep" De Monteiro (co-authored by Katherine Neustadt).  I made it again for a blogging party it was so good, and now I have a hankerin' for more.

Pombe Ya N'Dizi (Tanzanian - first featured in the post "Food Ethnography on a Budget: Tanzania II: Pombe Ya N'Dizi", published January 25, 2010) - From the same series, I decided to make wine - traditional Tanzanian banana wine, to be exact, as written by Dorinda Hafner in her cookbook A Taste of Africa.  After several months, it ended up more like a banana liqueur than a banana wine, with a good bit of sediment at the bottom.  A pretty potent banana liqueur to be honest, taste-wise and proof-wise.  It was kind of a precursor for that crisp Mr. Beer pale ale that I tried to make just a bit more interesting by adding extra hops and wild rice when I explored Wisconsinian cuisine late last year.

Shrimp and Grits (Southern/Lowcountry - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: South Carolina II - True Shrimp and Grit", published July 11, 2012) - Ah, the buttery, silky smooth taste of grits smothered in shrimp and three kinds of dairy products.  ***Ecstatic Homer Simpson Sound***


Smith Island Cake (Chesapeake - featured in the post "Snacking State-by-State: Maryland IV - Once on Smith Island", published September 7, 2011) - I don't know if many Marylanders have eaten the state dessert, and I know most of us haven't tried making it.  I did both.  It was very satisfying.  All those super-thin layers of cake glued together with a chocolate ganache filling is something everyone should experience at least once.  Or twice.  Hell, at least thrice a month or so.  But no more, or it's not special.

Plus...

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce (briefly mentioned in the post "Anatomy of a Thanksgiving Dinner (or, I STILL have leftovers)", published November 29, 2007) - Before I found this recipe in the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, I had no idea just how wonderful freshly-made cranberry sauce could be, with citrus, red wine, sugar and lots of cinnamon and cloves.  Now I can't imagine a holiday season without it.

          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-01-2016 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Betty Chung- Bang Bang - Bang Bang Single
Cedric Vuille- Faire - Faire
The Books- Smells Like Content - Lost And Safe Remastered
DakhaBrakha- - i
Jarai Singer Jarai Guitarist- Jarai AyinAyon Love Song - Ethnic Minority Music Of Northeast Cambodia
- voicebreak -
Marvin Pontiac- Im A Doggy - Greatest Hits
Annette Peacock- One Way - Im The One
Jad Fair Daniel Johnston- Tomorrow Never Knows - Its Spooky
Mostly Other People Do The Killing- Jersey Shore - Slippery Rock
Frank Zappa- Goat Polo - Dance Me This
Dweezil Zappa- Funky 15 - Via Zammata
Mariah- Sokokara - Utakata No Hibi
- voicebreak -
Pere Ubu- Dub Housing - Dub Housing
The Velvet Underground- The Gift - White LightWhite Heat 45th Anniversary Edition
Chicago Underground Duo- Boss - Locus
Shogun Kunitoki- TulevaisuusMenneisyys1 - Tasankokaiku
Dewey Redman Joshua Redman- African Venus - African Venus
- voicebreak -
Del The Funky Homosapien- Mistadobalina - The Best Of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien The Elektra Years BBoy Handbook
Carmaig DeForest- Cracks No Worse Than The Fascist Threat - I Shall Be Released
Snakefinger- 8 14 - Passed Normal Vols 6 7
Longshoremen- Putra Car Of The Future - Grr Huh Yeah
Floyd Pink- Shes In Missouri - Floyd Pink And The Ok Chorale
Horsies- Noam Chomsky - Trouble Down South
BALDO REX- It Aint You Im Looking At - I EAT ROBERTS IM SO SAD
Eugene Chadbourne Noah John- Backwards Town - Country Protest Anew
James Kochalka- Monkey Vs Robot - Monkey Vs Robot
- voicebreak -
Fela Kuti- Zombie - Zombie
Aby Ngana Diop- Ndame - Liital
Hailu Mergia- Shemonmuanaye - Hailu Mergia His Classical Instrument Shemonmuanaye
- voicebreak -
3 Mice- TseTse - Send Me A Postcard
Pascal Comelade- Memories - El Primitivisme
Animal Collective- Hocus Pocus - Painting With
The Colorblind James Experience- Whyd The Boy Throw The Clock Out The Window - The Colorblind James Experience
Wing- Suspicious Minds - Wing Sings Elvis


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2016-04-01
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-05-2015 with DJ Girlfawkes        
Playlist:

Bully- Milkman - Feels Like
- voicebreak -
Prince The Revolution- Lets Go Crazy - Purple Rain Soundtrack From The Motion Picture
The Dead Weather- I Feel Love Every Million Miles - Dodge And Burn
Toadies- Backslider - Rubberneck
Wolf Alice- Moaning Lisa Smile - My Love Is Cool
- voicebreak -
Pavement- Stereo - Quarantine The Past The Best Of Pavement Remastered
The Black Keys- So He Wont Break - Attack Release
Glass Animals- Gooey - Gooey EP
Sylvan Esso- Dreamy Bruises - Sylvan Esso
- voicebreak -
Kurt Vile- Pretty Pimpin - Blieve Im Goin Down
- voicebreak -
Belle And Sebastian- Ease Your Feet In The Sea - The Boy With The Arab Strap
Day Wave- We Try But We Dont Fit In - We Try But We Dont Fit In Single
Damien Jurado- Silver Timothy - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
Until The Ribbon Breaks- Revolution Indifference feat Run The Jewels - A Lesson Unlearnt
- voicebreak -
Talking Heads- Once In A Lifetime - Remain In Light Remastered
Eagles Of Death Metal- Got A Woman Slight Return - Zipper Down
The White Stripes- Theres No Home For You Here - Elephant
Benjamin Booker- Have You Seen My Son - Benjamin Booker
Born Ruffians- Stupid Dream - RUFF
Alpine- Foolish - Yuck
Childbirth- Nasty Grrls - Womens Rights
Black Flag- TV Party - WastedAgain
Dead Kennedys- Holiday In Cambodia - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Elohim- She Talks Too Much - She Talks Too Much Single
Radiohead- 15 Step - In Rainbows
Big Grams- Lights On - Big Grams
Yeasayer- Sunrise - All Hour Cymbals
- voicebreak -
Wavves- Heavy Metal Detox - V
Ume- The Conductor - Sunshower EP
Pachangacha- Underneath Girl - Weirdhead
Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats- SOB - Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats
Heartless Bastards- Parted Ways - Arrow
Ryan Adams The Cardinals- Beautiful Sorta - Cold Roses
Bob Dylan- Highway 61 Revisited - Highway 61 Revisited
- voicebreak -
New Order- Plastic - Music Complete
Charlie XCX- Need UR Luv - Sucker
Father John Misty- The Ideal Husband - I Love You Honeybear
Neko Case- Red Tide - Middle Cyclone
Broken Bells- October - Broken Bells
Jane Jane Pollock- Punching Jackie - Jane Jane Pollock


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2015-10-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-14-2015 with Joel Davis        
Playlist:

Sinn Sisamouth- Dance A Go Go - Dont Think Ive Forgotten Cambodias Lost Rock And Roll
Oddisee- Thats Love - The Good Fight
Mucca Pazza- Boss Taurus Jon Kennedy Remix - Boss Taurus Single
FirewoodPoetry- Firewood - FirewoodPoetry
Sonzeira- America Latina Nicola Conte Rework - Gilles Peterson Presents Brasil Bam Bam Bass
St Germain- Real Blues - St Germain
- voicebreak -
Etienne De La Sayette- Im So Cool In Seoul - Im So Cool In Seoul
Georgia Anne Muldrow- Great Blacks - A Thoughtiverse Unmarred
Kutiman- Im New Copia Doble Systema Remix - Thru You Too The Remixes
Kutiman- This Is How I Feel Kalbata Mixmonster Remix - Thru You Too The Remixes
DJ Shadow Vs Beastie Boys- Organ Movin Freear Mashup - Freear Mashups
Faauna- San Pedro - Psicodelia Cosa Seria
Romare- Motherless Child - Projections
- voicebreak -
Machuca Cumbia- Staying Alive - The Afrosound Of Colombia Vol 2
Dolly Parton- Jolene Todd Terje Remix - Jolene Remix
Brooklyn Gypsies- Supercore - Sin Fronteras
The Silos- All Falls Away - Cuba
Kanaku Y El Tigre- Exorcist Love Song - Caracoles
Komy- Karima - Karima ost
Hot Chip- Huarache Lights - Why Make Sense
- voicebreak -
Akal Wub- Gabs Trap - Sost
Iemanjo- Reality - Medicina
The Sway Machinery- My Angels House - Purity And Danger
Jacques Dutronc- Hippie Hippie Hourrah - Il Est Cinq Heures
Anitta Garybaldi- Ainda Dapad Furmiga Dub Remix - Kafund Vol 2 Roots And Bass Music From Brazil
DJ Shadow Vs Beastie Boys- Make It Rain Freear Remix - Freear Mashups
Ayla Nereo- From The Ground Up Srikalogy Remix - Hollow Bone Remixes
Asaf Avidan- Bang Bang - Gold Shadow
Miss Kenichi- Big Log - The Trail
- voicebreak -
Basti Grub- Orishas Chango - Cool Train
The Cars- CandyO - CandyO
Yo La Tengo- Styles Of The Times - Today Is The Day
Diplo- Eating Silver Apples - Chasing The Dragon Mixtape
Various Artists- Sarah Winton Thinking Backwards - PartyKeller Vol 2
Sun Ra- Plutonian Nights - Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra And His Arkestra In The Orbit Of Ra
Roots Manuva- Like A Drum - Facety 211 EP
- voicebreak -
Tapes- Datura Mystic - Tapes Meets The Drums Of Wareika Hill Sounds Single
Bibio- You - Silver Wilkinson
Alarra Saress- Tall Grass After The Drought The Rain - Alarra Saress
Nicola Cruz- Dengue Dengue Dengue Simiolo Nicola Cruz Remix - Remixes And Edits
E40- California feat DamFunk Ariel Pink - The Alchemist Oh No Present Welcome To Los Santos
Mbongwana Star- Kala Star DL Cut - Mbongwana Star Single
Makaya McCraven Junius Paul Justefan- Butterscotch - In The Moment
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Iconili- Frenetica - Piaco


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/50/playlistDate/2015-05-14
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-01-2015 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Papa Mali- Spike Driver - Music Is Love
Talking Heads- Papa Legba Pops Staples Vocal Version - True Stories Bonus Track Version
Invisible System- Melkam Kehonelish If That Is What You Want feat Mahmoud Ahmed - Roots N Dub Vs Beats N Trances
Jon Batiste Chad Smith Bill Laswell- Haunted - The Process
MC Curly Srey Thy- Cyclo Of Love - Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia
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Iggy Pop- Lust For Life - Lust For Life
Darth Vegas- Nano Nano - Darth Vegas
Perrey Kingsley- The Unidentified Flying Object - The In Sound From Way Out
LEnsemble Ray- Le Moulin A Histoires - Les Contrepoints Cardinaux
Normal Love- Electrolytes In The Brine - Survival Tricks
Kashioboy- People Food Not Dead Animals - The Only Failure Is To Cease To Try
X Legged Sally- 34th Street - Slowup
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Slim Harpo- I Got Love If You Want It - Excello Single Anthology
Cannonball Adderly- Anybody Need A Big Man - Big Man The Legend Of John Henry
Nels Cline So Percussion- Terminals No 3 - Bobby Previte Terminals
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Richard Hell The Voidoids- Time - The Richard Hell Story Remastered
Happy Family- YouTube - Banana Split
Make A Rising- Peaceful Paths - Infinite Ellipse And Head With Open Fontanel
Antipop Consortium- Staph - Antipop Vs Matthew Shipp
Etron Fou Leloublan- Pas Lsou - Les Poumons Gonfls
Sex Mob- Dime Grind Palace - Dime Grind Palace
Lars Hollmer- Boeves Psalm - XII Sibiriska Cyklar
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Polly Feazel- Settle Down - Songs In The Key Of Z Vol 3 The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music
Mark Gergis- Medium Wave Youth Choral And String - Radio Vietnam
Guapo- Twisted Stems The Selenotrope - Elixirs EP
Silver Apples- Oscillations - Silver Apples
Barnaby Archer Feargus Brennan Ben Lewis Tom Lee Alexandra Vaduva Yixin Mao Neil Percy Wilhelm Quartet Artesian Quartet Toki Quartet- Variations For Vibes Pianos And Strings I Fast - Reich For Percussion
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The Residents- Harry The Head - Shadowland
Neu Abdominaux Dangereux- Arrivederia EccelenzaPeace - Dangereuxorcisms
Renaldo The Loaf- Lime Jelly Grass - Songs For Swinging Larvae Songs From The Surgery
Pascal Comelade Les Liminanas- Ramblin Rose - Traite Des Guitarres Triolectiques


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-05-01
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 04-03-2015 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra- Empty Words - Wndelu
Red Baraat- Crown Of Spades - Gaadi Of Truth
Invisible System- Melkam Kehonelish If That Is What You Want feat Mahmoud Ahmed - Roots N Dub Vs Beats N Trances
Camper Van Beethoven- Militia Song - New Roman Times
Make A Rising- Bradfords Big Boatride Beyond The Dawn - Infinite Ellipse And Head With Open Fontanel
Mike Patton- Il Cupo Dolore - A Perfect Place Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Cambodian Space Project- Whiskey Cambodia - Whiskey Cambodia
Mark Gergis- Message To The Age Of Twenty - Radio Vietnam
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Messer Chups- Harlem Nocturne - Church Of Reverb
LEnsemble Ray- La Grande Ritournelle - Les Contrepoints Cardinaux
Pardon KimuraDrummers- Japanese Bush Warbler - GEP Good Enough Pocket
Colleen- Captain Of None - Captain Of None
Tony MasonCox- Hitting The Bottom - Songs In The Key Of Z Vol 3 The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music
Delia Derbyshire Anthony Newley- Moogies Bloogies - Moogies Bloogies Single
Vakula Planet Lindela- 10 Henry Nxumalo Street feat Afurakan - Ten Cities
Fela Kuti- No Possible Chris Deepak Remix - No Possible Chris Deepak Remix Single
Los Pikadientes De Caborca- La Machaca - Vmonos Pal Ro
Bingo Gazingo- The Cook Who Couldnt Cook - Songs In The Key Of Z Vol 3 The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music
Butthole Surfers- Pepper - Electriclarryland
Edward KaSpel- Flipside - A Long Red Ladder To The Moon Redux enhanced 2014
Picchio Dal Pozzo- Boccasedrio - Picnic At Valdapozzo
Koenjihyakkei- Lussesoggi Zomn - Nivraym
The Residents- Blue Rosebuds - Shadowland
The Flying Luttenbachers- Demonic Velocities 20000000 Volts - Destroy All Music Revisited
John Zorn- Inside Straight - Naked City
Etron Fou Leloublan- Those Distant Waters - Les Poumons Gonfls
Osymyso- Love Bonus Track - Scott Pilgrim Vs The World Original Score Composed By Nigel Godrich
Aksak Maboul- The Mooche - Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
Andr Popp Eddy Marnay DKieffer- Babar Television - Babar Television Single
The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band- - 21st Century Molam
Vo Tuan Minh- I Long To Return To My Hometown Que Me - Hanoi Masters War Is A Wound Peace Is A Scar
Fadimoutou Wallet Inamoud- Ilana - Isswat
Rusconi- Alice In The Sky - Revolution
And The Native Hipsters- Folk Club Running - Original Copy


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-04-03
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 03-06-2015 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Cambodian Space Project- Whiskey Cambodia - Whiskey Cambodia
Elvis Perkins- I Came For Fire - I Aubade
Cedric Vuille- De Coin - Faire
Camper Van Beethoven- Pictures Of Matchstick Men - Key Lime Pie
The Golden Palominos- Hot Seat - The Golden Palominos
Coldcut- Just For The Kick feat Annette Peacock - Sound Mirrors
Talking Heads- Double Groove Unfinished Outtake - Remain In Light Remastered
Dennis Chambers- Dance Music For Borneo Horns 13 - Planet Earth
Antibalas- Tattletale Pt 1 - Tattletale Single
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Compilation- The Cat - Walk On The Wild Side Best Of The Verve Years
AMY DENIO- Six - TONGUES
Pere Ubu- Navvy - Dub Housing
Minutemen- Hey Lawdy Mama - Project Mersh EP
Omoide Hatoba- Pikadom - Camp Skin Graft Now Wave
Sonic Youth- Superstar - If I Were A Carpenter
M Takara 3- Rei Da Cocada - Daora Underground Sounds Of Urban Brasil HipHop Beats Afro Dub Deluxe Edition
Quitapenas- Justicia - Quitapenas
Talibam Danielle Kuhlmann- Predetermined To The Master Plan - Boogie In The Breeze Blocks
X Legged Sally- 34th Street - Slowup
Real Fish- Solan - When The World Was Young
Shooby Taylor- It Gets Better All The Time - Songs In The Key Of Z Vol 4 The Curious Universe Of Outsider Music
Pascal Comelade Les Liminanas- Ramblin Rose - Traite Des Guitarres Triolectiques
Renaldo The Loaf- Lime Jelly Grass - Songs For Swinging Larvae Songs From The Surgery
Terry Riley- Music For The Gift Part 1 - Riley Music For The Gift
The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band- - 21st Century Molam
Dengue Fever- Pow Wow - Cd
Koenjihyakkei- Maschtervoz - Nivraym
The Mulcays- Kiss Me Again - A Kiss In The Dark
Captain Beefheart His Magic Band- Well - Trout Mask Replica
Jon Rose- TV Shopping feat Shelley Hirsch - Violin Music In The Age Of Shopping feat Shelley Hirsch
Gang Of Four- Where The Nightingale Sings - What Happens Next


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2015-03-06
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-05-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Larry Wald- Superman - Sensacional Soul Vol 3
Spanglish Fly- Let My People Bugal Clay Holley Jeff Dynamite Remix Bonus Track - Rough Guide To Latin Rare Groove Vol 1
Tony Allen- Moving On - Film Of Life Deluxe Edition
Jon Batiste Chad Smith Bill Laswell- The Drift - The Process
Andre Williams The Sadies- America You Say A Change Is Gonna Come - Night Day
The Budos Band- Black Hills - Burnt Offering
SWAT- Cops Are The Only Real People Left - Deep Inside A Cops Mind
The Clash- Police On My Back - Sandinista
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MarchFourth Marching Band- Cowbell - Magnificent Beast
Bullet- The Orchestrator - Mojo Presents Heavy Nuggets III
Ceramic Dog- Lies My Body Told Me - Your Turn
Ensamble Polifnico Vallenato- Chandeath - Fiesta Que Viva La
Moondog- Bumbo - Rare Material
Officer- Some - Ossification
Rahsaan Roland Kirk- Clickety Clack - Bright Moments
Rahsaan Roland KIrk- Volunteered Slavery - Volunteered Slavery
Rabbit Rabbit- Tiny Invasion - Rabbit Rabbit Radio Vol 2 Swallow Me Whole
The Residents- Lizard Lady - Duck Stab
And The Native Hipsters- Flowers R Machines As Well - Songs To Protest About
Aquaserge- Serge Singe - A Lamiti
Lord Cry Cry- Blind Lightnin Floor - Live At The CPU
John Zorn- Evocation Of Baphomet - Templars In Sacred Blood feat Mike Patton John Medeski Trevor Dunn Joey Baron
The Shaolin Afronauts- Caravan To Tao Ceti - Follow The Path
Pan Ron- Kom Veacha Tha Sneha Knom - Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia
Johnny Bowtie Barstow- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - A Bowtie Christmas And More
Los Yorks- Cielo - Los Nuggetz 60s Punk Pop And Psychedelic From Latin America
Verckys LOrchestre Vv- Bassala Hot - Verckys LOrchestre Vv Congolose Funk Afrobeat Psychedelic Rumba 19691978
Super Eagles- Loves A Real Thing - World Psychedelic Classics 3 Loves A Real Thing The Funky Fuzzy Sounds Of West Africa
Neu Abdominaux Dangereux- The Shopper - Dangereuxorcisms
Felicita- Wish - Frenemies
Pelican Daughters- No Place Like Homer - Fishbones Wishbones
FaltyDL- Nine - In The Wild
Susumu Yokota- Subconscious Globe - Dreamer
Drexel- Do Not Mess With Oprah - Sexual Pancakes
Stratman- ZaikoDance Thrace - Demotic Remix greeks Indians Vol 1
Xenia Rubinos- Ultima - Magic Trix
The Gaslamp Killer- Shattering Inner Journeys feat Computer Jay Mike Burnham - Death Gate EP


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-12-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-28-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Seu Jorge- America Do Norte - America Brasil O Disco
The Shaolin Afronauts- To The Water - Follow The Path
Hailu Mergia The Walias- Tche Belew - Tche Belew
Ceramic Dog- Mr Pants Goes To Hollywood - Your Turn
Cambodian Space Project- Whiskey Cambodia - Whiskey Cambodia
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- Throat Singing - Music From The Mountain Provinces
- Track 4 - Forbidden Gang Funk From Rio De Janeiro
Family Atlantica- Tamunangue Blues - Family Atlantica
The Book Of Knots- Drosophila Melanogaster - Garden Of Fainting Stars
The Books- Smells Like Content - Lost And Safe
People Like Us- Once A Pun A Time - Dont Think Right Its All Twice
Renee And Renata- Its A Lovely Day - Music For Mentalists
- Steel Plate - Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds
Tony Allen- Afo Kunffu Beat - Film Of Life Deluxe Edition
Jon Batiste Chad Smith Bill Laswell- Black Arc - The Process
Tony Malaby Cello Trio- Warblepeck - Warblepeck
John Zorn- Blind Owl And Buckwheats - Valentines Day
Bill Frisell- Turn Turn Turn - Guitar In The Space Age
Blind Idiot God- Clockwork Dub - Undertow
Shahram Shabpareh- Prison Song - Persian Funk
Kassa Tssma- Tezeta - thiopiques 29 Mastawesha
Roberto Musci Giovanni Venosta- Batida De Coca - Messages Portraits
Nelson Y Sus Estrellas- Aguardiente Y Pollo - Rough Guide To Latin Rare Groove Vol 1
La Sucursal De La Cumbia- Rtmo Popular - Cumbia A Domicilio
John Hodgman W Jonathon Coulton- 700 Hobo Names - 700 Hobo Names
Substacja- Twister - Dub Out Of Poland 3


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-11-28
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-14-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Andre Williams- Country Western Song - Silky
Gary Lucas- Casino Royale - Cinefantastique
Rabbit Rabbit- Tiny Invasion - Rabbit Rabbit Radio Vol 2 Swallow Me Whole
Fumaa Preta- Amor Tece Dor - Fumaa Preta
Various Artists- The Right Profile - Sevilla Calling
Aquaserge- Je Viens - A Lamiti
Cambodian Space Project- House Of The Rising Sun - Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cambodia
Orlando Julius- Love Thy Neighbour - Jaiyede Afro with The Heliocentrics
La Misa Negra- Cumbia Milagrosa - Misa De Medianoche
- Nem Kaldi - Istanbul 70 Psych Disco Folk Classics
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Novox- Maggot Brain - Over The Honeymoon
Heliocentrics Melvin Van Peebles- Chapter 08 Telepathic Routine - The Last Transmission
John Zorn- Metapsychomagia - Psychomagia
Secret Chiefs 3 Ishraqiyun- The 15 - Perichoresis
Panzerpappa- Satam - Astromalist
African Head Charge- Timpanya - Voodoo Of The Godsent Bonus Track Version
Flako Dirg Gerner- I Want You - Gilles Peterson Presents Brownswood Bubblers Five
Enrico Caruso- Tu C Nun Chiagne Remastered - The Voice And The Legend 245 Original Recordings Remastered
Various Artists- The Time Of The Singing Of The Birds - Otis Fodders 365 Days Project UBUCOM
Neu Abdominaux Dangereux- Sweengo - Dangereuxorcisms
The Ed Palermo Big Band- Chungas Revenge - Oh No Not Jazz
Trevor Dunn Marc Ribot Tyshawn Sorey- The Voynich Mandala Enigma Eight - Valentines Day
Christine Owman- One Of The Folks - Little Beast
Eyvind Kang- Variel - Alastor The Book Of Angels Vol 21
Norman Paris His Orchestra The David Carter Singers- Were Gonna Have Shoes - The Wonderful World Of Chemistry
- Bamboo Zither I - Music From The Mountain Provinces
Tradisyon Ka- Ansanm Pou Dmen feat Henri Louis - Soul Jazz Records Presents Gwo Ka Music Of Guadeloupe West Indies
Laraaji- Lotus Collage - Celestial Music 1978 2011
Kasai Allstars Juana Molina- Hoy Supe Que Viajas - TradiMods Vs Rockers Alternative Takes On Congotronics Vol 1 Bonus Track Version
FaltyDL- New Haven - In The Wild
Matmos- Aetheric Vehicle - The Marriage Of True Minds Bonus Track Version
3 Mice- TseTse - Send Me A Postcard
Tino Contreras- Santo - El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras
Telegraph Avenue- Sungaligali - Peru Bravo Funk Soul Psych From Perus Radical Decade


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-11-14
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-07-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

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Jeriko- Hey Joe - Peru Bravo Funk Soul Psych From Perus Radical Decade
Amadou Mariam- Wily Kataso - Folila
Heliocentrics Melvin Van Peebles- Chapter 05 The Cavern - The Last Transmission
Tony Allen- Tigers Skip - Film Of Life
Neu Abdominaux Dangereux- Resolectric Lining - Dangereuxorcisms
Xiu Xiu- Lonesome Valley - Unclouded Sky
OOIOO- Gamel Ninna Yama - Gamel
Twitch- Stella - Contort Yourself Optimo Mix EP
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Felicita- Doves - Frenemies
AsaChang And Junray- - Kage No Nai Hito
Amy Denio- Sventola La Bandiera Rossa - Prodigal Light
Felix Kubin Coolhaven- There Is A Garden - Suppe Fr Die Nacht
Cambodian Space Project- Whiskey Cambodia - Whiskey Cambodia
Tyondai Braxton- The Duck And The Butcher - Central Market
Secret Chiefs 3 Ishraqiyun- Base Phive FuturCossacks - Perichoresis
Primus- SemiWondrous Boat Ride - Primus The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble
Tomahawk- Oddfellows - Oddfellows
Rabbit Rabbit- Swallow Me Whole - Rabbit Rabbit Radio Vol 2 Swallow Me Whole
The Book Of Knots- Moondust Must - Garden Of Fainting Stars
Arto Lindsay Trio- Recognize - Aggregates 126
Officer- Tunnels - Ossification
Kramer- Get It On - Great Jewish Music Marc Bolan
- Willie Nelson - Triple M Musical Challenge 3
- The Ballad Of Billy Brown - Twisted Tales From The Vinyl Wasteland Vol 5
Bailey Denio Palmer- Let The Little Sunbeam In - The Gospel Record
Zebrina- The Spirit Within - Hamidbar Medaber
Funkadelic- Stink Finger - Toys
The Mothers Of Invention- Mr Green Genes - Uncle Meat
Jean Franois Pauvros Dominique Rpcaud Christophe Sorro- Blues At The Rodia - Veterans Of The French Underground Meet La JeuneGarde
Secret Mommy- Grand About The Mouth - Plays
Fred Frith- Trains Boats Planes - Prints
Michael Rodach David Moss- Now Way Ohhh - Fragmentary Blues
Fumaa Preta- Toda Pessoa - Fumaa Preta
Various Artists- M Ashraf Featuring Ahmed Rushdi Dama Dam Mast Qalandar The Sound Of Wonder - The Sound Of Wonder
David Krakauer- Bubbemeises feat Socalled Klezmer Madness - Bubbemeises Lies My Gramma Told Me featSocalled Klezmer Madness
Warren Cuccurullo Ustad Sultan Khan- 4D Suite - The Master


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-11-07
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-05-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Bob Dylan - Green Eggs And Ham - Dylan Hears A Who
Various Artists- Rock And Roll - From The Land Of Ice And Snow
MusiOTunya Rikki Ililonga- Sunshine Love - Dark Sunrise
Dub Gabriel- Zooklyn - Bass Jihad
El Michels Affair- Duel Of The Iron Mics - Enter The 37th Chamber
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Zion80- Kenumit - Adramelech
DJ Spooky- Reactive Switching Strategies For The Control Of Uninhabited Air - Optometry
Amon Tobin- Mass Spring - Isam Bonus Track Version
Daevid Allen The Magick Brothers- Wayland Smithy - Live In San Francisco
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Meridian Brothers- La Tristeza Invitando A Salvadora - Salvadora Robot
Ojos De Brujo- Corre Lola feat Amaral - Corriente Vital 10 Aos
Jimi Tenor Kabu Kabu- Global Party - 4th Dimension
Terry Hall Mushtaq- This And That - The Hour Of Two Lights
Khun Narin- Lai Sing - Khun Narins Electric Phin Band
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David Bowie- All Saints 2001 Remastered - All Saints
Eno Hyde- Time To Waste It - High Life
Eyvind Kang- Hakem - Alastor The Book Of Angels Vol 21
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Fela Ransome Kuti- Water No Get Enemy - Expensive Shit He Miss Road Remastered
Various Artists Ros Sereysothea- Shave Your Beard - Dengue Fever Presents Electric Cambodia
Dom Thomas- Shes My Girl - Micellaneous Mutant Mishaps
I Cut People- Stephen Seagull - This Is Hollywood
Peyo Torres Y Sus Diablos Del Ritmo- La Veterana - Diablos Del Ritmo 19601985 The Colombian Melting Pot
- Hells Bells - Strange Interludes
Arthur Brogli- Hurry Springtime Has Come - Happy Yodeling
David Krakauer- La Vita E Bella - The Big Picture Featuring Krakauer
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Lester Bowie- Ghosts - All The Magic The One And Only
Zebrina- Chant Of Ages - Hamidbar Medaber
Various Artists- Cumbia Vallera Mexican Dubwiser Dub Edit - Mexican Dubwiser V2
- No One Can Defeat - Molam Thai Country Groove From Isan Vol 2
Mr Scruff- What - Friendly Bacteria
The Bug- Fall feat Copeland - Angels Devils


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-09-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-22-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Various Artists- Caryl Chessman - God Less America
Tom Waits- Kiss Me - Bad As Me
- Sound Of Drums - Cambodian Rocks Vol1
- An Aflat Cricket A BFlat Frog - Boners
Nutley Brass Band- Sensitive Artist - The Nutley Brass Band Plays The Greatest Hits Of Shimmydisc
Various Artists- Do You Kow The Way To San Jose - Great Jewish Music Burt Bacharach
Nico- Frozen Warnings - The Marble Index
- voicebreak -
Mac Rebennack- Storm Warning - The Roots Of The Cramps
Sun City Girls- Papa Legba - Torch Of The Mystics
Peter Sellers- She Loves You - The Peter Sellers Collection
- The Bends - Getting Off The Seductive Sounds Of 70s Adult Cinema
Zion80- Metatron - Adramelech
Ornette Coleman- Theme From A Symphony - Dancing In Your Head
- voicebreak -
Camper Van Beethoven- Tina - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
Tino Contreras- Rav Shankar - Generacines
Peyo Torres Y Sus Diablos Del Ritmo- La Veterana - Diablos Del Ritmo 19601985 The Colombian Melting Pot
Garotas Suecas- Manchetes Da Solido - Feras Mticas
Tom Z- Beatles A Granel - Estudando O Pagode
Okamotonoriaki- Island - Telescope
- voicebreak -
Vienna Art Orchestra- Fun Art - Art Fun
Spring Heel Jack- Chiaroscuro - Masses
Peter Tosh- Equal Rights - Equal Rights
- voicebreak -
Oddjob- The Good The Bad And The Ugly - Clint
Okapi- Bah - Love Him
Colleen- Mining In The Rain - The Golden Morning Breaks
People Like Us And Wobbly- The Working Title For Our Opera - There Goes Nothing
The Residents- Semolina - Duck Stab
Steintryggur- Melur - Trappa
- voicebreak -
Louie Ramirez- Boogie Man - Latin Cool Classics
Hugh Masekela- Umaningi Bona - Grrr
Imarhan Timbuktu- Ehela Damohele - Akal Warled
Msica Dispersa- Hanillo - Msica Dispersa
Meridian Brothers- Un Prncipe Miserable Y Malvado - Salvadora Robot
- Yellow Cherries - Chinaagogo
Renaldo And The Loaf- Extracting The ReRe - The Elbow Is Taboo


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-08-22
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-31-2014 with DJ Girlfawkes        
Playlist:

The So So Glos- Son Of An American - Blowout
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Be Your Own Pet- Damn Damn Leash - Damn Damn Leash EP
Pachangacha- Boobies - Weirdhead
Holy Sexy Bastards- Damn Blue Chevrolet - 12
Warpaint- Love Is To Die - Warpaint
Natalie Walker- Cool Kids - Spark
Broken Bells- After The Disco - After The Disco
Grizzly Bear- Will Calls Diplo Remix - Na
- voicebreak -
WE ARE TWIN- The Way We Touch - We Are Twin EP
Ms Mr- Salty Sweet - Secondhand Rapture
Mister Wives- Twisted Tounge - Mister Wives
Cage The Elephant- Its Just Forever feat Alison Mosshart - Melophobia
Chairlift- Amanaemonesia - Something
Saul Williams- List Of Demands Reparations - Saul Williams
Whitelung- Down With You - Na
The So So Glos- Blowout - Blowout
Opossum- Fly - Na
The Clash- The Magnificent Seven - Hits Back Deluxe Edition
- voicebreak -
Janelle Mone- Dance Or Die feat Saul Williams - The ArchAndroid
Noisettes- Dont Upset The Rhythm Go Baby Go - Wild Young Hearts Bonus Track Version
Cults- Weve Got It - Static
MIA- Bad Girls - Na
Toadies- Tyler - Rubberneck
- voicebreak -
Garbage- Supervixen - Garbage
Paul Sammons- Workers Of The World Unite - Na
In The Whale- Girlfriend - Girlfriend Single
- voicebreak -
The Hate- The Axe - Authors
Dead Kennedys- Holiday In Cambodia - Original Indie Classics
The Autumn Defense- Calling Your Name - Fifth
Gleemer- Killing Machine - Death Sky Soft Eye
- voicebreak -
Pixies- Magdalena - EP2 EP
Neptunes Only Daughter- Hives - Lateral Drift
First Aid Kit- Cross Oceans - The Big Black And The Blue Deluxe Edition
Morgan Delt- Barbarian Kings - Morgan Delt


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-01-31
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-24-2014 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Herman Dune And Cerberus Shoal- Sweetie - The Whys And Hows Of Herman Dune And Cerberus Shoal
M Takara 3- Rei Da Cocada - Daora Underground Sounds Of Urban Brasil HipHop Beats Afro Dub Deluxe Edition
King Coya- Villa Donde - Cumbias De Villa Donde
Heliocentrics- Nico Winter Song Heliocentrics Remix - Out There
- voicebreak -
Tinariwen- Toumast Tincha - Emmaar Deluxe Edition
The Velvet Underground- Here She Comes Now - White Light White Heat
Minutemen- History Lesson Part 2 - Double Nickels On The Dime
The Byrds- My Back Pages - Greatest Hits
Little Axe- Soul Of A Man - Bought For A Dollar Sold For A Dime Bonus Track Version
Henry Cow- Nirvana For Mice - Leg End
Polyrhythmics- Skin The Fat - Libra Stripes
Secret Chiefs 3 UR- Personae Halloween - Book Of Souls Folio A
- voicebreak -
Le Peuple De LHerbe- Heart Soul - Tilt
Mamelo Sound System- Minha Me Diz - VelhaGuarda 22
Bapi Das Baul Baul Bishwa- Divana Hoy Dil Miracle Love - Sufi Baul Madness Happiness
Les Reines Prochaines- I Hate Diets - Le Coeur En Beurre Double Gras
Die Kndel- In Die Ribisl - Verkochte Tiroler Overcooked Tyroleans
Jon Rose- Temptation - Violin Music In The Age Of Shopping
Xiu Xiu- Wild Is The Wind - Nina
John Coltrane Quartet- Softly As In A Morning Sunrise - Live At The Village Vanguard
- voicebreak -
- Its Tricky - March 4th
Kitchen The Plastic Spoons- Liberty - Killed By Deathrock Vol 1
Guerilla Toss- Diluted Fetus Circuit Tycoon - Guerilla Toss
Jonathan And Darlene Edwards- Stayin Alive - Jonathan And Darlenes Greatest Hits Vol 1
Betty Harris- Trouble With My Lover - New Orleans Funk 3
- voicebreak -
Ogi Stereodubs- Talarico - Daora Underground Sounds Of Urban Brasil HipHop Beats Afro Dub Deluxe Edition
Mike Monday- Catnip - Songs Without Words
Ikue Mori- Fatal Weaver - Class Insecta
John Zorn- Saigon Pickup - Naked City
Robotmonkeyarm- Il Brutto - Robot Senza Nome
- voicebreak -
People Like Us- Recycling Is Nothing New - Dont Think Right Its All Twice
John Lurie- The Beast - Fishing With John Original Music From The Series By John Lurie
Autor Yno- Wroclaw - Cosmopolitan Traffic
Angelo Michajlov- Saxana - Saxana
Archie Shepp- Attica Blues - Attica Blues
Junior Murvin- Workin In The Cornfield - Police Thieves Remastered
Khmer Jazz Fusion- Footprints - Khmer Jazz Fusion Recordings Merging Cambodian Musical Instruments And Forms With Western Jazz


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-01-24
          Comentario en Recoleccion de 600 canciones de los años 80s (Ochenteras) por Roberto        
'Til Tuesday - Voices Carry.mp3 00 10 CC - Donna.mp3 4 Non Blondes - What's Up.mp3 A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran [October 1982].mp3 ABC - The Look Of Love.mp3 AC-DC - Ride On.mp3 AC-DC - You Shook Me All Night Long.mp3 Ace Of Base - All That She Wants.mp3 Ace Of Base - Don't Turn Around.mp3 Adriano Celentano - Il Tempo Se Ne Va.mp3 Adriano Celentano - Susanna.mp3 Aerosmith - Amazing.mp3 Aerosmith - Crazy.mp3 Aerosmith - Cryin'.mp3 Aerosmith - Dream On.mp3 Aerosmith - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing.mp3 Aerosmith - Janie's Got A Gun.mp3 Aerosmith - Walk This Way.mp3 Afrika Bambaataa - Reckless.mp3 Aha - Cry a wolf extended.MP3 Aha - Crying In The Rain.mp3 Aha - early morning.mp3 Aha - Hunting High And Low.mp3 Aha - Ive been losing you.mp3 Aha - Maybe Maybe.mp3 Aha - stay.mp3 Aha - Take On Me.mp3 Aha - The Living Daylights.mp3 Aha - Touch me.mp3 Aha - Touchy!.mp3 Aha - You are the one.mp3 Air Supply - All Out Of Love.mp3 Air Supply - Haciendo El Amor De La Nada.mp3 Air Supply - Hasta Las Noches Son Mejores.mp3 Air Supply - Just As I Am.mp3 Air Supply - Lost In Love.mp3 Air Supply - The One That You Love.mp3 Air Supply - The Power Of Love.mp3 Air Supply - Two Less Lonely People In The World.mp3 Al Bano & Romina Power - Arrivederci A Bahia.mp3 Al Bano & Romina Power - Ci Sara.mp3 Al Bano & Romina Power - Felicita.mp3 Al Bano & Romina Power - Sharazan.mp3 Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat.mp3 Alanah Myles - Black Velvet.mp3 Albert Hammond - It Never Rains In Southern California.mp3 Alice Cooper - Poison.mp3 Alix - Por Vez Primera.mp3 Alphaville - Big In Japan.mp3 Alphaville - Dance with me.mp3 Alphaville - Forever Young.mp3 Alphaville - Sounds Like A Melody.mp3 America - A Horse With No Name.mp3 America - You Can Do Magic.mp3 Amy Grant - Baby Baby.mp3 Andy Gibb - I Just Want To Be Your Everything.mp3 Anggun - Snow On The Sahara.mp3 Animals - House Of The Rising Sun.mp3 Anita Baker - Sweet Love.mp3 Annie Lennox & Al Green - Put A Little Love In Your Heart.mp3 Annie Lennox - No More I Love You's.mp3 Annie Lennox - Why.mp3 Anything Box - Living In Oblivion.mp3 Aretha Franklin - Think.mp3 Art Garfunkel - Bright Eyes.mp3 Asia - Heat Of The Moment.mp3 Aswad - Don't Turn Around.mp3 Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer (Original Version).mp3 B.W. Stevenson - Sunny.mp3 B52's - Love Shack.mp3 B52's - Private Idaho.mp3 Baccara - Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie.mp3 Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Hey You.mp3 Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me.mp3 Baltimora - Tarzan Boy.mp3 Bananarama - Cruel Summer.mp3 Bananarama - Love In The First Degree.mp3 Bananarama - Venus.mp3 Bang Tango - Someone Like You.mp3 Bangles - Eternal Flame.mp3 Bangles - Manic Monday.mp3 Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian [December 1986].mp3 Barbra Streisand - Woman In Love.mp3 Barry Manilow - Mandy.mp3 Barry White - Can't Get Enough Of Your Love.mp3 Barry White - Never, Never Gonna Give You Up.mp3 Barry White - You Are The First The Last My Everything.mp3 Beach Boys - California Dreamin'.mp3 Beach Boys - Fun, Fun, Fun.mp3 Beach Boys - Good Vibrations.mp3 Beach Boys - Kokomo2.mp3 beach boys - Surfing USA.mp3 Beastie Boys - Fight for Your Right to Party.mp3 Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love.mp3 Bee Gees - Massachusetts.mp3 Bee Gees - Paying The Price Of Love.mp3 Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive.mp3 Bee Gees - Tragedy.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - All God's Children.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - Big Scary Animal.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - Circle In The Sand.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - I Get Weak.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - La Luna.mp3 Belinda Carlisle - Leave A Light On.mp3 Ben E. King - Stand By Me.mp3 Benny Mardones - Into The Night.mp3 Berlin - NO MORE WORD.mp3 Berlin - Take My Breath Away.mp3 Beverley Craven - Promise Me.mp3 Big - Wild World.mp3 Big Mountain - Baby I Love Your Way.mp3 Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes - (I've Had) The Time of My Life.mp3 Bill Medley - He Ain't Heavy.mp3 Bill Withers - Lovely Day.mp3 Billie Myers - Kiss The Rain.mp3 Billy Idol - Cradle Of Love.mp3 billy idol - dancin with myself.mp3 Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face.mp3 Billy Idol - Flesh For Fantasy.mp3 Billy Idol - Hot In The City.mp3 Billy Idol - Speed.mp3 Billy Idol - Sweet Sixteen.mp3 Billy Idol - White Wedding.mp3 Billy Joel - A Matter Of Trust.mp3 Billy Joel - Honesty.mp3 Billy Joel - Just The Way You Are.mp3 Billy Joel - Piano Man.mp3 Billy Joel - The River Of Dreams.mp3 Billy Joel - Uptown Girl.mp3 Billy Joel - You May Be Right.mp3 Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen.mp3 Billy Ocean - European Queen.mp3 Billy Ocean - Get Outta My Dreams.mp3 Billy Ocean - Loverboy.mp3 Billy Ocean - Suddenly.mp3 Billy Ocean - When The Going Gets Tough.mp3 Billy Paul - Me And Mrs. Jones.mp3 Billy Paul - War Of The Gods (LP) 1973 - Vinyl.mp3 Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet.mp3 Black - Wonderful Life.mp3 Blondie - Atomic.mp3 Blondie - Call me.mp3 Blondie - Heart Of Glass.mp3 Blondie - Maria.mp3 Blondie - The Tide Is High.mp3 Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper.mp3 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Could You Be Loved.mp3 Bob Seger - Shakedown.mp3 Bobby Brown - My Prerogative.mp3 Bon Jovi - Always.mp3 Bon jovi - Bad medicine.mp3 Bon Jovi - Bed Of Roses.mp3 Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory.mp3 Bon Jovi - Born to be my baby.mp3 Bon Jovi - Como Yo Nadie Te Ha Amado.mp3 Bon Jovi - Crazy.mp3 Bon Jovi - I'll Be There For You.mp3 Bon Jovi - It's My Life.mp3 Bon Jovi - Lecho de rosas.mp3 Bon Jovi - Lie To Me.mp3 bon jovi - livin on a prayer acustico.mp3 Bon jovi - Livin on a prayer.mp3 Bon Jovi - Livin' on a prayer.mp3 bon jovi - Miracle.mp3 Bon Jovi - Never Say Good Bye.mp3 Bon Jovi - This Ain't A Love Song.mp3 Bon Jovi - Wanted dead or alive.mp3 Bon Jovi - You Give Love A Bad Name.mp3 Bonnie Bianco & Pierre Cosso - Stay.mp3 Bonnie Tyler - Holding Out For A Hero.mp3 Bonnie Tyler - If You Were A Woman.mp3 Bonnie Tyler - It's A Heartache.mp3 Bonnie Tyler - Lost in France.mp3 Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart.mp3 Booker T. & The MGs - Green Onions.mp3 Boston - Amanda.mp3 Boston - More Than A Feeling.mp3 Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy.mp3 Boy George - Karma Camaleon.mp3 Boz Scaggs - We're All Alone.mp3 Britney Spears - Baby One More Time.mp3 Britney Spears - Now That I Found You.mp3 Bronski Beat - Tell Me why.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Cover Me.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Hungry Heart.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - I'm Goin' Down.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Secret Garden.mp3 Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia.mp3 Bryan Adams & Paco De Lucia - Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman.mp3 Bryan Adams - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.mp3 Bryan Adams - 18 Til I Die.mp3 Bryan Adams - Do I Have To Say The Words.mp3 Bryan Adams - Every think I do, I do it for you.mp3 Bryan Adams - Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman.mp3 Bryan Adams - Heaven.mp3 Bryan Adams - I'm Ready.mp3 Bryan Adams - Please Forgive Me.mp3 Bryan Adams - Summer Of '69.mp3 Bryan Adams - Thought I'd Died And Gone To Heaven.mp3 Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting - All For Love.mp3 Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music - More Than This.mp3 BRYAN FERRY - LIMBO.mp3 Bryan Ferry - Slave To Love.mp3 Cameo - Word Up.mp3 Camouflage - The Great Commandment.mp3 Camouflage - Thief.mp3 camuflage - the great commander.mp3 Candle Box - Far behind.mp3 Captain & Tennille - Do that to me one more time.mp3 Captain & Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together.mp3 Carlos Santana - Oye Coma Va.mp3 Carly Simon - Coming Around Again.mp3 Carole King - It's Too Late.mp3 Carole King - You've Got A Friend.mp3 Carpenters - Close To You.mp3 Carpenters - Superstar.mp3 Cdb - Let's Groove.mp3 Celine Dion & R. Kelly - I'm Your Angel.mp3 Celine Dion - Falling Into You.mp3 Celine Dion - Immortality.mp3 Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On.mp3 Cheap Trick - Ghost Town.mp3 Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me.mp3 Cheap Trick - The Flame.mp3 Cher - Believe.mp3 Cher - Dov'e L'Amore.mp3 Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time.mp3 Cher - Love And Understanding.mp3 Chic - Le Freak.mp3 Chicago - 25 or 6 to 4.mp3 Chicago - All Roads Lead To You.mp3 Chicago - Hard Habit To Break.mp3 Chicago - Hard to say i'm sorry.mp3 Chicago - If You Leave Me Now.mp3 Chicago - Stay The Night.mp3 Chicago - You're The Inspiration.mp3 Chris de Burgh - Carry me (like a fire in your heart).mp3 Chris De Burgh - High On Emotion.mp3 Chris DeBurgh - Lady In Red.mp3 Chris Isaak - Wicked Game.mp3 Chris Montez - Let's Dance.mp3 Chris Rea - Josephine.mp3 Chris Rea - On The Beach.mp3 Chris Rea - Road To Hell.mp3 Chris Rea - Soft Top, Hard Shoulder.mp3 Chris Rea - Sweet Summer Day.mp3 Chris Rea - The Blue Cafe.mp3 Christopher Cross - Arthur's Theme Best That You Can Do.mp3 Christopher Cross - Best That You Can Do.mp3 Christopher Cross - Never Be The Same.mp3 Christopher Cross - Sailing.mp3 Claudi Philips - Quel souci la boetie.mp3 Cliff Richard - Devil Woman.mp3 Cliff Richard - Some people.mp3 Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Any More.mp3 Club Nouveau - Lean On Me.mp3 Coalplay - Yellow.mp3 Cock Robin - Just Around the Corner.mp3 Cock Robin - When Your Heart Is Weak.mp3 Company B - Fascinated.mp3 Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise.mp3 Corey Hart - Never Surrender.lite.mp3 Corey Hart - Sunglasses At Night.mp3 Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.mp3 Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over.mp3 Culture Club - Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.mp3 Culture Club - karma camaleon.mp3 Culture Club - The War Song.mp3 Cut 'n' Move - Give It Up.mp3 Cutting Crew - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight.mp3 Cutting Crew - I've Been In Love Before.mp3 Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.mp3 Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time.mp3 Cyndi Lauper - True Colors.mp3 Dan Fogelberg - Longer.mp3 Daryl Hall & John Oates - I Can't Go For That.mp3 Dave Stewart - Heart Of Stone.mp3 David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes.mp3 David Bowie - China Girl.mp3 David Bowie - Fame.mp3 David Bowie - Space Oddity.mp3 David Bowie - Suffragette City.mp3 David Bowie - This Is Not America.mp3 David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust.mp3 David Lee Roth - I Ain't Got Nobody.mp3 Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid.mp3 Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round.mp3 DeBarge - Rhythm Of The Night.mp3 Debbie Gibson - Electric Youth.mp3 Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat.mp3 Debbie Gibson - Lost In Your Eyes.mp3 Debbie Gibson - Only In My Dreams (1987).mp3 Debbie Gibson - Shake Your Love.mp3 Debbie Gibson - Staying Together.mp3 Deep Purple - Child In Time.mp3 Def Leppard - Action.mp3 Def Leppard - Animal.mp3 Def Leppard - Hysteria.mp3 Def Leppard - Lets Get Rocked.mp3 Def Leppard - Love Bites.mp3 Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me.mp3 Depeche Mode - Behind The Wheel.mp3 Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence.mp3 Depeche Mode - I See You.mp3 Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough.mp3 Depeche Mode - Little 15.mp3 Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus.mp3 Depeche Mode - Policy Of Truth.mp3 Depeche Mode - World In My Eyes.mp3 Desireless - Voyage Voyage.mp3 Devo - Whip It [November 1980].mp3 Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen.mp3 Diana King - Shy Guy.mp3 Diana Ross & The Supremes - Baby Love.mp3 Diana Ross - Not Over You Yet.mp3 Diana Ross - One Shining Moment.mp3 Diana Ross - Upside Down.mp3 Dido - Here With Me.mp3 Dido - Thank You.mp3 Dina Carroll - Don't Be A Stranger.mp3 Dionne Warwick & Friends - That's What Friends Are For [January 1986].mp3 Dire Straits - Money For Nothing.mp3 Dire Straits - Private Investigations.mp3 Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing.mp3 Dire Straits - Ticket To Heaven.mp3 Dire Straits - Walk Of Life.mp3 Dolby's Cube - Howard The Duck Theme.mp3 Dominoe - Here I Am.mp3 Don Henley - Boys Of Summer.mp3 Donna Lewis - I Love You Always Forever.mp3 Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin.mp3 Double - The Captain of Her Heart.mp3 Dr.Hook - Sexy Eyes.mp3 Duran Duran - Come Undone.mp3 Duran Duran - Girls On Film.mp3 Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf [March 1983].mp3 Duran Duran - Notorious.mp3 Duran Duran - Ordinary World.mp3 Duran Duran - Perfect Day.mp3 Duran Duran - Rio.mp3 Duran Duran - Save A Prayer.mp3 Eagles - Hotel California.mp3 Eddie Money - Baby Hold On.mp3 Edie Brickell & Barry White - Good Times.mp3 Edie Brickell - What I Am.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Confusion.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Last Train To London.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Livin' Thing.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Rock And Roll Is King.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Secret Messages.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Shine a Little Love.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Sweet Talkin' Woman.mp3 Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line.mp3 Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart.mp3 Elton John - Believe.mp3 Elton John - Bennie And The Jets.mp3 Elton John - Blue Eyes.mp3 Elton John - Crocodile Rock.mp3 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.mp3 Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues.mp3 Elton John - I'm Still Standing.mp3 Elton John - Nikita.mp3 Elton John - Rocket Man.mp3 Elton John - Sacrifice.mp3 Elton John - Sad Songs.mp3 Emma Shapplin - Spente Le Stelle.mp3 Enigma - Return To Innocence.mp3 Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos.mp3 Enrique Iglesias - Rhythm Divine.mp3 Enrique Iglesias - Solo En Ti.mp3 Enya - Orinoco Flow.mp3 Erasure - A Little Respect.mp3 Erasure - Always.mp3 Erasure - Blue Savannah.mp3 Erasure - Chains Of Love.mp3 Erasure - Love To Hate You.mp3 Erasure - Oh L'amour.mp3 Eric Carmen - All By Myself.mp3 Eric Carmen - Hungry Eyes.mp3 Eric Clapton - Change The World.mp3 Eric Clapton - Get Lost.mp3 Eric Clapton - I Shot The Sheriff.mp3 Eric Clapton - Layla.mp3 Eric Clapton - My Father's Eyes.mp3 Eric Clapton - Pretending.mp3 Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven.mp3 Eros Ramazzotti - Cose Della Vita.mp3 Eros Ramazzotti - Piu Bella Cosa.mp3 Eros Ramazzotti - Un'Altra Te.mp3 Erotic Exotic - I can give you what you need.mp3 Eruption - One Way Ticket.mp3 Europe - Carrie.mp3 Europe - Cherokee.mp3 Europe - Open Your Heart.mp3 Europe - Supersticious.mp3 Europe - The Final Countdown.mp3 Eurythmics - Here Comes The Rain Again.mp3 Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams [August 1983].mp3 Eurythmics - When Tomorrow Comes.mp3 Evelyn Thomas - High Energy.mp3 Everything But The Girl - I Don't Want To Talk About It.mp3 Everything But The Girl - Missing.mp3 Expose - Point of no return.mp3 Extreme - More Than Words.mp3 F. R. David - Words.mp3 Faith No More - Easy.mp3 Faith No More - Epic.mp3 Falco - Jeanny.mp3 Falco - Out Of The Dark.mp3 Falco - Rock Me Amadeus [April 1986].mp3 Falco - Vienna Calling.mp3 faltan.txt Fine Young Cannibals - Good Thing.mp3 Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy.mp3 Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way.mp3 Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies.mp3 Fool's Garden - Lemon Tree.mp3 Foreigner - Double Vision.mp3 Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is.mp3 Foreigner - Waiting For A Girl Like You.mp3 France Gall - Ella Elle l'a.mp3 Frank Duval - Touch My Soul.mp3 Frank Sinatra & Bono - I've Got You Under My Skin.mp3 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax.mp3 Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own.mp3 Free - All Right Now.mp3 Fun Fun - Color my love.mp3 Fun Fun - Happy Station.mp3 Garbage - Milk.mp3 Gary Moore - Story Of The Blues.mp3 Gary Numan - Cars [June 1980].mp3 Gazebo - I Like Chopin.mp3 General Public - I'll Take You There.mp3 Genesis - Hold On My Heart.mp3 Genesis - I Can't Dance.mp3 Genesis - Invisible Touch.mp3 Genesis - Mama.mp3 Genesis - No Son Of Mine.mp3 George Harrison - Cockamamie Business.mp3 George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You.mp3 George McCrae - Rock Your Baby.mp3 George Michael & Queen - Somebody To Love.mp3 George Michael - Careless Whisper.mp3 George Michael - Faith [December 1987].mp3 George Michael - Fastlove.mp3 George Michael - Father Figure.mp3 George Michael - Fredoom.mp3 George Michael - Jesus To A Child.mp3 George Michael - Kissing A Fool.mp3 George Michael - One more try.mp3 George Michael - Outside.mp3 George Michael - Roxanne.mp3 George Michael - Too funky.mp3 Gilbert O'sullivan - Alone Again (Naturally).mp3 Gino Vannelli - Black Cars.mp3 Gino Vannelli - Hurts To Be In Love.mp3 Gipsy Kings - Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu).mp3 Glass Tiger - Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone).mp3 Glenn Frey - The Heat Is On.mp3 Glenn Medeiros - Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You.mp3 Gloria Estefan - Anything For You.mp3 Gloria Estefan - Don't Wanna Lose You.mp3 Gloria Estefan - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.mp3 Gloria Estefan - I See Your Smile.mp3 Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive.mp3 Gloria Gaynor - Reach Out I'll Be There.mp3 gnarls barkley - crazy.mp3 GNR - 14 Years.mp3 GNR - Civil War.mp3 GNR - Don't Cry [Original Version].mp3 GNR - Double Talkin' Jive.mp3 GNR - Estranged.mp3 GNR - It's So Easy.mp3 GNR - Knockin' on Heaven's Door.mp3 GNR - Live And Let Die.mp3 GNR - November Rain.mp3 GNR - One In A Million.mp3 GNR - Paradise City.mp3 GNR - Patience.mp3 GNR - Sweet Child O' Mine.mp3 GNR - Used to Love Her.mp3 GNR - Welcome To The Jungle.mp3 GNR - Yesterdays.mp3 GNR - You're Crazy.mp3 Go West - We Close Our Eyes.mp3 Goo Goo Dolls - Iris.mp3 Gorillaz - 19-2000.mp3 Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood.mp3 Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.mp3 Greg Kihn Band - Jeopardy (1983).mp3 Gregory Abbott - Shake You Down.mp3 GTR - When The Heart Rules The Mind.mp3 Hall & Oates - Baby Come Back.mp3 Hall & Oates - Can't go for That.mp3 Hall & Oates - Kiss On My List.mp3 Hall & Oates - Maneater [December 1982].mp3 Hall & Oates - Private Eyes.mp3 Hall & Oates - Say It Isn't So.mp3 Harold Faltermeyer - Axel F.mp3 Heart - All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You.mp3 Heart - Alone.mp3 Heart - Barracuda.mp3 Heart - Never.mp3 Heart - These Dreams.mp3 Herbie Hancock - Rockit.mp3 Honeydrippers - Sea of love.mp3 Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing.mp3 Howard Jones - Things Can Only Bet Better.mp3 Huey Lewis & The News - Hip To Be Square.mp3 Huey Lewis & The News - I Need A New Drug.mp3 Huey Lewis & The News - She's Heart n Soul.mp3 Huey Lewis & The News - Stuck With You.mp3 Huey Lewis & The News - The Power of Love [August 1985].mp3 Iggy Pop - Candy.mp3 Inner Circle - Sweat (A La La Long).mp3 INXS - Beautiful Girl.mp3 INXS - By My Side.mp3 INXS - Devil Inside.mp3 INXS - Elegantly Wasted.mp3 INXS - I Need You Tonight.mp3 INXS - Never Tear Us Apart.mp3 INXS - New Sensation - EMG - www.elitemusic.org.mp3 INXS - Suicide Blonde.mp3 Irene Cara - What A Feeling [June 1983].mp3 Iron Maiden - Wasting Love.mp3 Jambalaya - Carpenters.mp3 James Brown - Living In America.mp3 Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy.mp3 Jan Werner - Find Your Way.mp3 Janet Jackson - Every Time.mp3 Janet Jackson - Nasty Boys.mp3 Janet Jackson - That's The Way Love Goes.mp3 Janis Joplin - Summertime.mp3 Janis Joplin - Take another Little Piece of my heart.mp3 Jellybean - Jingo.mp3 Jellybean - The Mexican (1984).mp3 Jennifer Lopez - Play.mp3 Jennifer Rush - I Come Undone.mp3 Jennifer Rush - The Power Of Love.mp3 Jermaine Jackson - Dynamite.mp3 Jim Croce - Time in a bottle.mp3 Jim Diamond - I Should Have Known Better.mp3 Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe.mp3 Jimmy Ray - Are You Jimmy Ray.mp3 Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers - That's What I Like.mp3 Joan Jett - I Love Rock 'N Roll [April 1982].mp3 Joan Osborne - One Of Us.mp3 Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes - Up Where We Belong.mp3 Joe Cocker - Summer In The City.mp3 Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On.mp3 Joe Dassin - A Toi.mp3 Joe Dassin - Et Si Tu N'existais Pas.mp3 Joe Dassin - Salut.mp3 Joe Esposito - Lady,Lady,Lady (1983).mp3 Joey Scarbury - Beleive It Or Not.mp3 John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack & Diane [October 1982].mp3 John Farnham - You're The Voice.mp3 John Parr - St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion).mp3 John Paul Young - Love Is In The Air (1978).mp3 John Rocca - I want it to be real.mp3 John Waite - Missing You.mp3 Johnny Hates Jazz - I Don't Want To Be A Hero.mp3 Johnny Hates Jazz - Shattered Dreams.mp3 Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back The Clock.mp3 Johnny Logan - Hold Me Now.mp3 Jon Anderson - Hold on to Love.mp3 Jon Secada - If You Go.mp3 Journey - Don't stop believing.mp3 Journey - Wheel In The Sky.mp3 Journey - When You Love A Woman.mp3 Juice Newton - Queen of Hearts.mp3 Julee Cruise - Falling.mp3 Julian Lennon - Too Late For Goodbyes.mp3 Julian Lennon - Valotte.mp3 K.D. Lang - Constant Craving.mp3 Kajagoogoo - Too Shy.mp3 Kansas - Carry On Wayward Son.mp3 Kansas - Dust In The Wind.mp3 Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine [June 1985].mp3 Ken Laszlo - Everybody Is Dancing.mp3 Kenny G - Don't Make Me Wait For Love.mp3 Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone.mp3 Kenny Loggins - Footloose [April 1984].mp3 Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes [June 1981].mp3 Kim Wilde - Cambodia.mp3 Kim Wilde - Hey Mr.Heartache.mp3 Kim Wilde - Kids In America.mp3 Kim Wilde - Love Blonde.mp3 Kim Wilde - You Came.mp3 Kind Of Blue - Bitter Blue.mp3 King - Love and Pride.mp3 Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night.mp3 Kiss - I Was Made For Loving You.mp3 Kool & The Gang - Cherish.mp3 Kraftwerk - The Model.mp3 Kris Kross - Jump.mp3 Kula Shaker _ Hush.mp3 KWS - Please Don't Go.mp3 Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head.mp3 Kylie Minogue - Confide In Me.mp3 Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky.mp3 Kylie Minogue - Locomotion.mp3 Laid Back - Sunshine Reggae.mp3 Laura Branigan - Gloria.mp3 Laura Branigan - Power of Love.mp3 Laura Branigan - Self Control.mp3 Lenny Kravits - Again.mp3 Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way.mp3 Lenny Kravitz - I Belong To You.mp3 Lenny Kravitz - Stand By My Woman.mp3 Leo Sayer - When I Need You.mp3 Leo Sayer - You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.mp3 Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man.mp3 Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz.mp3 Leopold Nord Et Vous - C'est L'amour.mp3 Level 42 - Lessons In Love.mp3 Level 42 - Running In The Family.mp3 Lighthouse Family - High.mp3 Limahl - Neverending Story.mp3 Lime - Babe We're Gonna Love Tonight.mp3 Lime - Unexpected Lovers.mp3 Lionel Richie - All Night Long.mp3 Lionel Richie - Dancing On The Ceiling.mp3 Lionel Richie - Easy Like Sunday Morning.mp3 Lionel Richie - Hello.mp3 Lionel Richie - Penny Lover.mp3 Lionel Richie - Say You, Say Me.mp3 Lipps Inc. - Funky Town [May 1980].mp3 Lisa Loeb & nine stories - Stay.mp3 Lisa Stansfield - All Around The World.mp3 Lisa Stansfield - Change.mp3 Lisa Stansfield - This Is The Right Time.mp3 listado.txt Lita Ford (feat. Ozzy Osbourne) - Close My Eyes Forever.mp3 Lita Ford - Kiss Me Deadly.mp3 Lita Ford - Lisa.mp3 Lobo - I'd Love You To Want Me.mp3 Londonbeat - I've Been Thinking About You.mp3 Lou Reed - Perfect Day.mp3 Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side.mp3 Loverboy - Working For The Weekend.mp3 M - Pop Muzik 1979.mp3 M People - Moving On Up.mp3 Madness - Our House [July 1983].mp3 Madonna - Crazy For You.mp3 Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina.mp3 Madonna - Forbidden Love.mp3 Madonna - Gambler.mp3 Madonna - I'll Remember.mp3 Madonna - La Isla Bonita.mp3 Madonna - Like A Virgin [January 1985].mp3 Madonna - Live To Tell.mp3 Madonna - Material Girl.mp3 Madonna - Music.mp3 Madonna - One More Chance.mp3 Madonna - Rain.mp3 Madonna - Take A Bow.mp3 Madonna - This Used To Be My Playground.mp3 Madonna - Time Stood Still.mp3 Madonna - Veras.mp3 Madonna - Youïll See.mp3 Maggie Reilly - Every Single Heartbeat.mp3 Mainhorse - More tea vicar.mp3 Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'.mp3 Manfred Mann's Earth Band - For You.mp3 Marc Anthony - When I Dream At Night.mp3 Maria McKee - Show Me Heaven.mp3 Mariah Carey - Dreamlover.mp3 Mariah Carey - Hero.mp3 Mariah Carey - Love Takes Time.mp3 Mariah Carey - We Belong Together.mp3 Mariah Carey - Without You.mp3 Marillion - Kayleigh.mp3 Marillion - Lavender.mp3 Marmalade - Reflections Of My Life.mp3 Martika - Love Thy Will Be Done.mp3 Martika - Toy Soldiers.mp3 Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine.mp3 Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me.mp3 Matia Bazar - Solo Tu.mp3 Matia Bazar - Tu Semplicita.mp3 Matt Bianco - Don't Blame It On That Girl.mp3 Matt Bianco - Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed.mp3 Maxi Priest - Wild World.mp3 MC Miker G & DJ Sven - Holiday Rap.mp3 Meat Loaf - I Would Do Anything For Love.mp3 Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love But I Won't Do That.mp3 Meja - All About The Money.mp3 Men At Work - Down Under.mp3 Men At Work - Overkill.mp3 Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now.mp3 Men Without Hats - POP GOES THE WORLD.mp3 Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance [September 1983].mp3 Metallica - Nothing Else Matters.mp3 Metallica - The Unforgiven.mp3 Miami Sound Machine - Conga.mp3 Michael Bolton & Celine Dion - The Dock Of The Bay.mp3 Michael Bolton - De Esto Se Trata El Amor-.mp3 Michael Bolton - How I supposed to live without you.mp3 Michael Bolton - Said I Loved You But I Lied.mp3 Michael Bow - Love & Devotion.mp3 Michael Jackson - I Just Can it Stop Loving you.mp3 Michael Learns To Rock - Someday.mp3 Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom.mp3 Michael Sembello - she is a maniac.mp3 Mick Jagger - Sweet Thing.mp3 Midge Ure - Breathe.mp3 Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning.mp3 Mike & The Mechanics - Over My Shoulder.mp3 Mike & The Mechanics - Silent Running.mp3 Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow.mp3 Mike Oldfield - To France.mp3 mike olfield - family man.mp3 Mike olfield - to france.mp3 Mike Reno & Ann Wilson - Almost Paradise.mp3 Modern English - I Melt With You.mp3 Modern Talking - Brother Louie.mp3 Modern Talking - Cheri, Cheri Lady.mp3 Modern Talking - You Can Win It If You Want.mp3 Modern Talking - You're My Heart, You're My Soul.mp3 Modjo - Lady (Hear Me Tonight).mp3 Mondo Rock - Primitive Love Rites.mp3 Morrissey - Every Day Is Like Sunday.mp3 Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood.mp3 Mr. Big - To Be With You.mp3 Mr. Mister - Broken Wings [December 1985].mp3 Mr. Mister - Kyrie.mp3 Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime.mp3 Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok.mp3 M”tley Cre - Home Sweet Home.mp3 M”tley Cre - Without You.mp3 Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang.mp3 Nazareth - Love Hurts.mp3 Nazareth - Victoria.mp3 Nelson - (Can't Live Without Your) Love And Affection.mp3 Nena - 99 Luftballoons [March 1984].mp3 New Edition - Candy Girl.mp3 New Kids On The Block - You Got It (The Right Stuff).mp3 New Orden - blue monday.mp3 new radicals - you get what you give.mp3 Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue - Where The Wild Roses Grow.mp3 Nick Kamen - Each Time You Break My Heart.mp3 Nick Kamen - I Promised Myself.mp3 Night Ranger - Sister Christian.mp3 Nik Kershaw - The Riddle.mp3 Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good.mp3 Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'.mp3 No Doubt - Don't Speak.mp3 Oasis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out.mp3 Oasis - Wonderwall.mp3 Oingo Boingo - Weird Science.mp3 Olivia Newton John - Physical [December 1981].mp3 Olivia Newton-John - Hopelessly Devoted To You.mp3 Ollie And Jerry - Breakin' There's No Stopping Us.mp3 OMD - Call My Name.mp3 OMD - Dream Of Me.mp3 OMD - Enola Gay.mp3 OMD - If You Leave.mp3 OMD - Sailing On The Seven Seas.mp3 OMD - Secret.mp3 OMD - Then You Turn Away.mp3 Opus - Live Is Life.mp3 Ozzy Osbourne - So Tired.mp3 Pat Benatar - Love Is A Battlefield.mp3 Pat Benatar - We Belong.mp3 Patrick Swayze - She's Like The Wind.mp3 Paul Hardcastle - 19.mp3 Paul Mc Cartney - No more lonely nights.mp3 Paul McCartney (feat. Stevie Wonder) - Ebony And Ivory.mp3 Paul McCartney - My Brave Face.mp3 Paul McCartney - Say Say Say.mp3 Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al.mp3 Paul Young - Don't Dream It's Over.mp3 Paul Young - Everytime You Go Away.mp3 Paul Young - Senza Una Donna(Without A Woman).mp3 Paula Abdul - Rush, Rush.mp3 Paula Abdul - Straight Up.mp3 Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - Go west.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - Its A Sin.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - New York City Boy.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - Rent.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - So Hard.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - Suburbia.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls.mp3 Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done to Deserve This.mp3 Peter Cetera - Glory Of Love.mp3 Peter Cetera - Restless Heart.mp3 Peter Gabriel - Big Time.mp3 Peter Gabriel - Digging In The Dirt.mp3 Peter Gabriel - Red Rain.mp3 Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer.mp3 Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill.mp3 Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up.mp3 Peter Schilling - Major Tom.mp3 Ph D - I Won't Let You Down.mp3 Phil Collins - Another Day In Paradise.mp3 Phil Collins - Don't Lose My Number.lite.mp3 Phil Collins - Groovy kind of love.mp3 Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight.mp3 Phil Collins - Sussudio.mp3 Philip Bailey, Phil Collins - Easy Lover.mp3 Phyllis Nelson - I Like You ( short version ).mp3 Phyllis Nelson - I Like You (1985).mp3 Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall.mp3 Pink Floyd - High Hopes.mp3 Pink Floyd - Learning To Fly.mp3 Pink Floyd - Money.mp3 Pixies - Here Comes Your Man.mp3 Player - Baby Come Back.mp3 Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited.mp3 Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn.mp3 Police - Spirits In The Material World.mp3 Pretenders - Brass in Pocket.mp3 Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong.mp3 Pretenders - I'll Stand By You.mp3 Prince - Kiss.mp3 Prince - Little Red Corvette.mp3 Prince - Money Don't Matter 2 Night.mp3 Prince - Purple Rain.mp3 Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl In The World.mp3 Prince - When Doves Cry [July 1984].mp3 Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale.mp3 Public Enemy - Fight The Power.mp3 Pupo - Su Dinoi.mp3 Queen & David Bowie - Under Presure.mp3 Queen - A King Of Magic.mp3 Queen - Don't Stop Me Now.mp3 Queen - Innuendo.mp3 Queen - Killer Queen.mp3 Queen - Man On The Prowl.mp3 Queen - Radio Ga Ga.mp3 Queen - The Show Must Go On.mp3 Queen - Under Pressure.mp3 Queen - You Don't Fool Me.mp3 R.E.M. - Bang And Blame.mp3 R.E.M. - Everybody hurts.mp3 R.E.M. - imitation of life.mp3 R.E.M. - It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).mp3 R.E.M. - Losing My Religion.mp3 R.E.M. - Radiosong.mp3 R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People.mp3 R.Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly.mp3 Radiohead - Creep.mp3 Radioheads - High and Dry.mp3 Radioheads - The Bends.mp3 Rainbow - Catch The Rainbow.mp3 Rainbow - I Surrender.mp3 Ratt - Round And Round.mp3 Ray Charles - Hit the road, jack.mp3 Ray Charles - Unchain My Heart.mp3 Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters [August 1984].mp3 Real Life - Send Me An Angel.mp3 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge.mp3 Regina - Baby Love.mp3 Rembrandts - Just The Way It Is, Baby.mp3 REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling [March 1985].mp3 REO Speedwagon - I cant fight this feeling anymore.mp3 REO Speedwagon - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight.mp3 REO Speedwagon - In my dreams.mp3 REO Speedwagon - Keep on Loving You.mp3 REO Speedwagon - One Lonely Night.mp3 REO Speedwagon - Take On Run.mp3 Ricchi & Poveri - Canzone d'amore.mp3 Ricchi & Poveri - Mamma Maria.mp3 Ricchi & Poveri - Sara Perche Ti Amo.mp3 Ricchi & Poveri - Voulez Vous Danser.mp3 Richard Marx - Angelia.mp3 Richard Marx - Children of the night.mp3 Richard Marx - Hazard.mp3 Richard Marx - Hungry Eyes.mp3 Richard Marx - Now And Forever.mp3 Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting.mp3 Rick Ashley -Together Forever.mp3 Rick Astley - Hold Me In Your Arms.mp3 Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up.mp3 Rick Springfield - Celebrate Youth.mp3 Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl.mp3 Rick Springfield - Love Somebody.mp3 Rick Springfield - State Of The Heart.mp3 Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody.mp3 Rihanna - Hate That I Love You.mp3 Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two.mp3 Robbie Nevil - C'est La Vie.mp3 Robbie Williams - Angels.mp3 Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love.mp3 Robert Palmer - Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor).mp3 Robert Palmer - Johnny and Mary .mp3 Robert Palmer - Know By Now.mp3 Robert Palmer - Some Guys Have All The Luck.mp3 Roberta Flack - Kiling Me Softly With This Song.mp3 Robin Beck - The first time.mp3 Robin Gibb - Boys do fall in love.mp3 Robin Gibb - Like A Fool.mp3 Rod Stewart - Baby Jane.mp3 Rod Stewart - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy.mp3 Rod Stewart - Downtown Train.mp3 Rod Stewart - Forever Young.mp3 Rod Stewart - I Don't Want To Talk About It.mp3 Rod Stewart - Maggie May.mp3 Rod Stewart - My Heart Can't Tell You No.mp3 Rod Stewart - Rhythm Of My Heart.mp3 Rod Stewart - Sailing.mp3 Rod Stewart - Tonight I'm Yours (Don't Hurt Me).mp3 Rod Stewart - Young Turks.mp3 Roxette - Anyone.mp3 Roxette - Crash! Boom! Bang!.mp3 Roxette - Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave).mp3 Roxette - How Do You Do!.mp3 Roxette - It Must Have Been Love.mp3 Roxette - Listen To Your Heart.mp3 Roxette - Queen Of Rain.mp3 Roxette - Spending My Time.mp3 Roxette - The Look.mp3 Roxxette - Joyride.mp3 Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug.mp3 Roy Orbison - Pretty Woman.mp3 Roy Orbison - You Got It.mp3 Rufus & Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody.mp3 Ryan Paris - Dolce Vita.mp3 Sabrina - Boys Boys Boys.mp3 Sade - Cherish The Day.mp3 Sade - Hang On To Your Love.mp3 Sade - Is It A Crime.mp3 Sade - Kiss Of Life.mp3 Sade - Never As Good As The First Time.mp3 Sade - No Ordinary Love.mp3 Sade - Nothing Can Come Between Us.mp3 Sade - Paradise.mp3 Sade - Please Send Me Someone To Love.mp3 Sade - Smooth Operator.mp3 Sade - The Sweetest Taboo.mp3 Sade - Your Love Is King.mp3 Saigon Kick - Love Is On The Way.mp3 Salt-N-Pepa - Push It.mp3 Sam Brown - Stop!.mp3 Samantha Fox - Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now.mp3 Samantha Fox - Touch Me.mp3 Samantha Sang - Emotion.mp3 Sandau Ballet - Through the barricades.mp3 Sandra - Everlasting Love.mp3 Sandra - Heaven Can Wait.mp3 Sandra - Maria Magdalena.mp3 Sandra - Stop For A Minute.mp3 Santa Esmeralda - You Are My Everything.mp3 Santana - Samba Pa' Ti.mp3 Scorpions - Big City Nights.mp3 Scorpions - Moment Of Glory.mp3 Scorpions - No One Like You.mp3 Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane.mp3 Scorpions - Still Loving You.mp3 Scorpions - Wind Of Change.mp3 Scorpions - You And I.mp3 Scott Mckenzie - San Francisco.mp3 Seal - Crazy.mp3 Seal - Kiss From A Rose.mp3 Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze.mp3 Secret Ties - One Night.mp3 Shakin' Stevens - Lipstick, Powder And Paint.mp3 Shakin' Stevens - Shirley.mp3 Shania Twain - From This Moment On.mp3 Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman.mp3 Shania Twain - That Don't Impress Me Much.mp3 Shania Twain - You're Still the One.mp3 Sheena Easton - Almost Over You.mp3 Sheena Easton - We've Got Tonight.mp3 Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do.mp3 Sheryl Crow - Run Baby Run.mp3 Shocking Blue - Venus.mp3 Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Love Missile F1-11.mp3 Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water.mp3 Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson.mp3 Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence.mp3 Simple Minds - Alive And Kicking.mp3 Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me).mp3 Simply Red - A New Flame.mp3 Simply Red - Fairground.mp3 Simply Red - For Your Babies.mp3 Simply Red - Holding Back The Years.mp3 Simply Red - If you don't know me by now.mp3 Simply Red - It's Only Love.mp3 Simply Red - Money's Too Tight To Mention.mp3 Simply Red - Something Got Me Started.mp3 Simply Red - Stars.mp3 Simply Red - The Right Thing.mp3 Simply Red - Thrill Me.mp3 Simply Red - Your Mirror.mp3 Sinead O'Connor - Thank You For Hearing Me.mp3 Sinita - Feel like the first time.mp3 Sin‚ad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U.mp3 Siouxsie & The Banshees - The Passenger.mp3 Sister Sledge - We are family.mp3 Six Was Nine - Surprise, Surprise.mp3 Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss Me.lite.mp3 Slade - My Oh My.mp3 Slade - Run Runaway.mp3 Slow - Classic.mp3 Smash Mouth - All Star.mp3 Smokie - Living Next Door To Alice.mp3 Smokie - Wrong Reason.mp3 Snap! - Rhythm Is A Dancer.mp3 Soft Cell - Tainted Love [July 1982].mp3 Soul Asylum - Runaway Train.mp3 SoulSister - The Way To Your Heart.mp3 Spagna - Call Me.mp3 Spagna - Easy Lady.mp3 Spandau Ballet - Gold.mp3 Spandau Ballet - Througth the barricades.mp3 Spandau Ballet - True.mp3 Squeeze - Tempted by the fruit of another.mp3 Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.mp3 Starship - Sara.mp3 Starship - We Built This City [November 1985].mp3 Status Quo - In The Army Now.mp3 Status Quo - Rockin' All Over The World.mp3 Status Quo - What You're Proposing.mp3 Status Quo - Whatever You Want.mp3 Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra.mp3 Steve Perry - You Better Wait.lite.mp3 Steve Winwood - Higher Love.mp3 Steve Winwood - Valerie.mp3 Stevie B - Because I Love You.mp3 Sting - A Brand New Day.mp3 Sting - All This Time.mp3 Sting - Desert Rose.mp3 Sting - Englishman In New York.mp3 Sting - Fields Of Gold.mp3 Sting - Fill Her Up.mp3 Sting - History Will Teach Us.mp3 Sting - If I Ever Lose My Faith In You.mp3 Sting - If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.mp3 Sting - King Of Pain.mp3 Sting - Lithium Sunset.mp3 Sting - Love Is The Seventh Wave.mp3 Sting - Mad About You.mp3 Sting - Moon Over Bourbon Street.mp3 Sting - One World (Not Three) - Love Is 7th Wave.mp3 Sting - Prologue (If I Ever Lose My).mp3 Sting - Russians.mp3 Sting - Shape Of My Heart.mp3 Sting - She's Too Good For Me.mp3 Sting - Why Should I Cry For You.mp3 Styx - Babe.mp3 Styx - Mr. Roboto [April 1983].mp3 Supertramp - Breakfast In America.mp3 Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger.mp3 Supertramp - It's Raining Again.mp3 Supertramp - The Logical Song.mp3 Survivor - Burning heart.mp3 Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger [August 1982].mp3 Survivor - The search is over.mp3 Survivor- The Moment of Truth.mp3 Suzanne Vega - In Liverpool.mp3 Suzanne Vega - Luka.mp3 Suzi Quatro - Can The Can.mp3 Suzi Quatro - Rock Hard.mp3 Swing Out Sister - Breakout.mp3 Synch - Where are you now.mp3 T Rex - Get It On.mp3 Taco - Puttin' On The Ritz.mp3 Take That - Back For Good.mp3 Talk Talk - Its My Life.mp3 Talking Heads - And She Was.mp3 Talking Heads - Burning Down The House.mp3 Talking Heads - Psycho Killer.mp3 Talking Heads - Wild Wild Life.mp3 Tamara and the Seen - Everybody Dance.mp3 Tanita Tikaram - Stop Listening.mp3 Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite.mp3 Tavares - Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.mp3 Tavares - More Than A Woman.mp3 Tears for fears - Advice For The Young At Heart.mp3 Tears For Fears - Break It Down Again.mp3 Tears for fears - Change.mp3 Tears for fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World.mp3 Tears for fears - Head Over Heels.mp3 Tears for fears - I Believe.mp3 Tears for fears - Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down).mp3 Tears for fears - Mad World.mp3 Tears for fears - Mothers Talk.mp3 Tears for fears - Pale Shelter.mp3 Tears for fears - Shout.mp3 Tears for fears - Sowing The Seeds Of Love.mp3 Tears for fears - Woman In Chains.mp3 Teena Marie - Lovergirl.mp3 Ten Sharp - You.mp3 The Alan Parsons Project - Don't Answer Me.mp3 The Art Company - Susanna.mp3 The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star.mp3 The Cardigans _ Love Fool.mp3 The Carpenters - Superstar.mp3 The Carpenters - Yesterday Once More.mp3 The Cars - Drive.mp3 The Cars - Hello Again.lite.mp3 The Cars - Tonight She Comes.mp3 The Clash - London Calling.mp3 The Clash - Rock The Casbah.lite.mp3 The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go.mp3 The Communards - Don't Leave Me This Way.mp3 The Cover Girl's - Show Me.mp3 The Cranberries - Dreams.mp3 The Cranberries - Linger.mp3 The Cranberries - Ode To My Family.mp3 The Cure - Close To Me.mp3 The Cure - Friday I'm In Love.mp3 The Cure - Just Like Heaven.mp3 The Cure - Lovesong.mp3 The Cure - Lullaby.mp3 The Doobie Brothers - Long train runnin.mp3 The Eagles - Hotel California.mp3 The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another.mp3 The Foundations - Build Me Up Buttercup.lite.mp3 The Four Seasons - Sherry.lite.mp3 The Four Tops - Reach Out I'll Be There.mp3 The Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed.mp3 The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe.mp3 The Human League - Don't You Want Me.mp3 The Human League - Together In Electric Dreams.mp3 The J. Geils Band - Centerfold [February 1982].mp3 The Jets - Cross My Broken Heart.mp3 The Kingsmen - Louie Louie.lite.mp3 The Kinks - You Really Got Me.mp3 The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreaming.mp3 The nack - My Sharona.mp3 The Outfield - all the love in the world.mp3 The Outfield - I Don't Want To Lose Your Love.mp3 The Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited.mp3 The Police - De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.mp3 The Police - Every Breath You Take [July 1983].mp3 The Police - Message In A Bottle.mp3 The Police - Roxanne.mp3 The Police - Spirits In The Material World.mp3 The Police - Walking On The Moon.mp3 The Police - Wrapped Around Your Finger.mp3 The Power Station - Communication.mp3 The Pretenders - Back On the Chain Gang.lite.mp3 The Pretenders - Brass In Pocket.mp3 The Pretenders - I'll stant by you.mp3 The Quick - Bed of Nails.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Angie (Acoustic, Live).mp3 The Rolling Stones - Angie.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Miss You.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Ruby Tuesday.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction.mp3 The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up.mp3 The Romantics - What I Like About You.mp3 The Sweet - Ballroom Blitz.mp3 The Sweet - Fox On The Run.mp3 The Turtles - Happy Together.mp3 The Twins - Face To Face - Heart To Heart.mp3 The Who - You Better, You Bet.mp3 Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak.mp3 Thin Lizzy - Parisienne Walkways (feat. Gary Moore).mp3 Thomas Dolby- She Blinded Me With Science.mp3 Thompson Twins - Doctor! Doctor!.mp3 Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now.mp3 Tiffany - Could've beeny.mp3 Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now.mp3 Tiffany - Radio Romance.mp3 Tina Turner & Barry White - In Your Wildest Dreams.mp3 Tina Turner - Private Dancer.mp3 Tina Turner - The Best.mp3 Tina Turner - We Don't Need Another Hero.mp3 Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It [September 1984].mp3 Tina Turner - When The Heartache Is Over.mp3 Tom Jones & Mousse T - Sexbomb.mp3 Tom Jones - It's Not Unusual.mp3 Tom Jones - She's A Lady.mp3 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Learning To Fly.mp3 Tommy Tutone - Jenny [May 1982].mp3 Tone-Loc - Wild Thing.mp3 Toni Basil - Hey Mickey.mp3 Toni Braxton - Un Break My Heart.mp3 Tori Amos - Past The Mission.mp3 Toto - Africa.mp3 Toto - Hold The Line.mp3 Tracy Chapman - Baby Can I Hold You.mp3 Tracy Chapman - Fast Car.mp3 Tracy Chapman - For My Lover.mp3 Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason.mp3 Trans-X - Living On Video.mp3 Twenty 4 Seven - Slave To The Music.mp3 Twisted Sister - The Price.mp3 Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It.mp3 U2 - Beautiful day.mp3 U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.mp3 U2 - One.mp3 U2 - Pride (In The Name Of Love).mp3 U2 - Staring At The Sun.mp3 U2 - Stay (Far Away So Close).mp3 U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday.mp3 U2 - Sweetest Thing.mp3 U2 - With Or Without You [May 1987].mp3 UB 40 - Can't Help Falling In Love.mp3 UB 40 - Kingston Town.mp3 UB40 - Red Red Wine.mp3 Ultravox - Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.mp3 Ultravox - Vienna.mp3 Umberto Tozzi - Tu.mp3 Uriah Heep - July Morning.mp3 Van Halen - Can't Stop Loving You.mp3 Van Halen - Jump [February 1984].mp3 Van Halen - Why Can't This Be Love.mp3 Van Hallen - Jump.mp3 Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl.mp3 Vanessa Paradis - Joe Le Taxi.mp3 Vangelis - Conquest Of Paradise.mp3 Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around.mp3 Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun.mp3 Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight.mp3 Wang Chung - Let's Go.lite.mp3 Wax - Right Between The Eyes.lite.mp3 Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around.mp3 Wet Wet Wet - With A Little Help.mp3 Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.mp3 Whitesnake - Here I Go Again.mp3 Whitesnake - Is This Love.mp3 Whitney Houston - All The Man That I Need.mp3 Whitney Houston - Could I Have This Kiss Forever.mp3 Whitney Houston - How Will I Know.mp3 Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody.mp3 Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You.mp3 Whitney Houston - I'm Your Baby Tonight.mp3 Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music.mp3 Will To Power - Baby I Love Your Way.mp3 Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind.mp3 Womack & Womack - Teardrops.mp3 Yazz & The Plastic Population - The Only Way Is Up.mp3 Yazzo - Donït Go.mp3 Yello - Oh Yeah.mp3 Yes - Owner Of A Lonely Heart [January 1984].mp3 Yossou N'Dour - 7 Seconds.mp3 Young MC - Bust A Move.mp3 Yvonne Elliman - I Don't Know How To Love Him.mp3 Zucchero - Senza Una Donna.mp3 ZZ Top - La Grange.mp3 ZZ Top - Legs.mp3
          EWB 2015 Asian Design Summit        
Earlier this month Dr Cris Birzer, School of Mechanical Engineering went to the EWB 2015 Asian Design Summit in Cambodia to help Engineers without Borders (EWB) as a mentor. Here, he shares his experiences of the time spent in Cambodia: The group consisted of 37 undergraduate engineering students from across Australia (seven from the University of [...]
          DEAD KENNEDYS        




Dead Kennedys é uma banda punk americana formada em San Francisco, Califórnia. Durante os anos 1980, a banda obteve uma ampla influência no cenário internacional da música punk, com uma mistura experimental entre a música punk inglesa da década de 1970 com a energia crua do hardcore norte-americano. Suas canções combinavam deliberadamente letras chocantes com um humor ácidos e satírico, com comentários liberais sarcásticos sobre assuntos sociais e políticos da época. Ao mesmo tempo, algumas de suas canções também ridicularizam as posições hipócritas de algumas elites liberais. Muitas das canções da banda criticam as ideologias de líderes e de entidades religiosas fundamentalistas de posição política conservadora e da Administração Reagan, além de muitas ideias e personalidades de esquerda.

A história do Dead Kennedys começa quando Eric Boucher respondeu a um anúncio que procurava por vocalistas para uma nova banda de rock. O autor do anúncio era o guitarrista East Bay Ray. Logo após, Eric assumia a alcunha de Jello Biafra, baseado na fracassada guerra civil nigeriana, na qual a região sudeste da Nigéria tentou se tornar independente proclamando a República de Biafra. Os dois se juntariam ainda ao baixista Klaus Flouride, a um segundo guitarrista conhecido apenas pela alcunha de "6025" e ao baterista Bruce Slesinger. O ano era 1978, a política americana agonizava nas mãos conservadoras e a repressão e a insatisfação social tornava o período excepcionalmente propício para o surgimento de uma nova tendência musical: o hardcore - uma evolução americana e agressiva do punk inglês.

Seguindo a linha de pensamento anárquica de Biafra, a banda desde cedo se focou nas letras e na ideologia nelas contidas, abusando de sátiras irônicas e ácidas para criticar diversos temas sociopolíticos americanos, como o consumismo, o "American Way of Life", as guerras, os políticos liberais conservadores, a igreja, a polícia entre outras.

Em 1979, o então misterioso guitarrista "6025", deixa de integrar a banda oficialmente (mas continua se apresentando com a banda e ajudando com composições).

Ainda em 1979 surge o primeiro single da banda: "California Über Alles", uma crítica direta ao então governador da Califórnia, Jerry Brown. Após o sucesso, o grupo lança mais um compacto com a badalada "Police Truck", criticando a violência policial e a famosa "Holiday In Cambodia", um hino antibelicista repleto de ironia e humor negro.

Nesse mesmo ano, Jello Biafra, militante político anarquista e agitador cultural de uma nova vanguarda musical, candidata-se ao cargo de prefeito de São Francisco. Entre suas propostas, previa que os políticos fossem obrigados a circular com um nariz de palhaço e que os policiais fossem escolhidos em votação direta com a população. Com slogans como "Apocalipse agora! Jello para prefeito", alcançou o quarto lugar com mais de 6 mil votos.

Em 1980 é lançado o clássico Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables em parceria com a gravadora independente I.R.S. que rendeu um disco de ouro à banda na Inglaterra.



Devido as imposições contratuais regidas pela então gravadora, Biafra decide montar seu próprio selo, a Alternative Tentacles (que mais tarde lançaria bandas consagradas como Black Flag, Brujeria, 7 Seconds, The Melvins e Bad Brains).

Em 1981 lança pelo novo selo o EP In God We Trust, inc., uma prévia do segundo álbum onde se destaca toda a ironia e acidez da banda sobre a igreja. Logo em seguida é lançado o compacto "Too Drunk to Fuck" que apesar de proibida alcançou muito espaço nas rádios. Neste mesmo compacto foi gravada a polêmica música "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" escrita devido ao descontentamento de Jello em relação aos nazi-fascistas que começavam a surgir na cena punk, e também para atacar seus inimigos declarados: o The Exploited, uma banda punk formada em Edinburgo, Escócia em 1979, acusada de várias atitudes fascistas, como a declaração do vocalista de que odiava negros e latinos.

Em 1982 Slesinger, então baterista, deixa a banda e em seu lugar entra Darren H. Peligro.

Também em 1982, com a nova formação, lançam o segundo álbum da banda, o "Plastic Surgery Disasters" apresentando a já habitual irreverência da banda unida a um som melhor trabalhado e mais maduro do que os álbuns anteriores.



Em 2001 saiu "Mutiny on the Bay", único registro oficial ao vivo da banda, contendo os hinos "California Über Alles" e "Holiday in Cambodia", além de um dos inúmeros discursos de Jello Biafra contra as guerras.

Também em 2001, trazidos pela produtora independente Ataque Frontal, o grupo realizou um controverso show no Brasil, sem o vocalista Jello Biafra, que criticou a banda remanescente por ser gananciosa, dizendo em entrevista que "Eles foram à América do Sul enganar os fãs, os fãs têm que decidir se eles querem ou não fazer parte desta farsa".

Fonte: Wikipédia











Cara, esse vídeo é de 1979, das antiga, eu nasci em 79...





Encontrei um ensaio dos caras, intitulado '' Lost session tapes'', qualidade bem melhor que muito show, raridade, segue aí...












          First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers: Trailer        

Watch the trailer for the film First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.
Filed Under: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
Tags: Netflix, Biopic, Drama, Historical, Foreign / Foreign Language, Book, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata
          Reading Challenge- Adult Titles for May        

This month's BCPL's Reading Challenge is read a book set in Asia. Here are some of our suggestions. Select any title to learn more or to request a copy. You can participate in BCPL's Reading Challenge on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #Bwellread to earn prizes at the end of each month!

 

 BCPL Reading Challenge 2017 In Partnership with WBALTV

Cover art for The Arab of the Future Cover art for Black WaterCover art for Cambodia Noir Cover art for China Rich Girlfriend Cover art for The Coroner's Lunch Cover art for A Fine Balance Cover art for Four Years in the Mountains of Kurdistan Cover art for The Good Earth Cover art for Henna House Cover art for Hiroshima Cover art for Hunters in the Dark Cover art for In Order to Live Cover art for Island of a Thousand Mirrors Cover art for Jade Dragon Mountain Cover art for The Kite Runner Cover art for Memoirs of a Geisha Cover art for Midnight in Siberia Cover art for The Morning They Came For Us Cover art for Music of the Ghosts Cover art for The Quiet American Cover art for Sarong Party Girls Cover art for The Secret Chord Cover art for Selection Day Cover art for Shogun Cover art for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Cover art for A Strangeness in My Mind Cover art for The Teeth of the Comb and Other Stories Cover art for The Temporary Bride Cover art for The Translation of Love Cover art for Waking Lions Cover art for Walking the Himalayas Cover art for The Wind Up Bird Chronicles Cover art for Women of Silk Cover art for A Word for Love


          Vision Realized        

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, we see how God put into reality the ministry which three years ago was just a vision.  It was in 2013 when we first met Larry and talked about our common burden to rescue, protect and empower young women and children against the evil of human trafficking.

We learned from an NGO called DEPDC that many exploited workers (mostly women) in Bangkok and South Thailand come from Northern Thailand. They are either illegally transport from neighboring countries of Myanmar and Laos or recruited through middlemen from very poor families in the tribal villages.

We thank the Lord for this opportunity He has given to us to help these young women and children through New Life Creations Foundation. Our ultimate goal is for these young women and children to have a personal relationship with the Father through Jesus and experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Thank you Lord! This vision is now a reality.

School Break

The school will be closed for two weeks. The children will be staying in the house and either Narlin or Joey needs to stay at home to look after them.  When the children are in the school, we are shuffling our time to work for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.

Thank you for your prayers and support for our ministry with the children.  Your continued prayers and financial support make it possible for us to take care of the children and send them to school. They are also active in the church and may soon be part of the worship team. The Lord is indeed faithful to provide for our needs.

Please continue to help us pray for a new house. Our landlady advised us that anytime she calls, it means we have to leave the house within six months. We have been searching all over the town for a house suitable for the children.  We also started dreaming of buying our own property and build a house. Pray for provision for this specific need.

New Life Creations/Sak Saum Thailand

Our friend and  partner, Larry will be in the US for a couple of months hoping to raise more funds for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.  The registration of NLCF with the Thai government took a lot of financial resources. We desire to help younger women by providing them home and skills so that they can support themselves and live in dignity.

We are thankful to the Lord for the Canadian team that visited us last month and shared our ministry in their church.  Their church raised and sent the fund for two industrial and one ordinary sewing machines. We are praying for individuals or churches who are willing to sponsor two more girls and for the rent of the girls’ home and sewing training center. Please help us to pray for this ministry to rescue, protect and empower young women against human trafficking.

Moreover, we formally signed an MOU with Sak Saum Cambodia. They will allow us to make for them selected “approved” products and will help us to market them in the US. They made order for scarves, wallets and bags and surprisingly, the girls were up to the challenged and were able to fulfill the orders within three weeks. We pray and hope that through this partnership with Sak Saum we can sustain the salary for the girls and the rent for their home and sewing training center.


          Be still and know        
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)
We are blessed to live in a place where the weather is friendly most of the time of the year. Just enough heat on summer, right amount of rain during the rainy season and comfortably cold during the winter. However, this blessing has been taken for granted by the people of Mae Sai. Waking up with a heavy downpour is normal but if it had lasted for three hours or more, we have a feeling that something unusual was about to happen. We seldom experience this kind of rain. We thought if the rain would continue for another thirty minutes, flooding was a sure thing. Thankfully the rain stopped but the flooding still happened. The water came with tons of mud in it.

We were not directly affected but those who live beside the mountains had a difficult times. For the last three years, construction business is booming here in Mae Sai. Rice fields are being converted into subdivisions and these construction projects need tons of filling materials. Contractors are cutting the mountains like crazy to meet these needs. This is a disaster waiting to happen that may be triggered off by even hours of heavy downpour. We are praying that would be last heavy downpour this year and that the government will do something with the cut mountains. Once again, we thank you for your partnership in the gospel.

We sincerely thank you for your untiring prayers which we feel every second of our life. His protection surrounds us his provision is constant.

  Flooding in Mae Sai

Flood in mae sai

NCWSS against human trafficking

The Network for Women and Children Under the Same Sky (NCWSS) is determined to be more proactive in fighting human trafficking. Many NGOs have data to prove that Thailand is on the top tier of human trafficking activity. Mae Sai is considered as gateway for transporting people from poor country like Burma, Laos and Cambodia to the target market. Our last three meetings were very fruitful in laying out plans of actions we need to do as Christian leaders so that children and young women might be protected and prevented in becoming victims. Most of the network members are already involved in providing shelter for children, we thought of having projects that will give empowerment to children and young women to fight against the evil of human trafficking. Please pray for NCWSS members to be more supportive and pray for financial provisions to support some of the programs and activities we hope to implement in the future.

  NCWSS Members

United Christians in Mae Sai

It is safe to say that Joey and Narlin have a small part in the early years of the United Christian in Mae Sai. When the organization decided to go bigger to include all the churches in Mae Sai and neighbouring towns to become The United Christian Protestant in Mae Sai, we thought our participation was no longer needed. However, this month, the President invited us to attend the meeting for the election of new officers, I learned that we are considered as representative for Filipino workers in Mae Sai. We are thankful to the Lord for this opportunity of being a part of God’s bigger work here. United Christian Protestant Mae Sai

More Prayer Requests

We are praying to go home next month. We did not have plan to go home this year. But our children in the Philippines are facing personal difficulties Our children need our presence Please pray for God’s provision for our air fare. Please pray also for our children in the Philippines. Please pray for our health. Perhaps is a break out of “pink eyes”(conjunctivitis) here in Mae Sai and Tachilek. And at the moment, two of the children are infected already. We are doing our best not to spread it to everyone in the house. Moreover, Tina has fever and suffering from most probably a flu. Please pray for our health. Pray for that we can go home to the Philippines in October. Wehad no plan to go home this year. However, our children are experiencing difficulties back at home. We feel that our children need our presence at least for a month just to be with them and settle a personal problem. Please pray for God’s provision and for the safe travel. We are also asking you to pray for our children’s needs and difficulties.

  Fluke s Conjunctivitis Pray for our teaching and preaching ministry. More children are coming to us to learn English. We are thankful for this opportunity to bless the children and their parents too. In addition, we will be teaching young people to prepare them to university or church ministry. Also, Joey was requested to become a regular preacher at Pantamit Mae Sai Church. Please pray that God will use these opportunities that more people will come to know Jesus Christ.
          Christopher Hitchens on Religion        

Christopher Hitchens's most recent book is an in-your-face critique of religion entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. (1) Hitchens offers the reader a long list of complaints about religion, including:

  • The teachings of religion about the origin of the cosmos and the origin and development of biological species contradict well-established science;
  • All of the traditional arguments for the existence of God have significant defects;
  • All of the traditional attempts to explain how the enormous suffering that afflicts sentient creatures is compatible with an all-powerful and all-good God are an exercise in sophistry;
  • Religious scriptures amount to myths and fables that are contradictory, unhistorical, and, in the case of the Koran, largely plagiarized;
  • Religion is patriarchal and denigrates women;
  • Religion inflames tribal and ethnic hostility;
  • Religions are intolerant of those who reject or question them, including seculars, heretics, and adherents of other religions;
  • The moral codes which religions promote are shallow and incomplete, and in some cases, "positively immoral"; (2)
  • Religion inflicts physical and psychological harm on children;
  • Religion finds a problem for every sensible solution in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere; and
  • Prayer doesn't work.

Hitchens will find support on these points among most seculars, including myself, and among many religious. Yet his book has serious defects which detract from its value. While he blames religion for virtually every problem from erectile dysfunction to terrorism, he finds nothing at all praiseworthy in religion. He overlooks the fact that religion can change for the better. For instance, in the United States 175 years ago, thousands of clergy endorsed slavery; today none do. And for generations Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland carried on a bloody, senseless civil war; today a peace accord between these groups is holding up despite recent attempts by domestic terrorists to destroy it. Similarly, Hitchens ignores the fact that many religious organizations provide valuable humanitarian services to people in need. Take, for example, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, among others, which help millions of young and old each year around the nation, and Beatitude House, Potter's Wheel, and Angela's Place, among others, which help hundreds of young and old each year locally. Further, Hitchens is silent about the thousands of American schools and colleges with religious affiliations that have educated millions over the generations. Finally, Hitchens mentions but downplays the harm produced by secular regimes in the past century such as Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, and Pol Pot's Cambodia. (3) All this points to serious blind spots. (4)

If you want to read a more balanced, less rhetorical critique of religion, take a look at The Transcendental Temptation. This classic was published 23 years ago by philosopher Paul Kurtz, a much kinder, gentler atheist than Hitchens.


  1. Twelve, Hatchett Book Group USA, 2007.
  2. Page 205.
  3. Hitchens acknowledges that the excesses of communist dictators caused him to abandon the Marxism of his youth. See page 151. On the record of secular regimes, see Rabbi David J. Wolpe, Why Faith Matters, pp. 51-67. It is interesting to note that Hitchens has gone through multiple identities including Anglican, Methodist, Marxist, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, and most recently atheist. One wonders if he's finished. See p. 195.
  4. Hitchens's refusal to grant religion any credit is reflected in his comments about two twentieth-century leaders. After insisting that Mohandas Gandhi was only a minor force in the successful drive for independence in India, he tells us that Gandhi's Hinduism had little impact on his behavior. (See p. 184) Further, he informs us that Christianity provided no inspiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the U.S. civil rights struggle. (See p. 180) This amounts to historical revisionism.

© 2009 Tom Shipka


          Rabbi Wolpe        

In his most recent book, Why Faith Matters (1), Rabbi David J. Wolpe makes the case for religion and rebuts recent critiques of religion by a quartet of prominent atheists called the New Atheists. (2) This is a book that deserves a large audience among religious and seculars because it is accessible, well-argued, and thought-provoking.

One of Rabbi Wolpe's main objectives is to defend religion from the charge that religion is the main cause of violence in the world. He argues that violence is due not to religion but to human nature. (p. 43, p. 52) All of us, whether religious or secular, he says, are prone to hostility. (p. 69) The Rabbi concedes that the Crusades, the Inquisition, and 9/11 demonstrate that religion "is capable of great evil" (p. 53), but he insists that seculars who believe that there will be peace without religion are naïve. (p. 71) He notes that most ancient tribal societies were at war continuously (p. 50) and that the great empires in history, from the Persian to the Assyrian to the Greek to the Roman, give us a "chronicle of cruelty." (p. 51) Further, he charges, secular movements have brought explosions of violence, not peace and love. On this score he cites the excesses of the French Revolution and the millions of deaths at the hands of Mao in China, Stalin in Russia, and Pol Pot in Cambodia. (pp. 65-67)(3) Here he is right on target. On the other hand, Rabbi Wolpe is silent on a critical issue: if humans are aggressive by nature, and God is the architect of human nature, doesn't God deserve a measure of blame for violence?

One part of Rabbi Wolpe's case for religion disappoints me - his use of Bertrand Russell as the poster child of secularism. Russell made important contributions to moral theory, logic, mathematics, and literature, but as the Rabbi properly points out, his private life was a "mess," with four marriages, "proudly proclaimed infidelities," and abandonment of his children. (p. 6) Russell prompted young David Wolpe to abandon his faith for ten years. Later, when the Rabbi discovered that his hero was irresponsible, he concluded that a life without religion is lonely, selfish, and hedonistic. (61) This is a classic case of hasty generalization. Russell is as representative of secularism as pedophile clerics are representative of religion. Has Rabbi Wolpe never heard of seculars such as world class cyclist Lance Armstrong, baseball Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams, media mogul Ted Turner, golfer Annika Sorenstam, investor Warren Buffett, actor Angelina Jolie, TV personality Andy Rooney, composer Irving Berlin, inventor Thomas Edison, computer entrepreneur Bill Gates, and countless others, whose talent, service, and generosity have enriched lives near and far?

Rabbi Wolpe's book also includes a series of insightful criticisms of what he views as the overblown attempt by the New Atheists to explain all human behavior through evolutionary theory. For instance, he argues that if, as Richard Dawkins holds, the key to human behavior is the drive to reproduce our genes, why do wealthier families who can afford many children have so few, and why do so many women opt for abortion when adoption is available? (p. 30)

Whether you are religious or not, you'll find much of value in David Wolpe's Why Faith Matters.


 

  1. See David J. Wolpe, Why Faith Matters, HarperOne, 2008, with a Foreword by Rick Warren. References to this book herein are by page number. Wolpe is not alone in replying to the new atheists. Among other replies is John F. Haught, God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens.
  2. He specifically identifies Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett. See Sam Harris, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation; Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great; Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion; and Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.
  3. He also mentions Hitler's Germany as an atheist regime (p. 67) but that is debatable.

© 2009 Tom Shipka


          Negara Paling Korup 2016        
Kita semua tidak sukakan korupsi, satu perbuatan sampah yang kita mahu hapuskan daripada kalangan masyarakat kita. Dalam satu kajian yang dijalankan oleh Transparency International, mereka telah mengeluarkan senarai Corruption Perceptions Indes (CPI).

Berapakah CPI negara kita Malaysia? Nanti kita lihat sama-sama.






Dalam index yang dikeluarkan untuk tahun 2016, negara paling korup adalah Somalia, malah ia mememang rekod ini selama 10 tahun berturut-turut. CPI yang diberikan kepada Somalia hanyalah 10 point sahaja.

Makin rendah point CPI maka makin teruk tahap korupsi di sesebuah negara tersebut. Ranking top 5 negara yang paling bersih pula didahuli oleh negara New Zealand (90 CPI), Denmark (90 CPI), Finland (89 CPI), Sweden (88 CPI) dan Switzerland (86 CPI).

Bagi negara kita pula, Malaysia diberikan 49 CPI dan berada di ranking ke 55 dunia. Mata CPI diberikan turun 1 mata berbanding tahun lalu dengan 50 CPI.




Dalam kalangan negara serantau pula Singapura dianggap paling bersih di Asia Tenggara dengan 84 CPI berada di ranking ke 7 dunia. Dan negara paling kurop di Asia Tenggara pula adalah Kemboja dengan 21 mata sahaja diberikan.

Country CPI World Rank
1. Singapura 84 7
2. Brunei 58 41
3. Malaysia 40 55
4. Indonesia 37 90
5. Philines 35 101
6. Thailand 35 101
7. Timor-Leste 35 101
8. Vietnam 33 113
9. Loas 30 123
10. Myanmar 28 136
11. Cambodia 21 156


Negara besar seperti U.S.A pula dibeirkan 74 mata CPI, dan berada di ranking 18 dunia. Manakal negara China hanya diberikan sebanyak 40 mata dan berada di tangga 79. Russia lagi bawah dengan hanya 29 CPI, berada ditangga ke 131 dunia.

Berikut adalah senarai penuh ranking yang dikelaurkan oleh Corruption International bagi negara paling kurop 2016.



          Shell Script to Check Whether a String is Palindrome or not        

Palindrome: A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence
of units that can be read the same way in either direction (the adjus-
tment of punctuation and spaces between words is generally permitted).

Examples:

Phrases: Dammit, I'm mad!
Quotations: Able was I ere I saw Elba.
Madam, I'm Adam.
Names: Some people have names that are palindromes.Lon Nol (1913-
1985) was Prime Minister of Cambodia.
Palindromic names are very common in Finland. Examples
include Emma Lamme,Sanna Rannas, Anni Linna and Asko Oksa.
Words: civic,radar,level,rotator,rececar,reviver.
The command "Level, madam, level!", composed only of words
that are themselves palindromes, is both a character-by-
character and a word-by-word palindrome.
Numbers: 5335, 123454321
Dates: 01/02/2010 (dd/mm/yyyy format)

Method 1:


#!/bin/bash
# SCRIPT: palindrome1.sh
# USAGE: palindrome.sh or palindrome.sh STRING
# PURPOSE: Script to test if a given string is a palindrome.
#
# In this script I uses the well known method, compare first character
# with last character, up to middle of the string. One mismatch in the
# scanning leads to immediate termination of the scanning as it is
# not a palindrome. To extract character from string, I will use cut
# command with the -c option with the position number.
#
#####################################################################
# Arguments Checking #
#####################################################################

if [ $# -eq 0 ]
then
echo -n "Enter a String: "
read orgstr
else
orgstr=$*
fi

# You can also use single statement
#[ $# -eq 0 ] && (echo -n "Enter a String:"; read String) || String=$*

#####################################################################
# Variable Initialization #
#####################################################################

# Remove all punctuations from input string and convert upper case to
# lower or lower case to upper.

String="$(echo $orgstr | sed 's/[^[:alnum:]]//g' | \
tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')"

Flag=0

# Find length of the string.
len=${#String}

#You can also calculate string length using bellow commands.
#len=`echo $str | wc -c`
#len=$((len-1))

#get the mid value up to which the comparison would be done.
mid=$((len/2))

#####################################################################
# Main Script Starts Here #
#####################################################################

for ((i=1;i<=mid;i++))
do
c1=`echo $String|cut -c$i` # extracts from beginning
c2=`echo $String|cut -c$len` # extracts from last

if [ $c1 != $c2 ]
then
Flag=1


break 2 # break N breaks out of N levels of loop.
fi

let len--
done

if [ $Flag -eq 0 ]
then
echo "\"$orgstr\" is a Palindrome"
else
echo "\"$orgstr\" is not a Palindrome"
fi


OUTPUT:

[root@www ]# ./palindrome1.sh Dammit, I\'m mad!
"Dammit, I'm mad!" is a Palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome1.sh
Enter a String: 01/02/2010
"01/02/2010" is a Palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome1.sh Hello world
"Hello world" is not a Palindrome


Method 2:


#!/bin/bash
# SCRIPT: palindrome2.sh
# USAGE: palindrome.sh or palindrome.sh STRING
# PURPOSE: Script to test if a given string is a palindrome.
#
# In this script I uses the well known method, compare first character
# with last character, up to middle of the string. One mismatch in the
# scanning leads to immediate termination of the scanning as it is
# not a palindrome. To extract a character from the string, I will use
# string manipulation operations.So you need to know how to manipulate
# strings to understand this script. I will give little bit of explan-
# tion at the end of this script.
#
#####################################################################
# Arguments Checking #
#####################################################################

[ $# -eq 0 ] && { echo -n "Enter a String: "; read orgstr ;} || \
orgstr=$*

#####################################################################
# Variable Initialization #
#####################################################################

# Remove all punctuations from input string and convert upper case to
# lower or lower case to upper.

String="$(echo $orgstr | sed 's/[^[:alnum:]]//g' | \
tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')"

# Find length of the string.
len=${#String}

#get the mid value up to which the comparison would be done
mid=$(($len/2))

i=0
Flag=0

#####################################################################
# Main Script Starts Here #
#####################################################################

while [ $i -lt $mid ]
do
fchar=${String:$i:1}
let i++
bchar=${String: -$i:1}
if [ "$fchar" != $bchar ]
then
Flag=1
break 2 # break N breaks out of N levels of loop.
fi
done

if [ $Flag -eq 0 ]
then
echo "\"$orgstr\" is a Palindrome"
else
echo "\"$orgstr\" is not a Palindrome"
fi


Substring Extraction:

${string:position}
Extracts substring from $string at $position.
${string:position:length}
Extracts $length characters of substring from $string at $position

Bash numbers first character of string as '0'.

${string: 0: 1} will extracts one character from the 0th character of
the string, ie it will only get the 0th character. ${string: 2: 1}
will get the third character. Also ${string: -1: 1} will extracts the
last one character, ${string: -3:1} will get the third last character.

Note: ${string: -1:1} in this construct don't forget to give space
before -1, otherwise you will get full string.

For example

[root@localhost www]# tempvar=madam
[root@localhost www]# echo ${tempvar: -1:1}
m
[root@localhost www]# echo ${tempvar:-1:1}
madam

You can also use following command

[root@localhost www]# echo ${tempvar:(-1):1}
m

OUTPUT:

[root@www ]# ./palindrome2.sh Able was I ere I saw Elba
"Able was I ere I saw Elba" is a Palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome2.sh 123454321
"123454321" is a Palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome2.sh
Enter a String: 12345654321
"12345654321" is a Palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome2.sh
Enter a String: 1234564321
"1234564321" is not a Palindrome


Method 3:


#!/bin/bash
# SCRIPT: palindrome3.sh
# USAGE: palindrome.sh or palindrome.sh STRING
# PURPOSE: Script to test if a given string is a palindrome.
#
# This simply uses the 'rev' utility which is used to reverse lines of
# a file. Then check if the reverse of the string is same as the
# original.rev command is part of util-linux-ng or util-linux package.
#

if `which rev &>/dev/null` # Checks rev command exist or not
then
[ $# -eq 0 ] && { echo -n "Enter a String: "; read orgstr ;} || \
orgstr=$*

String="$(echo $orgstr | sed 's/[^[:alnum:]]//g' | \
tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')"

if [ "$(echo $String | rev)" = "$String" ]
then
echo "\"$orgstr\" is a palindrome"
else
echo "\"$orgstr\" is not a palindrome"
fi

else
echo "Install util-linux or util-linux-ng package"
fi


OUTPUT:

[root@www ]# ./palindrome3.sh 01/02/2010
"01/02/2010" is a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome3.sh 01/03/2010
"01/03/2010" is not a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome3.sh
Enter a String: Hello World
"Hello World" is not a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome3.sh
Enter a String: rotator
"rotator" is a palindrome


Method 4:


#!/bin/bash
# SCRIPT: palindrome4.sh
# USAGE: palindrome.sh or palindrome.sh STRING
# PURPOSE: Script to test if a given string is a palindrome.
#
# In this method we are not using 'rev' command to reverse the string.
# Using Substring Removal method or Substring Extraction method we
# will reverse the string, then compare it with oldstring.
#
#####################################################################
# Arguments Checking #
#####################################################################

[ $# -eq 0 ] && { echo -n "Enter a String: "; read orgstr ;} || \
orgstr=$*

#####################################################################
# Variable Initialization #
#####################################################################

String="$(echo $orgstr | sed 's/[^[:alnum:]]//g' | \
tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')"

oldstring=$String
newstring=

#####################################################################
# Main Script Starts Here #
#####################################################################

while [ -n "$String" ]
do
temp=${String#?}
letter=${String%"$temp"}
String=$temp
newstring=${letter}${newstring}
done

if [ "$oldstring" = "$newstring" ]
then
echo "\"$orgstr\" is a palindrome"
else
echo "\"$orgstr\" is not a palindrome"
fi

# ${string#substring} is a Substing Removal operation. If you want to
# use Substring Extraction method, use bellow code.

#i=0
#while [ $i -lt ${#String} ]
#do
# letter=${String:$i:1}
# newstring=${letter}${newstring}
# let i++;
#done
#
#if [ "$String" = "$newstring" ]
#then
# echo "\"$orgstr\" is a palindrome"
#else
# echo "\"$orgstr\" is not a palindrome"
#fi


Substring Removal:

${string#substring}
Strips shortest match of $substring from front of $string.

Example:

[root@www]# tempvar=madam
[root@www]# echo ${tempvar#m}
adam
[root@www]# echo ${tempvar#ma}
dam
[root@www]# echo ${tempvar#?}
adam


${string%substring}
Strips shortest match of $substring from back of $string.

Example:

[root@www]# temp=${tempvar#?}
[root@www]# echo $temp
adam
[root@www]# echo ${tempvar%$temp}
m

OUTPUT:

[root@www ]# ./palindrome4.sh Madam, I\'m Adam
"Madam, I'm Adam" is a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome4.sh Madam I Adam
"Madam I Adam" is not a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome4.sh
Enter a String: 123454321
"123454321" is a palindrome
[root@www ]# ./palindrome4.sh
Enter a String: 1234564321
"1234564321" is not a palindrome


          (Review) Please Enjoy Your Happiness by Paul Brinkley-Rogers         
Publisher and Publication Date: Touchstone. June 6, 2017.
Genre: Memoir.
Pages: 368.
Source: Free copy from Touchstone.
Rating: Very good.

Amazon

Paul Brinkley-Rogers is a Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent. He covered the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia as a journalist. He has worked for Newsweek and The Miami Herald.
Please Enjoy Your Happiness is a memoir of a young man who was in a remarkable relationship with an older Japanese woman. The time period was 1959. The place was the port city of Yokosuka, Japan. He was in the U S Navy. She worked as a hostess in a bar. She noticed him sitting alone and reading. She loved poetry and this was the first step in their relationship. They had a kindred love of art and literature.
Paul Brinkley-Rogers is the young man. Kaji Yukiko was the Japanese woman. For Paul, this was a period in time where he had a life changing and memorable relationship. The relationship was brief. The story is a personal examination of that time. And, Paul states that this relationship has continued (for him) despite a separation of 58 years. Letters are included. In addition, the society and culture of Japan in 1959 is examined.
I have so many thoughts about this book. I believe it is because of my age and life experiences. I am 53. I have found that as a person becomes older the past is examined closely. There is something about becoming older that makes a person reflect and process the life we’ve lived. Some people (including me) ponder things. We have a sensitive perspective. And then again, there are some people who do not examine the past. They live in the moment. Reflecting on the past is more than thinking about regrets. Other things are studied. For example, am I a mature person compared to who I was ten years ago? For Paul Brinkley-Rogers, this period in his life was tantamount; it was a pivotal point, that changed the course of life.

Several points to consider in this story:
1. Their relationship was brief. It did not continue and show the wear and tear of arguments, disagreements, and the everyday struggles of a couple.
2. They had an intimacy that many long-term couples never have. I want to mention that intimacy does not mean sex. Intimacy means two people who have a deep trust for one another. They have shared the real people behind the flesh.
3. Paul reflects back and understands so much more than he did at age 19-20. Don’t we all understand things a bit better when we are older?
4. Paul is thankful he has this good memory, because he also has painful memories. But, Kaji is his happy place. She is his delightful joy. I bet there are people who have had many relationships who cannot say they had a deep relationship like Paul and Kaji?
I believe some readers will not “get” this story. In order to understand Paul’s memoir, a little life needs to have been lived. Notice I said life and not age. Some people have had heavy life experiences when they are still young.

I loved this story for several reasons:
1. Paul Brinkley-Rogers unpacks his suitcase so to speak, about a great love during his youth. It is interesting to read about the progressing relationship, as well as his mature reflections on this period.
2. I have clarity about Japan’s culture and society post World War II.
3. I have clarity about Japanese women post World War II.
4. I loved reading about two people who by chance meet, and the relationship changes their lives.
5. An additional tweak to the story is Paul was born in England. His perspective on America brought a different viewpoint. Especially in reference to racism.
6. The letters that are included from Kaji are important. I was able to hear her voice.

          S 21        
My latest performance, it was the most difficult piece I’ve had to write. It was written prior to moving to Cambodia. Once i actually visited the S21 facility  and met one of the 4 survivors the weight of the place really changed my outlook.     Draft 9 In 1969 we sent a man to the moon. […]
          New Yorke VS Thailand?        
holiday thailandQuestion by Bryan: New Yorke VS Thailand? donno wat to do here, iv got 2 places to choose between for holiday 1)thailand for 3 weeks, cambodia and coh samui or 2) vegas 4 nites, NYC six nites and Israel 2 weeks! done the math and it costs the same as option 2 is on a tour therfore cheaper. I havent been to any of these places other then Israel. now theres a few things to [...]
          Vegas or Thailand!!!!!!!!!!!?        
Question by Bryan: Vegas or Thailand!!!!!!!!!!!? donno wat to do here, iv got 2 places to choose between for holiday 1)thailand for 3 weeks, cambodia and coh samui or 2) vegas 4 nites, NYC six nites and Israel 2 weeks! done the math and it costs the same as option 2 is on a tour therfore cheaper. I havent been to any of these places other then Israel. now theres a few things to consider [...]
          How to ride your moto        
Today being a day off, I decided to cycle up the road to the wonderful Angkor temples. They’re beautiful, as is the tropical forest around them. More about that in the guidebooks. Road travel in Cambodia is great fun.* There … Continue reading
          Follow the Mekong - Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam        
Tantalise the senses with this escorted tour of South East Asia, covering the top attractions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Tha...
          Vietnam and Cambodia for Solo Travellers        
Visit the major sights of Vietnam and Cambodia, the very essence of Indochina, experiencing their captivating blend of French...
          What I've Been Reading - Books Finished in April, May, and June        

Later this week I will be posting what I am currently reading, but since I (FINALLY!) have caught up with my reading enough to be on track with my Goodreads goal (for half a minute at least!), I have lots of finished books to share. That's why the separate post.


SOURCE: Book Club
# OF PAGES: 258
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE:114
REVIEW

SOURCE: Net Galley
# OF PAGES: 464
READ: 40-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 279


SOURCE: Edelweiss
# OF PAGES: 288
READ: 36-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 185
RATING: 3 STARS

  TITLE/AUTHOR: Poems by Maya Angelou
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES: 224
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 199
RATING: 4 STARS


TITLE/AUTHOR: Fables #1 by Bill Willingham
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES: 127
PAGES READ: 127
RATING: 4 STARS


TITLE/AUTHOR: Fables #2 by Bill Willingham
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES: 112
PAGES READ: 112
RATING: 4 STARS

 

SOURCE: Net Galley
# OF PAGES: 336
READ: 41-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 199
REVIEW


SOURCE: TBR Pile
# OF PAGES: 374
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 218
RATING:  3.5 STARS


SOURCE: Net Galley
# OF PAGES: 240
READ: 31-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE:166
RATING: 3 STARS


SOURCE: Newly bought
# OF PAGES: 224
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE:112
RATING: 5 STARS

 
TITLE/AUTHOR: The Wander Society by Keri Smith
SOURCE: Purchased
# OF PAGES: 208
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 208
REVIEW

 
 TITLE/AUTHOR: Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES: 144
ON PAGE: 23
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 121
RATING: 2 STARS


  TITLE/AUTHOR: Cambodia Noir by Nicholas Seeley
SOURCE: Net Galley
# OF PAGES: 352
READ: 10-100%

PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 317
RATING: 4 STARS

TITLE/AUTHOR: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES: 652
ON PAGE: 105
# OF PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 547
RATING: 4.5 STARS


TITLE/AUTHOR: Alex + Ada Vol. 1 by Jonathan Luna
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES READ: 128
RATING: 3 STARS


TITLE/AUTHOR: Married Sex by Jesse Kornbluth
SOURCE: Net Galley
# OF PAGES: 246
READ: 0-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 246
RATING: 3 STARS

 
TITLE/AUTHOR: Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson
SOURCE: Library
# OF PAGES READ: 120
RATING: 3 STARS
 

SOURCE: TBR Pile
# OF PAGES: 567
ON PAGE: 267
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 300
RATING: 3.5 STARS

 TITLE/AUTHOR: A Scandal in Bohemia (Sherlock Holmes) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
SOURCE: Serial Reader App on iPhone
# OF PAGES: 85
PAGES READ: 85
RATING: 4 STARS



SOURCE: Author
# OF PAGES: 496
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 303
REVIEW COMING SOON


TITLE/AUTHOR: Anthem by Ayn Rand
SOURCE: Serial Reader App
# OF PAGES READ: 105
REVIEW COMING SOON


 TITLE/AUTHOR: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
SOURCE: TBR
# OF PAGES: 896
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 450
RATING: 4.5 STARS

 

TITLE/AUTHOR: Death Beckons by J.C. Diem
SOURCE: Freebie from Amazon
# OF PAGES: 306
READ: 0-100%
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 306
RATING: 3.5 STARS

 TITLE/AUTHOR: Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter
SOURCE: Publisher
# OF PAGES: 400
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 339
RATING: 2.5 STARS
 
TITLE/AUTHOR: Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
SOURCE: Book Club
# OF PAGES: 336
PAGES READ THIS UPDATE: 336
REVIEW 


DNF:
I think the main character is boring and I cannot take her anymore.
My Review
I read most of this but ended up being unable to finish.
I really tried with this one because I have heard great things about Elizabeth Berg, but this read like an encyclopedia entry instead of a novel. How anyone can make George Sand's life boring and tedious is beyond my comprehension.


I haven't really been keeping up with my stats this calendar year, but I'm going to include the total page numbers read this week for when I eventually do end up doing something with my stats.

TOTAL PAGES READ SINCE 4/11: 5,622
TOTAL PAGES READ IN 2016: 7,009
# OF BOOKS READ IN 2016: 41

 Whew! Finally all caught up!  What have you been reading lately?  Anything really good or really bad?  Share in the comments! :)

          Abandoning foreign policy now means Pax Rus - is it what you wanted?        
Whether it be left-wing activists of the so-called "peace" movement or libertarians who think that foreign policy should mean immediate withdrawal from the world, the recent events in Syria have demonstrated that when the USA, and with it the Western world, decides to withdraw from being involved in other countries, that others will fill the vacuum.

So it is that President Obama, who ridiculed Mick Romney's claim that Russia was a rising threat, has left the opponents of the Marxist/militarist hereditary dictatorship of Bashar Assad wide open to being attacked, by the air, by Vladimir Putin's unashamedly expansionist military.  

Dad and son, and their personality cult
Had Obama been true to the neutrality that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had presumably rewarded him for "ex.ante", he would have said that there is no Western interest in what happens to Syria.  For indeed, his pitiful actions (a few airstrikes against Islamic State) have demonstrated not much above it.  In fact, I would have respected, if disagreed, with a position that replicates that of the nihilist libertarian isolationists who want the USA to withdraw from the world, and let Islamism grow, tyrants take over its friends and do nothing, until the first missile, bomber or terrorist controlled airliner strikes US soil (actually scrub that, for when the latter happens, even they think the response is NOT to attack those who harboured them).

If the so-called "land of the free" wants to withdraw from the world, then those of us who bear the consequences of that withdrawal better be prepared for the cost of this, but let's not pretend that the USA gives a damn about other peoples wanting to be lands of the free or escape tyranny.  That's their battle, and if others want to join in their oppression, don't pretend that it matters.

So to Syria.


Syria has been run by a brutal authoritarian dictatorship under the Ba'ath Party, under the Assad family since 1970.  It holds Soviet style "elections".  All press and media are firmly under the grip of the Party (or monitored by it for compliance), and any dissent is punished with imprisonment, and sometimes torture or summary execution.   The four secret police units have untrammelled authority to enter any property and detain anyone indefinitely, and use torture as necessary to frighten those said to be opponents or extract information from them.

The best that can be said is that Saddam Hussein was more brutal and erratic, but Bashar Assad and his psychopathic father Hafez, have run Syria under their jackboot for 45 years (although it is cold comfort that Bashar's elder brother, Basil, died in an accident before his father died.  Basil was as notorious as Uday Hussein).  The best that can be said is that, yes it is nominally secular, as religious minorities face no more oppression than anyone else, partly because the Assads are of the Alawite sect.  Alawites have done very well from the Assad dictatorship, other Syrians do well according to who they know and how well the pander to the regime.  By the way, the Assads were firm allies of the USSR in the Cold War, and so it continues under Russia.  Indeed, Syria is the only country outside Russia (notwithstanding the annexation of Crimea) to still have a Russian naval base.  

So Putin has decided to defend his friend.  His first victory was getting the US to accept Russian monitoring of Assad's dismantling of his chemical weapons arsenal, which is very much a farce.  Assad has been undertaking crude chemical attacks on rebel areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army and other non-Islamic State insurgents (some of which are Islamist, some who are not).  Assad has killed tens of thousands of civilians in rebel held areas by air attacks, including chemical attacks.  This has helped Islamic State recruit fighters, as young men whose families are killed by the Assad regime are easily seduced by the most well armed and funded opponents of the regime.

Remember Obama's red line?  That it was "unacceptable" for anyone to use chemical weapons to attack civilians?  Well it didn't exist.  The dated chemical weapons were withdrawn, but by no means have the stocks been destroyed.  Dictatorships have a funny way of not caring about rules set by someone else that are backed up by no force at all.

Meanwhile, the US (and the UK and others) have provided low level logistical and material support (if not military) to non-Islamist opponents to the Assad regime.  It is those opponents to Assad that Vladimir Putin is now directing over 95% of his airstrikes.  

Putin asserts his airstrikes are "legal" because they are authorised by the Assad regime, which strictly speaking in UN terms, is the "legitimate recognised government" of Syria.   This is correct in the same way that Kim Jong Un leads the "legitimate recognised government" of the DPRK, Idi Amin did the same for Uganda and Pol Pot for Cambodia.  It is the formal legitimacy asserted by tyrants.

Assad wants to put himself in the position of being the only opponent to Islamic State, so has Putin's help in wiping out the moderate opposition.  The allies of the West, and perhaps only hope of moving Syria to the sort of pluralism that is nascent in Lebanon, are now being systematically wiped out by Russia - and all the US does is express regrets and concern.   What surprise is there if opponents of Assad in Syria think that the only way is Islamic State?   For all of the talk about rights and freedom the truth is that the Obama Administration will do absolutely f-all to protect those that might offer a way with much less tyranny, let alone have a foreign policy with objectives.

So it is Pax Rus.

Assuming Obama continues along this line, Syria will become a binary game. The chemical weapon using tyrant Assad, and the stoneage expansionist eliminationists of Islamic State.  The US may think it doesn't pay any real price for letting Syria burn, but Europe is paying a price, as Syrians flee and as it is on the doorstep for Islamists willing to take on the West.  

Putin wants to be taken seriously internationally, and once the non-IS opposition is effectively wiped out, he can turn on Islamic State and be a hero.  Russia wont think twice about civilian casualties, it wont face domestic protests on any great scale against war, and of course the far-left "peace" movement in the West wont bat an eyelid, as it almost never protests military action by any regime other than a Western one, including Israel.

What could be different?

Well the US and its allies could start by accepting the invitation of the Iraqi government to use all means necessary to wipe out Islamic State from Iraq itself, to protect the Kurds, to help ensure Sunni Iraqis are protected and discouraged from joining Islamic State.  At the very least, the West owes Iraq protection from invasion.

However, for Syria it needs to have some clear objectives.  It could  have imposed a No-Fly Zone over Syria to stop the Assad regime from using chemical weapons and dropping barrel bombs, but that is impossible now.  What it should do is arm and protect the non-Islamist opposition and provide it with air support and make it clear to Russia that it is with it, in attacking Islamic State, but will not tolerate air strikes on areas governed by the Kurds or the Free Syrian Army.  It should take all steps necessary to wipe out Islamic State, which has eliminationist objectives towards the West, and following that establish a peace process to transition Syria away from rule by the Assad regime.

The problem is that this requires taking on Russia.  Obama (and Bush before him) refused to defend Georgia from Russian occupation, nor Ukraine, even when Russian backed rebels shot down a civilian airliner (but that was Malaysian, which was unimportant to the US).   Putin is currently facing tough economic times, which he is evading by spending literally US$1billion of reserves every month, to prop up pensions, the military and uneconomic industries.  He can afford to do this for perhaps two-three more years without having to implement serious levels of austerity.   However, if the price of oil remains below US$60 over that time, it will prove tougher.  Putin's actions smell of a leader seeking a distraction, in the hope of buying time until oil prices recover at a level appropriate for his kleptocracy. 

The odds that the US will take on Russia in Syria are small, because Obama has demonstrated no interest, at all, in taking any lead or keeping to his word with allies.  It is a policy of cynical withdrawal from the world.  A withdrawal that is dangerous to some of the US's allies, but also one that is fundamentally dishonest.

The choice is simple.  Either the US embraces the doctrine of Ron Paul, and openly decides that it is no longer interested in being a superpower or standing by previous commitments to allies, or it stands by its allies and has a positive, pro-active foreign policy based on its interests and those of its (true) allies.

While we all wait, enjoy "Pax" Rus, after all you're comfortably far away from the consequences of it all, aren't you?





 




          Vietnam wakes up to its human trafficking problem        

Human trafficking is on the rise in Vietnam, although poor crime statistics means the government doesn’t know exactly by how much. Advocacy groups say victims are increasingly being lured on social media.

Between 2011 and 2014, the number of human trafficking cases rose by at least 11.6 percent over the previous four-year period, according to data released by the Ministry of Public Security at an anti-human trafficking conference in Hanoi on 14 July.

The true numbers are probably much higher, especially as traffickers capitalise on the growing use of social media among Vietnam’s young people, say NGOs.

“Our experience indicates that this is very common, although there is a lack of statistics to show how widespread it really is,” said Le Thi Huong Luong, legal coordinator for the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, an anti-trafficking NGO.

Southeast Asia ranks among the world’s worst regions for human trafficking, accounting for a third of all the women and children trafficked worldwide, said Paul Priest, of the International Organization for Migration’s office in Vietnam, at the 14 July event.

The issue has been well documented in other countries in the region – the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said in a 2013 report that 26,400 people are trafficked to Thailand every year, many of whom are men from Myanmar and Cambodia forced to work on fishing boats, while 27,925 sex workers are victims of trafficking in Cambodia.

But Vietnamese authorities are only now waking up to the scope of the problem in their own country.

‘Modest progress’

In a push to raise public awareness, the government held its first National Day Against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July. Vietnam has also announced a 2016 to 2020 strategy to combat human trafficking, and the plan marked the first time authorities have acknowledged that men and boys are being trafficked.

The government in 2014 launched a database of trafficking cases, which the US State Department acknowledged in its 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report as a sign of “modest progress”. The IOM’s Priest urged the government to do more to track the problem.

“A crucial need exists to increase availability of statistics on this illegal phenomenon,” he told reporters on 14 July. “However, existing data highlights that the number of trafficked individuals continues to increase whilst the ages of those victimised by trafficking are increasingly younger.”

Some of those trafficked in Vietnam are women sold into marriage across the border in China where there are significantly more men than women. The UN’s Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons agency said in June that China is expected to have 30 to 40 million more men than women at a marriageable age by 2020.

Sold into marriage

Linh (not her real name) returned to Vietnam from China last year after the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation coordinated with police on both sides of the border to rescue her from a forced marriage and bring her home.

Linh became pregnant in 2014 and her boyfriend left her. Through the messaging app ZALO, she met another man who said he would support her, according to details of the case provided to IRIN by Blue Dragon.

Matt Friedman of the Mekong Club, which works to fight trafficking and slavery in the region, said the trafficker’s approach is becoming more common.

"All throughout Asia we are seeing increases in the use of social media to trap women and girls into prostitution, including Vietnam,” he told IRIN. “The predators search chat sites to find young girls who are feeling unloved and alienated by their family.”

Linh accepted the man’s invitation to visit his hometown, where he proposed a holiday to China. On the trip and three months into her pregnancy, she was sold as a bride to a Chinese man. She and her baby are now safely back home and the traffickers have been arrested, according to Blue Dragon, which will represent her during the upcoming court case.

Blue Dragon says it rescued 49 children in 2014, 133 the following year, and 56 so far this year.

Between 2011 and 2014, government authorities investigated more than 2,200 trafficking cases, arrested 3,300 offenders, and rescued about 5,500 victims, according to the MPS data.

The US State Department’s TIP report noted that human trafficking convictions fell from 413 in 2014 to 217 last year.

ll/jf/ag

(PHOTO: Linh and her baby cross the border back into Vietnam last year after being rescued from a forced marriage she was trafficked into in China. CREDIT: Blue Dragon Children's Foundation)

vietnam_human_trafficking_.jpg News Migration Human Rights Vietnam wakes up to its human trafficking problem Lorcan Lovett IRIN HO CHI MINH CITY Asia China Vietnam
          Dams, drought and disaster along the Mekong river        
The dry months before the monsoon rains arrive are often tough for Cambodian fishermen and farmers. But with rivers drying up and drinking water running out, conditions have rarely been as bad as they are now. 
 
The current drought is linked to El Niño, which has been disrupting weather patterns around the world. But the harsh conditions today might only be foreshadowing far worse to come. Climate change will continue to affect the Mekong Basin region, while future droughts are expected to be exacerbated by a string of major hydropower dam projects.
 
Experts fear that the present crisis could become the new normal for Cambodia and its neighbours, which have also been hit hard by record temperatures and a long period of extremely dry weather.
 
“The combined effects of drought, climate change and dam building are pushing the resources of the Mekong Basin to the brink of disaster,” said Maureen Harris, Southeast Asia programme director of the river protection organisation, International Rivers.
 
In Cambodia, water shortages are reported in 18 of 25 provinces and more than 93,500 poor, rural households are affected by the drought, according to the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department. They include residents of “floating villages” on the Tonlé Sap Lake, which is fed by tributaries of the Mekong.
 
“This year is terrible. We cannot find any fish. No one is helping us, and we are almost starving,” said Kreun Phear, a fisherman who lives in Chong Pra Lay, a village built on the edge of the lake.
 
In the dry season, the village appears much like any other; but when the lake swells up to four times its usual size during the monsoon, the houses are designed to float on empty fuel drums. The lake and surrounding rivers provide Kreun Phear's community and many like it with everything: food, water, and their livelihoods. 
 
According to the government's Fisheries Action Coalition Team, the lake is currently just 50 centimetres deep, compared to its usual depth of between 1.2 and 1.5 metres at the same time in previous years.  
 
Talking about the drought, Youk Senglong, FACT's deputy director, told IRIN that Cambodia has “never experienced a natural disaster like this”.
 
The disaster is also severely affecting Cambodia’s neighbours. 
 
In Thailand, farmers are struggling with drought and 21 people have died during a heat wave, while about two million people are short of drinking water in Vietnam. The low level of the river has also allowed saltwater to penetrate further upstream in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region than normal, and 10 percent of the country’s rice paddies have been destroyed, according to the UN.
 
 

Dam problems

 
The UN says the Mekong is at its lowest level since records began nearly 100 years ago. The waters are almost half as high as the average level for this time of year.
 
That’s bad news for about 60 million people living in the Lower Mekong Basin region, of whom 80 percent depend on the river for food and livelihoods, according to International Rivers. 
 
Climate conditions are largely responsible, but not entirely. The water level has also been affected by an explosion of dam building on the Mekong river, which snakes through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
 
There are six dams on China’s upper section of the Mekong already, and communities downstream have felt their impact, according to Harris of International Rivers. The organisation says that 11 more dams are planned on the Mekong downstream from China, including two in Cambodia, and the rest in Laos where two are already under construction.
 
Mekong dams map
Timothy Webster/IRIN
Hydropower dams are planned throughout the drought-stricken Mekong region
 
"If all 11 dams are built, it will convert the lower stretches of the Mekong River into a series of stagnant reservoirs and irreversibly alter the river system of one of the world's most important and iconic rivers,” Harris told IRIN.
 

Troubled waters

 
Perhaps stung by the accusation that its dam building is to blame for worsening the drought, China established a partnership in March between the six Mekong countries. Called the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, it aims to focus on development and encourage “good neighbourliness,” according to a statement after a heads of state meeting.
 
China’s other recent intervention was to release water from its Jinghong hydropower station in southwestern Yunnan Province to help the drought-stricken Lower Mekong Basin region. 
 
Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan struck a conciliatory note, telling IRIN that the dams were not to blame for the drought, and noting that China had released water to aid its neighbours downstream.
 
However, Harris said the move showed China’s growing control over the region’s water resources. Thanking China for releasing water amounts to “ignoring the negative impacts China’s dams have had on communities living along the Mekong and their role in contributing to the effects of the drought”, she added.  
 
The real problem is what lies ahead. Alongside the existing dams and the 11 major new ones planned, hundreds more are either under construction or in the planning along the Mekong’s many tributaries. 
 
In the meantime, drought-affected communities in Cambodia are desperately awaiting the arrival of the monsoon rains. Even after they arrive, around the beginning of June, it will take some time before the situation returns to normal, warned Yi Kim Than, who works on drought response with Plan International.
 
“It will still be a few months before the ponds, streams and groundwater will fill up and people have water,” he said.
 
jr/jf/ag
 
(PHOTO: A trench dug into a dry riverbed in seacrh for water in the area around Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake in May)
cambodia_riverbed1.jpg News Environment and Disasters Climate change Water and Sanitation Dams, drought and disaster along the Mekong river Jennifer Rigby IRIN CHONG PRA LAY Cambodia Asia Cambodia China Thailand Vietnam Laos
          How anxiety and despair haunt trafficked children        

For children and young people exploited by traffickers in Southeast Asia, escape or rescue ought to put an end to their nightmare. But new research paints a grim picture of the lasting effects on their mental health.

Ligia Kiss of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine led a team that investigated the psychological effects on children of trafficking in the region. “We were shocked by the numbers,” she told IRIN. While such effects have been well-documented over the years, few, if any, previous studies have delivered such quantitative detail with regard to children and adolescents. 

More than half of the 387 people interviewed showed symptoms of depression; 12 percent reported that they had tried to harm or kill themselves in the month before the interview; and nearly 16 percent reported suicidal thoughts, according to the team’s report. 

The interviewees had recently arrived in various institutions set up to help people freed or who escaped from trafficking in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Some had been brought in by border guards after being intercepted on the way to their destination, others were referred by police or other officials. The oldest was 17 and the youngest just 10 years old.

Southeast Asia has a network of government and NGO-run shelters and transit centres that work with the International Organization for Migration to look after the young victims and reunite them with their families.

Still, according to Kiss, before the research “there was so little data on people who had been trafficked. We didn't have a good sense of what kind of experiences they underwent or the consequences that they were facing, especially in terms of their mental health.”

All of these issues, the government should be helping them... but the government does not.

The research found that many trafficked children were also physically as well as mentally scarred, as a result of physical or sexual violence by their traffickers or employers, or occupational injuries. While a majority of the girls had been forced into sex work or were being sent to China as “brides”, boys were used as beggars or on fishing boats. Others ended up doing domestic or factory work in poor conditions.

A third of those interviewed had suffered violence during trafficking and 23 percent of those reported serious injuries. Twenty-one percent of the boys had been injured while working, reporting such things as bad burns, head and back injuries and broken bones. Excessively long hours were common, sometimes without any rest days, and some of the children were kept locked up, had no proper place to sleep or were denied food or water.

In an investigation into the reintegration of male trafficking victims released last month by Cambodian protection agency Hagar, survivors spoke about the difficulties they had overcoming the abuse.

“I want my mental health to be like before I went to Thailand. I have forgotten many things, I am sometimes dizzy, sometimes have headaches, and I’m always worried,” said one. “I also have dreams and nightmares, dreaming of the time on the boat. Every time I dream I am not well at all.”

The report makes the point that these were enterprising young people who had mostly gone with the traffickers in the expectation of a better life. Although a small number reported having been abducted, most had set out voluntarily on the journey; 64 percent said they had left home for economic reasons and others (24 percent) were looking for new experience. A smaller number (eight percent) had left because of violence or drunkenness at home. 

Looking at the victims' past experience produced one very interesting correlation. Although only eight percent cited it as their main reason for leaving, 22 percent of those interviewed had already suffered physical or sexual violence before they were trafficked, and it was these young people who were most likely to self-harm. Violence during the trafficking process had no such influence on the likelihood of self-harm later. 

Even though the interviewees were now in a safe place, with the prospect of returning to their families, they expressed great anxiety. Just over half said they were worried about how they would be treated when they returned home, a similar number said they felt shame or guilt, and a third were still fearful of their traffickers.

Chhan Sokunthea, head of the Women and Children's Rights section at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, ADHOC, works closely with repatriated trafficking victims and has witnessed first-hand the impact of such experiences as well as the fallout for families. 

She pointed out that many suffer doubly when they are brought home having failed to secure financial stability for their families and instead return with serious health problems. “They feel disappointed because when they want to work abroad, they want to do so to improve their livelihood,” Chhan Sokunthea said. Instead, “they go to Malaysia or Thailand, they don’t get a full salary or any salary. They are abused by their boss. Some of the victims have mental health problems… the families spend all their money to cure them, making them poorer and poorer.” 

What is clear is that the organisations that work with these teenagers need to do far more than simply provide shelter while arranging for them to return to where they came from. The researchers in Kiss’s team found dedicated staff who were working hard to respond to the needs of the trafficking victims, but who didn't feel equipped to deal with these kinds of mental health problems. Thailand, where most trafficked children end up, and where they first come into the care of post-trafficking organisations, has slightly more options for referral, but there is a still a shortage of specialised mental health provision.

The lack is greater still in the poorer neighbouring countries to where some of the children are returned. Mental health is severely underfunded in Cambodia, allocated just one percent of the healthcare budget. With a reported 41 registered psychiatrists out of a population of 15 million, access to mental healthcare for the repatriated poses further complications for organisations like Chhan Sokunthea's.

“Most of them just get help from the organisation only for travelling costs or transportation,” she said. “But for the treatment, no NGO or government can support them. They support themselves. For the NGO, we don’t have the budget for health problems. All of these issues, the government should be helping them… but the government does not.”

The research also casts doubt on the assumption that return to their families is automatically the right solution for these young people.   “They are getting sent back to the same situation they left in the first place,” said Kiss. “Other research and the experience of the service providers show that a lot will migrate again. They may perhaps have more information now to help them avoid some of the traps, but they will still face the same risks as in the past.”

(Additional reporting by Abby Seiff in PHNOM PENH)

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101974 Return of fourteen unaccompanied Cambodian children, trafficked to Thailand to beg on the street, at Analysis Human Rights Trafficked children haunted by despair Elizabeth Blunt IRIN LONDON Cambodia Thailand Vietnam
          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

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*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          Scale of Vanuatu cyclone disaster complicates aid response        

The scale of Vanuatu’s cyclone disaster is matched only by the complexity of the required humanitarian response, according to both the government and aid workers arriving on the battered Pacific islands.

“The problem is absolutely massive,” Alice Clements, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Vanuatu, told IRIN. “We have simultaneous emergencies in 65 islands, with no telecoms, accessible only by boat or helicopter, in an archipelago stretching 1,300 km.”

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale was reported by the BBC as saying the 13 March storm had "wiped out" all recent development and the country would have to rebuild "everything".

Half the population - 132,000 people - are estimated to have been affected by cyclone Pam, including 60,000 children, according to UNICEF. Initial assessments indicate 90 percent of houses have been damaged in the capital, Port Vila, with destruction on the southern island of Tanna “significantly worse”, Care Australia reported.

Twitter accounts to follow
Hanna Butler - Red Cross @hannarosebutler
OCHA - Asia Pacific             @OCHAAsiaPac
Tom Perry - CARE Australia     @thomasmperry
UNICEF - Australia       @unicefaustralia
Liam Fox - ABC News       @liamfoxabc
Radio Australia Pacific Beat     @RAPacificBeat
Tess Newton Cain             @CainTess

More than 3,300 people are sheltering in 37 evacuation centres on the islands of Torba and Penama, and the main island of Efate. But the National Disaster Management Office will need help if people remain displaced for a prolonged period. 

The humanitarian response “is almost going to be like applying a medical triage, to work out which is the most urgent”, said Clements. Aerial assessments have been carried out so far by military aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and France, with more flights scheduled for Tuesday. Commercial flights have resumed to Port Vila despite damage to the airport.

“There is need for logistics experts and light reconnaissance planes/helicopters, pilots, and fuel to deliver supplies and conduct assessments. There is also a need for sea shipping to transport food, water and rebuilding materials,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported. The main hospital in Port Vila is badly damaged, patients have been transferred to a newer part of the building, “but there is an urgent need for medical supplies” and “the morgue is unserviceable”.

Twenty-four people are confirmed dead so far, but the toll is expected to rise as assessment teams reach the more remote islands.

Providing clean water for survivors is a priority. There is a risk of waterborne diseases, especially dangerous for pregnant mothers and young children, and food is also likely to be a problem in the coming days with fruit trees uprooted, root crops inundated, and animal pens destroyed by the 270 km/h winds and flooding.

“Eighty percent of Vanuatu’s population engage in subsistence agriculture as a primary economic activity. It is anticipated that emergency food relief could be needed for up to a month, plus longer term recovery support,” OCHA noted.

Vanuatu has “3,000 years of experience dealing with an incredible mind-boggling range of disasters, from earthquakes to volcanos. People have great coping mechanisms, but this was a category 5 storm," Clements said.

oa/rh

101239 Vanuatu aftermath of Cyclone Pam, 13 March 2015 News Migration Environment and Disasters Scale of cyclone Pam disaster staggering IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          Vanuatu reeling from impact of cyclone Pam        

The closure of the main airport in Vanuatu is hampering the humanitarian response to cyclone Pam, which tore through the Pacific island archipelago yesterday, causing colossal damage.

The airport in the capital, Port Vila, is still flooded and trees are blocking the runway, Vincent Omuga, deputy head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for the Pacific, said on Saturday.

“There are lots of plans to provide regional humanitarian support, but the challenge is that the airport is not open at the moment. There are indications the government will open the airport to military flights: Australia and New Zealand have plans to move in, and UNDAC [UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination] have a nine-member team on standby, but all flights are currently suspended,” Omuga told IRIN.

Reports describe the tropical cyclone packing winds of up to 270 km/h as “devastating” and potentially one of the worst weather disasters in the region. There are unconfirmed reports of casualties, but aid agencies are warning it will take several days before there is a full picture of the storm’s impact.

Omuga said the government’s priorities are to open the airport, repair damage to hospitals, and clear the roads closed by the category 5 cyclone. It is expected to declare a state of emergency to facilitate the humanitarian response.

“Power lines are still down, there is lots of damage to infrastructure and lots of houses have been destroyed. Many provinces are flooded and inaccessible, and the islands on the eastern side [of the archipelago] were especially affected,” Omuga said.

Even a temporary damage assessment in Port Vila is constrained by the extent of the flooding and the trees and debris blocking the roads. Aid workers on the ground “have not gone out of the capital, and not even all of the capital [has been surveyed]. What they are reporting is what they can see from leaving their vehicles and walking around,” said Omuga.

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101235 Port Vila, Vanuatu, aftermath of cyclone Pam, 14 March 2015 News Environment and Disasters Aid and Policy Vanuatu reeling from cyclone Pam IRIN NAIROBI Bangladesh Indonesia Iran Kyrgyzstan Cambodia Kazakhstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Sri Lanka Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Pakistan Thailand Tajikistan Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vietnam Vanuatu
          FOF #2514 – Reclaiming My Time – 08.07.17        
California Representative Maxine Waters became an Internet sensation when she proclaimed “I am reclaiming my time” to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. And now, drag queen Cherry Chan has hit in her lip sync video to Adam Joseph’s club remix of “Reclaiming My Time.” Today Aunty Cherry joins us to talk about her amazing video, growing up the child of Cambodian refugees and how her improv training inspired her drag.
          Diary of a Cambodian transformation        

Visiting World Vision projects in Cambodia changed the lives of Jetstar employees Recently, my Jetstar teammate and I visited World Vision projects to see what kind of difference StarKids donations can make. Day One: We go on an emotional visit to the Genocide Museum and...

The post Diary of a Cambodian transformation appeared first on Jetstar StarKids.


          Harvesting a brighter future        

Your support for StarKids helps struggling farmers provide for their families Toiling under the blazing Cambodian sun, with plough in hand and sweat dripping from his brow, 51-year-old farmer Hok couldn’t be happier. That’s because thanks to the support of StarKids and generous Jetstar customers...

The post Harvesting a brighter future appeared first on Jetstar StarKids.


          Free to dream        

StarKids helps Sokha grow her business and meet her children’s needs. Singer, technician, police officer, teacher. Sokha’s children have big dreams for their future. Thanks to a project funded by StarKids in Cambodia, Sokha can now support them to follow these dreams. Sokha and her...

The post Free to dream appeared first on Jetstar StarKids.


          Searching for a better life        

With Jetstar’s support through StarKids, Eang has found business success. Like many vulnerable families in Cambodia, Eang and her children used to scavenge on a rubbish dump for items to sell for income. A whole day’s work brought in about $1.50, barely enough to survive....

The post Searching for a better life appeared first on Jetstar StarKids.


          Surin        
The province of Surin is 450 km from Bangkok and 200 km from Korat, the gateway to Issan. The Mun River borders to the North and the Dongrek Mountain Chain to the South on the border with Cambodia. The town of Surin is generally a quiet town and is said to represent an intersection of […]
          Chanthaburi        
Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี) province is in the East of Thailand, 330km from Bangkok. It borders Cambodia on one side and the Gulf of Thailand on another. This gives the province two types of landscape, the coastal with its quiet fishing villages and beautiful beaches and the mountainous with the scenery and waterfalls.. Chantaburi or Moon City, […]
          FEED 3: Somaly Mam        
Somaly Mam is one of my heroes. Sold as a child to a Cambodian brothel, Somaly escaped after ten years of rape and torture. She has since dedicated her life to fighting human trafficking and the system that nearly destroyed … Continue reading
          Mike and Me        


The first time I met Mike Tetrault I thought he might bite me. He kind of snarled at me a little and the look in his eye said "I'm gonna eat you, kid." I had just walked in the editorial department of the Los Angeles Daily News with some boxes of pens, paper and sketchbooks. I was just starting out and Mike had nearly 20 years under his belt as a reporter, editor, and letters editor.

Some may not be aware, but editing the letters at a newspaper is no simple task. The sheer volume of material is wide, deep and crazy. The viciousness of the readers and their reactionary tendencies would pour over Mike's desk. He read all of it. Most often, the reader was wailing at how stupid we were, the reporters, writers, editors and the cartoonist. He would correct spelling and grammar of these tirades, call the writer, verify they in fact wrote their letter, and inform them they would be published in the following days paper.

Another of Mike's duties was selecting, organizing and picking the editorial cartoons to run on the letters page and Op-Ed. He loved cartoons and we bonded after I realized he really didn't want eat me. He would stroll in my office, a big smirk on his face, cartoon in hand and say "Look at this!" I would sketch four or five rough editorial cartoons each day and Mike, who sat two feet outside my office, was always my first stop. I could tell instantly if I was communicating clearly by the expression on his face.





At the time I was a heavy smoker and so was Mike. We took frequent smoke breaks outside on the patio and would discuss the news of the day, politics, art, music, film, literature and history. Mike read more than anyone I have ever met or think I will meet. He would bring in books for me to read; Twain, Joyce, Thurber, Orwell, Vidal. Mike was always handing me a news story, opinion piece, New Yorker article or essay. We would talk about the theme's and deeper meanings of the stories. His memory was razor sharp and his opinions on every subject were deadly.




Mostly though, Mike was a fantastic story teller. The tales of his youth in Maine; military training and service as an Army Ranger in Vietnam; living in San Francisco after the war and playing slide guitar in rock band; working as a cowhand in Montana and a shepherd in Paso Robles; covering just about everything one could imagine as a journalist. Trips to the hospital turned into hilarious episodes of escaping outside to smoke cigarettes and battles with doctors and nurses. He went to every rock concert my generation wished they had gone to in the 60's and 70's. He once shot a moose as a boy in Maine and accidentally shot a tiger in the jungles of Cambodia.



A little secret in our office was the guitar in the photo studio of the photo department. It was there for anyone to play. I would often go back to find Mike plunking away, double thumbing a song or flat picking. I too would take breaks and play guitar, just to learn something new or get a song out. Mike would stroll in, sit down, smile and listen. Then he started bringing his Gibson acoustic to work and that's when Mike started teaching me songs "knee to knee." He taught me counterpoint on the guitar, which means you play a bass line with your thumb and the melody line with the fingers. He taught me songs by Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, and old folk ballads that were passed down from generation to generation. Mike would burn CD's of great blues, jazz and folks records, bring them in a just give them to me. We would discuss the music, its history, its structure, its meaning.



Mike and I sat in countless meetings with flacks, political hacks, wannabe power mongers, superintendents, mayors, governors, police chiefs and all manner of cronies you could imagine. He would emerge from these meetings groaning deeply about the state or our affairs. For me meetings were a time to shut off my thinking brain and draw people in the room. Half-listening I would caricature these folks in my sketchbooks, and that's when I began to fashion my image of Mike.



On one memorable occasion I looked over and caught Mike writing down every cliche that was coming out of mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's mouth. There were so many it filled an entire yellow legal pad page.



The demise of the newspaper business was hard on both of us. Mike was laid off after 25 years of service to the Daily News. I myself went several months later. We still kept in touch and he would come over to my house and to talk, play guitars and he would stand on my balcony and smoke (I quit some time ago). Mike beat cancer three times in his life and lived through more pain than I could ever imagine. The fourth time was one too many. He died Sunday night at home with his family by his side. He was 66.

Mike was a patient teacher, knowing mentor, gifted colleague, and most importantly, a dear friend. I will miss him.



          Banana plantation threatens rainforest valley (video)        
Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains were recently spared a titanium mine, however now the region faces a new peril: bananas. The Australian firm Indochina Gateway Capital Limited has proposed a banana plantation in the Southern Cardamom Mountains. The plantation would likely destroy an elephant corridor for one of Cambodia’s last wild elephant populations. In addition, pesticides used […]
          Cambodia: Quash Conviction of Rights Land Activist        

People gather outside the Appeals Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on August 8, 2017, holding signs of support for land rights activist, Tep Vanny. 
 
 

 

© 2017 Private

(Bangkok) – Cambodian authorities should quash the conviction and release land rights activist Tep Vanny, who has been imprisoned for nearly a year for defending her community from unlawful evictions, Human Rights Watch said today.

On August 8, 2017, an Appeals Court in Phnom Penh rejected Tep Vanny's appeal of her conviction on February 23 for "intentional violence with aggravated circumstances." She was sentenced to 30 months in prison following a summary trial in which the prosecution failed to present any witnesses – preventing any possible cross examination by the defense. The Cambodian government routinely misuses the courts, which lack independence, to target members of the political opposition and civil society activists, Human Rights Watch said.

Cambodia’s international donors should be outraged by the government’s harassment of peaceful activists through the courts.

Phil Robertson

Deputy Asia Director

"The case against Tep Vanny is a blatant misuse of prosecutorial power to punish her for her peaceful activism," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "This prosecution is intended to silence Tep Vanny and intimidate other Cambodian activists."

The charges against Tep Vanny relate to her participation in a peaceful protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in 2013, during which she and other activists called for the release of a detained fellow community member. She was found guilty under article 218 of the Cambodian Criminal Code for assaulting Hun Sen’s security guards. No credible evidence was presented during the trial to substantiate these charges. The court refused to hear testimony from witnesses supporting Tep Vanny’s account that she and other protesters did not commit any violence during the protest.

During the trial, para-police kicked, shoved, and dragged activists who had gathered outside the court, resulting in injuries to two activists and a pregnant woman. Video footage of the incident shows para-police chasing demonstrators into a neighboring mall, and guards cornering one protester and repeatedly punching and kicking him.

Tep Vanny is also being held on spurious charges of “public insult” and “death threats” brought against her and five other members of the Boeung Kak Lake community dating back to the “Black Monday” protests on behalf of detained activists in 2012.

Since August 15, 2016, she has been held at CC2 Prey Sar facility prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and has now served a total of 358 days in detention. 

Tep Vanny is one of Cambodia’s leading land rights activists. She has worked to combat unlawful evictions and corruption by mobilizing affected communities in the Boeung Kak Lake area of Phnom Penh, where more than 4,000 families have had to vacate their homes for a private development project. In 2013, she received a Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for her work on land rights.

Tep Vanny has been an important voice on behalf of fellow activists, and has been active in urging an independent investigation into the July 10, 2016 shooting death of Kem Ley, a popular social commentator and frequent government critic.

Cambodian authorities should drop all politically motivated charges against Tep Vanny, quash her February conviction, and immediately release her, Human Rights Watch said. The government should also cease persecution of human rights defenders and others exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

“Cambodia’s international donors should be outraged by the government’s harassment of peaceful activists through the courts,” Robertson said. “Together, they should publicly call for an end to the politically motivated and unsubstantiated charges against Tep Vanny and other detained activists in Cambodia.”


          A booklover's wishlist for Christmas        

Friends and family have stopped giving me cookbooks

As you enter our Bloomsbury living room you can see why: a flimsy IKEA bookcase groans under the weight of hundreds of cookbooks - well our demented boiler is gurgling like a gremlin at the moment but that's another story - the flat seems to be tilting precariously to one side under the weight of so many books.

Some are blatant food "porn" purchases from days when I didn't know any better, others are more conventional glossy cookbooks nestled in between the Elizabeth David classics and battered old baking books replete with indecipherable doodles. Inspirational tomes such as Olivier Roellinger's Seafood book and Heston's Big Fat Duck Cookbook are there to remind me that being creative is no bad thing, and I have yet to really sink my teeth into McGee on Food and Cooking in a systematic way, save his chapter on dairy.

But seriously, does a girl really need hundreds of cookbooks? I'm more than a little embarrassed by my bulging cookbook collection and perversely found myself calculating how many pairs of killer heels I could have bought in lieu of all those snazzy cookbooks. After all, a girl can never have too many shoes.

So in order to save you and your family or friends from accumulating quite so many cookbooks - and to save all that money for buying pretty shoes in the new year sales! - I've compiled a Christmas wishlist for bookish food fiends; a list that sprang out of friends asking me from time to time which books I would recommend from my cookbook collection.

For the purpose of this exercise I enlisted my pal Will Knightley - a rogue foodie with a penchant for martinis - to help whittle down the books. It's not a definitive list, We've left off some notable culinary giants and included a few unusual books which might appeal to a foodnerd who is interested in learning more about the history and anthropology of food. There are also a few recommendations for food magazines and journals that would make fine Christmas gifts for a fussy foodie.

I'd be curious to know which books are your favourite ones to cook from, which have proved inspirational, and which ones looked promising but ultimately failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say I'm on a self-imposed ban from buying any more books and if anything a cull is long overdue. Still...there are invariably gaps in my collection so please let me know in a comment below which food/cookery books you'd add to this list :-)

The cookbooks:

Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course (Ryland, Peters & Small)

Perhaps this should have been called 'The Joy of Cheese' as it's a caseophile's delight. I've worked with Fiona for two years and recently wrote my MA thesis on the anthropology of cheese so I'm completely biased, but I genuinely love this book. You learn how cheese is made, examples of the different types of cheese and how to taste and compare them. Fiona being the doyenne of food and wine matching you get a comprehensive cheese and wine matching guide, and also alternatives such as cider, beer, port and whisky to name a few. I could really have used the tip about not matching red wine to oozing Epoisses the other night, and Fiona explains in detail why red wine - a traditional match for cheese as a whole - can be a minefield when paired with many cheese varieties. There are suggestions for seasonal cheese plates and recipes to keep even the greediest of cheeselovers happy.

Try the tartiflette, the buckwheat galettes with parma ham and emmental, and the stichelton steak with winter salad of onions and roquette. If you're a real curd nerd check out Fiona's Cheeselover blog for updates on cheese finds, and her 'Ultimate Mac n' Cheese Challenge' which kicks off December 28th

Moro East by Sam & Sam Clark (Ebury Books)

Fans of the restaurant Moro will love this book which extends east to Levantine shores via their East End allotment. The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. What more can I say - buy this book along with the two original Moro cookbooks and you won't be disappointed. Up there with the Scandinavian Cookbook and Ottolenghi as my everyday favourites.

Risotto with Nettles: A memoir with food
by Anna del Conte (Chatto & Windus)

This is the food memoir of 2009. Del Conte shares stories from her childhood in Milan, giving the recipes she cites at the start of each chapter meaning and context through a tightly-written narrative. Her style of writing is self-effacing and ever so slightly patrician, a legacy of her Milanese roots I suspect and what fascinates me about her story is del Conte's liminality as a child raised in Mussolini's Italy and her transition to an adult who married and settled in Britain - she evinces both Italian (or rather Milanese) and British characteristics in her writing yet in some ways is rootless...

Any book that opens with a chapter on Toscanini and La Scala will appeal to the cultured Italophile foodie; a real gem of a memoir.

The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann (Quadrille)

One of the best cookbooks published in recent years. Beautiful photography couples with clear, easy-to-follow recipes and the best cinnamon bun recipe this side of Copenhagen. Trina's evocative book sends me straight back to my Scandinavian roots and I can't think of a better introduction to the seasonal cooking of game, fish, fruit, veg grains and aquavit (kidding, aquavit is not a foodstuff) of where I grew up. A book I never tire of.

Look out for Trina's Nordic Diet book - due to be released in January - of which I'll be giving a sneak preview here very soon. If you're curious about Trina's recipes and Scandinavian food in general I did a menu earlier this year based on her book which includes a fabulous gravlaks or gravadlax recipe.


Game: A Cookbook
by Trish Hilferty & Tom Norrington-Davies (Absolute Press)

Anyone who knows me will tell you I have a penchant for game, and I instantly fell in love with this book when it arrived last month. The fact that it's co-authored by Tom Norrington-Davies, head chef and co-owner of Great Queen Street, one of my favourite restaurants, adds to its 'must-have' appeal.

Recipes that stand out:

* confited pheasant with fennel and satsuma salad

* potroast mallard, quince and star anise

* rabbit braised with prunes and beer

In sum, a brilliant, modern cookbook on game - buy this for a bona fide foodie and they'll love you forever

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson (Murdoch Books)

This book has proved curiously divisive. Will and I love it, other foodlovers aren't convinced.

Jane Lawson seems detached from the recipes and there has been criticism of the broad geographical layout spanning Scandinavia, Germany and Eastern Europe. Frankly that's what appeals to me - there is a common thread of cooking throughout cold Northern European countries: hearty, ribsticking fare with dishes such as beer cooked bratwurst, which is what gets me cooking on a cold winter's day. I was born in Germany and my first word was most likely "wurst" so I'm totally biased - a book with sausage recipes is always going to send my into nostalgic daydreaming mode! The liquorice lamb appeals to the Scandi in me and I love Lawson's baking recipes - reminiscent of the ones I grew up with in Norway. Great recipes and gorgeous photography make this a winner. Buy this book for the Northern European who loves to ski and eats carbs and meat with gusto!

A Very Honest Cook by Stephen Markwick and Fiona Beckett (Culinaria Press)

More of a magazine or journal than a hefty cookbook and therein lies the appeal of 'A Very Honest Cook'. I'd hazard a guess that this slimline book of a few choice recipes from Stephen Markwick of Culinaria fame might prove to be a publishing model for 2010. When I met Stephen and his wife Judy at Abergavenny food festival earlier this year everything Fiona had told me about Stephen was spot-on: he's a self-deprecating cook who represents the best of British cuisine. With a foreword by Simon Hopkinson that praises the 'stylish simplicity' of Stephen's cooking, and clear, concise recipes this is a book I'll be cooking often from and can't wait to visit Bristol again so I can sample Stephen's provencal fish soup, loin of venison with celeriac and potato mash and honeyed parsnips... and a devilishly good treacle tart ;-)

The Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen (Murdoch Books)

Will claims this is the book for gap-year kids who read 'The Beach' on their travels throughout Asia during the '90s. I did neither of those things yet I love this book, perhaps because Vietnam is on my list of places to visit. This book transports you to Nguyen's home country with sumptuous recipes and fantastic photography. Recipes such as Hanoi beef noodle soup, roast pork and crisp snapper just work. The only drawback is the book is a tome of the coffee-table variety thus slightly tricky to place in the kitchen while cooking, but still - a book worth owning.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ebury)

My favourite deli in London and a cookbook that is high up on my list of favourites. The partnership between Israeli Yotam Ottolenghi and Palestinian Sami Tamimi works on so many levels: the delis are an aesthete's delight with their white backdrop and an array of colourful food tempting you in. I spent a day in the Upper Street branch of Ottolenghi as part of my Leiths training and witnessed first-hand the care and attention Ottolenghi chefs take in creating both pastries and savoury food. It may be expensive but the food at Ottolenghi is worth every penny.

Buy this book for the foodlover who is curious about the Middle East and loves eating at Ottolenghi's delis.

The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Penguin)

Not a recent publication but this should be on every serious foodlover's bookshelf. Roden's vivid account of the Jewish diaspora, enriched with stories of her own life and comprehensive descriptions of Ashkenazi and Sephardic cooking is a classic. The recipes are foolproof and delicious.

Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey (Ebury)

A confession: I have a real soft spot for Rick Stein. Perhaps it's his love of seafood, or his gentle, ambling manner when he's cooking. I was fortunate enough to work as a stagiere in his Seafood restaurant down in Padstow when I was training at Leiths and loved every minute of my stage there, learning more about seafood in a week working for Stein's band of merry chefs than I did anywhere else. Stein's most recent book represents the best recipes of countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia. Every recipe is enticing and foolproof and somehow captures the rich diversity of food across Asia; this is the book for the globetrotting gourmet who loves telling stories and cooks with confidence and flair!

Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (Kyle Cathie)

Quite simply the best chocolate book of 2009. Paul trained under Marco Pierre White and I've posted on this blog before about his dedication to the crafting of chocolate because that's exactly what he is - a craftsman. His shop in Camden Passage is one of the few chocolate shops in London which is suffused with the scent of chocolate as everything is hand-crafted on site.

The book is comprehensive and teaches you how to buy chocolate, what types of beans there are and the methods of tempering and how to make a truffle (an art in itself). There are tips on how to combine flavours with different types of chocolate and recipes such as:

* chocolate water biscuits for cheese

* passionfruit and coconut truffles (two of my favourite ingredients!)

* blackcurrant and liquorice truffles (ditto)

* chocolate, ginger and cardamom tea bread

* hot chocolate and basil fondants

A perfect gift for chocoholics, especially if they can't get to Paul's two stores in Camden Passage and Threadneedle Street this Christmas

What to Eat Now More Please! by Valentine Warner (Octopus)

Having met Valentine Warner through the lovely people at Peter's Yard I can vouch that he's utterly charming and a real cook's cook. This is the book to buy girls. Boys don't really get the appeal of Valentine so make sure you save this for your sister, cousin, girlfriend or foxy aunt.

Recipes that appeal:

* barbecued bavette steak with anchovies, red wine and garlic (is there a better combination of ingredients?)

* coconut lamb

* gravadlax: having seem Valentine make this at Abrgavenny food festival earlier this year I can attest to this recipe's deliciousness. Plus Valentine looked a bit like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets when he waved bunches of dill above his head

* prawn tangiers: I made this over the summer and it's now a firm favourite

* baby courgettes and chanterelles with basil: simple, clean flavours with not much fuss. Perfect.

Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn)

Everyone should own a copy of Larousse. It is the bible of cooking technique and classical French cuisine. Enough said.

McGee on Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (Scribner)

I love McGee's chapter on dairy, you might love his chapter on the four food molecules - every serious cook worth his or her salt should have McGee's encyclopedic masterpiece on their shelves. Failing that at least read his Curious Cook musings on food science ;-)

Coco: 10 world-leading masters choose 100 contemporary chefs (Phaidon)

This is the most zeitgeisty book of 2009, and what a tome it is. Chosen by gastronomic big guns Ferran Adria, Mario Batali, Rene Redzepi, Alice Waters, Jacky Yu, Gordon Ramsay, Fergus Henderson, Shannon Bennett, Alain Ducasse, and Yoshihiro Murata the hundred chefs featured in Coco are all fascinating in their own right. Some have commented on the title and I have to admit 'Coco' does strike me as an odd choice for this book, albeit a catchy one.

No matter, the book is a feast for the eyes and is the book to buy your serious gourmet friend or relative who has a keen interest in sampling the cooking of the hottest chefs today. When I first read about Coco in the Evening Standard earlier this year I was thrilled to see some of my favourite chefs such as Anthony Demetre of Arbutus and Wild Honey fame featured alongside Theo Randall and Skye Gangell. When Gastrogeek invited a few fellow food bloggers to join her and the team from Phaidon and Sauce PR for a Coco Gourmet Gallop around Maze, Theo Randall and Launceston Place last month I nearly fell off my chair at the itinerary for the gallop. We were treated to a fantastic evening of decadence, sampling the recipes each chef had included in the book. You can read brilliant reviews of the gourmet gallop from Gastrogeek herself, Dan of Essex Eating and Dan of the blog FoodUrchin amongst others including twitter's funniest food blogger Mimi of Meemalee's Kitchen who concluded: the Coco gourmet gallop was worth missing the last train for (and she did!)

A few snaps from the night:

Theo Randall's wood-roasted Cornish monkfish with parsley, capers, roseval potatoes, globe artichokes and prosciutto di Parma - a humdinger of a dish. Full of flavour and culinary skill. Theo himself came out to speak to us which was much appreciated by all of us attending the gallop



Tristan Welch's dessert platter (along with several huge tarte tartins) was the best dessert experience I've had since being left with the dessert trolly at Guy Savoy a 3-star michelin restaurant in Paris. Tristan and his staff looked after us with immense generosity, and like Theo Randall, took the time to speak to us about their cooking and Launceston Place. An epic way to end an epic gourmet gallop...



The books on food but not necessarily cookery:

Tsukiji by Theodore Bestor (University of California Press)

Harvard anthropologist Theodore Bestor has twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Japan under bis belt. The man knows Japan and he writes well which are two key features in the appeal of this book about Tokyo's legendary fish market Tsukiji. One for the food anthropologist, or someone who loves big fish and the ocean in general.

Hungry City by Carolyn Steel (Random House)

A lecturer in architecture at Cambridge, Steel is a formidable speaker and passionate advocate of how food shapes cities. Not one for the glossy food porn admiring reader, but one for serious foodies with a sense of history, an interest in the development of cities and architecture. Check out her Hungry City site for an idea of what the book is all about.

The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir by Amy Trubek (University of California Press)

Trubek asks why terroir and place matter. You may be wondering why the question even matters and if so I suggest you read Trubek's Taste of Place, an accessible and informative account of why terroir is important: we live in a highly connected world in which food is subjected to the forces of globalization like any other industry. Place becomes a powerful symbol of cultural and national roots, not to mention identity. Terroir evokes authenticity, particularly in wine, but increasingly now in food such as cheese and Trubek's book is for those who are bored by cookbooks and want something profound to sink their teeth into over the Christmas holiday.

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

For the foodie who cares about evolution, anthropology and understanding how cooking makes us human, this is the book to buy them for Christmas. Wrangham has a breezy style of writing virtually unseen in academia and his argument is elegant and provocative in equal measure. Brilliant. By far the most interesting anthropology book I've read in years.

Magazine/Journal Subscriptions to get discerning foodies:

Fire & Knives


Brand-spanking new food journal from editor extraordinaire Tim Hayward. Great writing, great photography, great design. Looks like a small book which makes it ideal for popping in your handbag. At a bargainous £20 per year for a subscription this is the gift to give the foodlover who has all the cookbooks they need.

The Art of Eating

Edward Behr's pared-back style of writing is true to his Vermont background and I can't wait for The Art of Eating to arrive by post every few months. Excellent pieces on real food, unfussy and spot-on in its analysis. You should see the cheese collection. Another one for the foodie who has everything and loves that New England salt-of-the-earth way of seeing the world.

美味しんぼ or Oishinbo (The Gourmet)

What can I say? if you know someone who loves Japanese food this is the publication for them. The ultimate 'foodnerd' gift this Christmas!


* an addendum: one book I completely forgot about is Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories and thank you to Helen aka Food Stories for reminding me about Hopkinson's other brilliant book Week in Week Out both books of which I own and love. Roast chicken had slipped down behind the bookcase and the latter I haven't used much recently but shall revisit when I return from the Canaries after Christmas. Add both to the neverending list of must-have books ;-)
          Wali Sanga        
 Dalam penyiaran dan penyebaran agama Islam di Jawa pada dahulu dipelopori oleh para mubaligh Islam yang lebih dikenal dengan sebutan "wali". Adapun pada wali ini jumlahnya ada sembilan yang dianggap merupakan kepala kelompok dari sejumlah besar mubaligh-mubaligh Islam yang bertugas mengadakan operasi di daerah-daerah yang belum memeluk agama Islam. Mengenai nama-nama dari para Wali Sanga yang umum dikenal dikalangan masyarakat sekarang adalah terdiri dari :“maulana_malik_ibrahim” "sunan_ampel", "sunan_bonang", "sunan_giri", "sunan_drajat", "sunan_kalijaga", "sunan_kudus", "sunan_muria" dan "sunan_gunungjati".

Adapun yang mengatakan, bahwa Sunan Tembayat, Sunan Prawoto, Sunan Ngudung, Sunan Geseng, Sunan Benang, Sunan Mohoagung, "syekh_siti jenar", Syekh Subakir, Maulana Ishak dan lain-lain. Itu juga termasuk anggota dari kesembilan wali di Jawa. Akan tetapi yang popouler serta dikenal oleh umum ialah apa yang kita sebutkan diatas.


SUNAN NGAMPEL DENTA,WALI PERINTIS DARI CEMPA
Setiap orang mempunyai nama yang diberikan ketika ia dilahirkan, tetapi nama para wali yang disebut-sebut orang banyak ternisbahkan oleh nama tempat yang secara historik terhubungkan dengan riwayat hidup mereka.
Dalam hal Sunan Ampel, tentu saja nama itu terhubungkan dengan Ampel yang kini menjadi bagian dari Kota Surabaya. Namun bagi sejarawan seperti Graaf dan Pigeaud, rupanya kata Ampel tidak terdapat dalam seluruh sumber mereka, baik itu "cerita Jawa" maupun catatan para pengembara seperti Tome Pires dari Portugal.
Maka dalam hal Sunan Ampel, kita temukan nama Raden Rahmat, orang suci dari Ngampel Denta: tepatnya, Sunan Ngampel Denta. Disebutkan bahwa Raden Rahmat berasal dari dan merupakan anggota keluarga kerajaan di Cempa - tetapi di manakah Cempa itu?

Putri Islam di Majapahit
Perbincangan Graaf dan Pigeaud dalam Kerajaan-kerajaan Islam di Jawa: Peralihan dari Majapahit ke Mataram (1974) memperkenalkan kita kepada dua teori, yang pertama menganggap Cempa sebagai Jeumpa di Aceh, yang memang merupakan rute tradisional datangnya Islam ke Jawa yang berawal dari Arab Saudi (Aceh, Campa, Pasai, Johor, Cirebon), seperti rute yang telah ditempuh seorang wali bernama Syekh Ibnu Maulana.
Pada abad ke-15, Pasai tentu jauh lebih terkenal dari Jeumpa sebagai pusat keagamaan. Karenanya Graaf dan Pigeaud lebih cenderung kepada teori kedua, bahwa Cempa berada di pantai timur Hindia Belakang, yang dalam Sajarah Melayu disebutkan pernah menjadi taklukan Majapahit. Memang konteks Majapahit inilah yang menghubungkan Cempa dengan Jawa. Untuk itu kita rujuk dahulu "cerita Jawa" perihal Raden Rahmat ini, sebelum nanti kembali lagi kepada perbincangan tentang fakta sejarahnya.
Alkisah, seperti diceritakan kembali oleh Ridin Sofwan, Wasit, dan Mundiri dalam Islamisasi di Jawa: Walisongo, Penyebar Islam di Jawa, Menurut Penuturan Babad (2000), Raden Rahmat diperkirakan lahir awal abad ke-15 di Campa (Cempa dan Campa digunakan bergantian oleh berbagai sumber). Terdapat berbagai versi tentang siapa ayahnya tersebut: Ibrahim Asmarakandi, keturunan Arab yang menikahi putri raja Campa; tapi ada juga Ibrahim Al Ghozi atau Ibrahim Zainal Akbar - ketiga versi ini mempunyai kesamaan, bahwa Ibrahim adalah keturunan Nabi Muhammad.
Dalam versi pertama, yang berasal dari Babad Tanah Djawi, disebutkan bahwa Asmarakandi adalah perubahan ucapan atas kata Samarkand, yakni asal-usul Ibrahim di Asia Tengah. Dari sini berarti Ibrahim memahami Islam seperti diikuti oleh keturunan Husein bin Ali bin Abi Thalib yang berkembang di Persia, termasuk sebagian besar Asia Tengah di mana terdapat Samar-kand - maka ia sebetulnya disebut Ibrahim as-Samarkandy. Pada masa itu sudah umum terdapat komunitas Islam di kawasan Indocina, dari mana Tiongkok semasa pemerintahan dinasti Yuan mencari para pakar Islam asal Turkestan untuk menjadi penasihat kaisar.
Namun yang penting dari data tersebut bukanlah soal Ibrahim, melainkan bahwa putri Campa yang dinikahinya itu mempunyai saudara yang disunting - atau dianugerahkan kepada - raja Majapahit. Itulah Andrawati atau Putri Darawati yang tentu saja kemudian dikirim untuk bermukim ke Keraton Majapahit. Ke sanalah dua putra Ibrahim yang bernama Raden Rahmat (Sayid Ngali Rahmat) dan Raden Santri atau Raden Pandita (Sayid Ngali Murtala atau Ali Murtadho) datang untuk "menengok" (nanti akan jelas kenapa harus diberi tanda kutip) putri Campa saudara ibunda mereka - dan selama di Majapahit ternyata diizinkan berdakwah menyebarkan agama Islam. Beserta mereka ikut pula Raden Burereh, seorang sepupu, anak raja yang sarjana, yang sebetulnya adalah Abu Hurerah.
Bukan hanya izin yang diberikan, melainkan juga tanah yang sekarang disebut Ampel itu, yang memungkinkan Raden Rahmat membangun salah satu pusat penyebaran Islam pertama di Jawa bagian timur. Seperti diketahui, dalam kisah Walisanga, Sunan Ampel disebutkan berputra Sunan Bonang yang menjadi guru Sunan Kalijaga, serta bermurid antara lain Sunan Giri yang juga merupakan wali tersohor.
Gara-gara Vietnam
Jika "cerita Jawa", babad, maupun legenda ingin dipercaya, mulai dari Hikayat Hasanuddin, Sadjarah Dalem, Hikajat Bandjar, sampai Babad Tanah Djawi, para pembaca akan menemui kesulitan dengan terdapatnya berbagai versi, apalagi menyangkut mertua, menantu, jumlah istri, jumlah anak, dan sebagainya - sebegitu jauh soal Cempa yang kadang disebut Campa itu tetap: bahwa ada seorang anggota kerajaan Cempa tinggal di Keraton Majapahit dan pada gilirannya menyebarkan Islam dari Ngampel Denta (tentu juga menjadi pertanyaan besar tentang gelar "Raden" yang disandangnya itu, yang tidak berlaku di Majapahit dan apalagi di Cempa).
Kini baiklah kita ikuti spekulasi ilmu sejarah seperti dilakukan Graaf dan Pigeaud berdasarkan "cerita Jawa" maupun data peninggalan.
"Seorang raja Majapahit, atau seorang anggota keluarga raja, menjelang pertengahan abad ke-15 telah membawa gadis Islam dari keluarga baik-baik yang berasal dari Cempa ke istananya. (Sejak dahulu kala Majapahit selalu mempunyai hubungan dengan Cempa). Wanita Islam itu meninggal pada tahun 1448 dan dimakamkan secara Islam (= Putri Cempa).
"Beberapa tahun sebelumnya, dua orang keluarga putri itu, kakak beradik, meninggalkan Cempa dan melawat ke Jawa. Mereka ini juga beragama Islam; ayah mereka adalah orang Barat yang kawin di Cempa dengan wanita dari keluarga bangsawan. Salah satu alasan kedua kakak-beradik itu pergi ke Jawa ialah karena ancaman orang-orang Annam untuk menyerang Cempa. (Pires, petualang Portugis itu menetapkan kedatangan orang-orang Islam pertama ke Jawa sekitar tahun 1443; pada tahun 1446 ibukota Cempa diduduki oleh bangsa Annam). Dua orang kakak beradik dengan darah campuran ini [Barat-Asia, Arab (?) dan Indocina (?)] telah berhasil menjadi pemuka kelompok-kelompok Islam yang masih baru di Gresik dan Surabaya. Dalam kedudukan itu mereka diakui oleh wakil-wakil maharaja di Majapahit (pecat tanda = penilik pasar, di Terung). Tetapi keturunan mereka tidak mendapat kekuasaan duniawi di Gresik dan Surabaya."
Jika memang Sunan Ampel ini disetujui berpengaruh besar, menarik kiranya bahwa Pangeran Ngampel Denta ini tidak akan pernah sampai ke Jawa jika Campa atau Cempa tidak diserbu Annam, yang tak lebih dan tak kurang adalah Vietnam. Sajarah Melayu menyebutnya sebagai Kerajaan Kuci yang menyerbu Cempa karena pinangan rajanya kepada putri Kerajaan Cempa ditolak. Dengan menyuap bendahara raja, pintu gerbang kota dibuka dari dalam, dan ibukota Cempa, yakni Bal, dikuasai. Pau Kubah, raja Cempa gugur, dua putranya, Pau Liang dan Indra Berma, masing-masing lolos ke Aceh dan Malaka. Sajarah Melayu ini dipercaya oleh kedua sejarawan Belanda tersebut, karena ditulis menjelang perempat kedua abad ke-16, tak jauh sesudah runtuhnya dinasti lama Campa.
Dari sumber lain, kedua sejarawan mendapat data bahwa tahun 1471 Campa direbut Annam. Cocok dengan tahun pemerintahan Sultan Mansur di Malaka (1458 - 1477) yang memberi suaka kepada pangeran Campa yang melarikan diri. Mungkinkah Pau Liang yang lari ke Aceh itulah yang akhirnya sampai ke Jawa Timur sebagai Raden Rahmat? Hubungan dengan Jawa Timur baru terlacak dari Hikayat Hasanuddin yang menyebutkan, Kerajaan Campa ditaklukkan raja dari Koci ketika Raden Rahmat bermukim di Jawa. Dengan begitu kedua sejarawan bisa memperkirakan, Raden Rahmat dan kedua saudaranya sebelum tahun 1471 sudah berangkat dari Cempa ke Jawa Timur. Akibatnya, waktu menetapnya Raden Rahmat di Ngampel Denta terletakkan dalam perempat ketiga abad ke-15, sesuai dengan tarikh pada makam Putri Campa, yakni 1448.
Ngampel Denta 2006
Disebutkan dalam legenda bahwa penunjukan Raden Patah sebagai Sultan Demak dilakukan oleh Sunan Ngampel Denta, dengan syarat bahwa selama 40 hari sebelumnya Sunan Giri memegang dahulu pimpinan, untuk menghapus segenap "bekas kekafiran" yang ditinggalkan kerajaan sebelumnya. Legenda ini representasi sikap bermusuhan terhadap Majapahit, yang memalingkan pendengarnya dari fakta sejarah bahwa Islam berkembang bebas semasa Majapahit - setidaknya seperti terlihat dari riwayat Raden Rahmat - karena memang legenda ini baru beredar abad ke-17 atau ke-18 ketika kekuasaan kerajaan Islam semakin mutlak, meski pengaruh politik kaum alim ulama justru jauh berkurang.
Sampai di sini kita kutip kembali De Graaf dan Pigeaud, tetapi untuk melakukan koreksi: "Satu kenyataan ialah bahwa makam Sunan Ngampel Denta, yang disanjung-sanjung sebagai wali tertua di Jawa, tidak menjadi tempat ziarah yang ramai dikerumuni orang pada abad-abad kemudian. Lagi pula makam itu tidak diberi cungkup seperti yang biasa ada pada makam-makam orang penting. Dalam cerita Jawa dinyatakan bahwa hal itu memang menjadi kehendak Sunan sendiri. Tetapi hal itu juga dapat dianggap sebagai akibat kenyataan bahwa Sunan Ngampel tidak membentuk dinasti pemimpin agama; jadi berbeda dengan Sunan Giri dan Sunan Gunungjati."
Sementara sebagian pernyataan boleh diperdebatkan, bisa dipastikan bahwa makam Sunan Ngampel Denta tidak kalah ramainya dibandingkan dengan makam para wali lain pada abad ke-21 ini. Bahkan dari semua makam yang telah dilaporkan Intisari adalah makam Sunan Ngampel Denta ini saja yang tidak boleh dipotret ataupun direkam kamera video. Apakah kita bisa mengatakannya paling dikeramatkan - dan karena itu menjadi yang paling dipentingkan?
Kompleks makam dan permukiman Ngampel Denta sendiri telah menjadi khas dan unik bukan karena kesunyiannya, melainkan telah mengalami metamorfosa: betapa sebuah pusat keagamaan dengan mesjid besar di tengah kampung mampu melebur dalam sebuah pusat perdagangan, tanpa harus kehilangan suasana sakral sama sekali. Sebaliknya, kompleks makam dan Mesjid Ampel ini bagaikan sebuah perayaan menyatunya kekhusyukan agama dengan gairah kehidupan sehari-hari, bagaikan suatu bukti betapa agama bisa sangat membumi.

SUNAN GIRI, DINASTI PEMUKA AGAMA DARI GIRI
Sejarah Giri sebetulnya tidak bisa dilepaskan dari Gresik; dalam Kerajaan-Kerajaan Islam di Jawa: Peralihan dari Majapahit ke Mataram (1974) karya De Graaf dan Pigeaud keduanya disebutkan sebagai kesatuan Gresik-Giri, yang menjadi pusat keagamaan penting pada abad ke-16. Meski begitu bagi pembaca Intisari, sebisa mungkin perbincangannya dipisahkan, karena konteks Gresik dalam penyebaran Islam akan dilaporkan dalam ziarah pustaka tersendiri.
Kisah Sunan Giri dalam legenda terulang kembali bersama riwayat Sunan Ngampel Denta dan Sunan Bonang. Bahwa bersama Sunan Bonang yang adalah putra Sunan Ngampel Denta, mereka menjadi murid Sunan Ngampel Denta tersebut sebelum mengembara sampai tanah Melaka dan berguru kepada Syekh Wali Lanang, yang ternyata adalah ayah Sunan Giri, jika mengacu Babad Tanah Djawi. Dalam Babad Gresik ayahnya adalah Ishak Maksum, dalam Babad Demak adalah Maulana Ishak. Ketidakpastian macam ini agaknya yang membuat Sumanto Al Qurtuby dalam Arus Cina-Islam-Jawa: Bongkar Sejarah atas Peranan Tionghoa dalam Penyebaran Agama Islam di Nusantara Abad XV & XVI (2003) menyebutkan bahwa "historisitas tokoh ini juga masih kabur". Meskipun begitu, legenda tentang Sunan Giri yang bernama muda Raden Paku, bahwa ketika bayi dimasukkan peti dan dilempar ke laut, sampai diselamatkan nakhoda kapal dagang milik Nyai Gede Pinatih, berhasil dimanfaatkan De Graaf dan Pigeaud dengan sangat baik.
Bayi itu dilahirkan Dewi Sekardadu, putri raja "kafir" Menak Sembuyu yang pernah disembuhkan Syekh Wali Lanang, yang kemudian jadi suaminya, dari suatu penyakit, meski raja Blambangan itu sendiri tak berhasil dibawanya masuk Islam. Itulah sebabnya ia tinggalkan Blambangan, yang lantas kejangkitan wabah penyakit, dan rakyat menuduh kandungan Dewi Sekardadu sebagai penyebabnya. Bayi itu lantas dilarung. Nyai Gede Pinatih yang memelihara bayi itu disebut sebagai janda Patih Samboja, patih Blambangan, dan tentunya janda pedagang ini Islam, karena menyekolahkan anak angkatnya ini kepada orang suci dari Ngampel Denta. Dalam versi yang dikutip Ridin Sofwan, Wasit, dan Mundiri dalam Islamisasi di Jawa: Walisongo, Penyebar Islam di Jawa, Menurut Penuturan Babad (2000), Patih Samboja adalah Ki Samboja saja, abdi dalem istana Blambangan yang diusir raja, pindah ke Majapahit, dan diberi kedudukan di Gresik. Sepulang dari Melaka, Raden Paku membuka perguruan di Giri yang berarti gunung, tetapi bukan hanya Sunan Giri namanya, melainkan juga Prabu Satmata.
Kuasa Rohani, kuasa duniawi
Bagi Graaf dan Pigeaud, dongeng semacam itu mendukung berbagai penemuan lain, bahwa penyebaran Islam terhubungkan dengan pelayaran serta perdagangan di laut, khususnya dengan pedagang-pedagang mancanegara. Menurut mereka, "Apabila Samboja boleh disamakan dengan Kaboja, Cambodia, maka suami Nyai Gede Pinatih mungkin juga seorang asing dari seberang laut, seperti juga ayah kandung Raden Paku." Dalam cerita tutur Jawa disebutkan bahwa Nyai Gede Pinatih sebagai pengasuh Prabu Satmata meninggal tahun 1477; pembuatan kedaton atau istana berlangsung 1485, disusul pembuatan "kolam" tiga tahun kemudian; dan pada 1506 berpulanglah Prabu Satmata.
Adapun "kolam" diduga adalah "taman" yang memang termasuk di dalamnya adalah danau tiruan, dengan pulau kecil di tengahnya inilah taman air (taman sari) yang merupakan bagian dari kompleks istana raja Jawa. Artinya, bangunan tersebut adalah legitimasi kekuasaan duniawi, dan jika Prabu Satmata adalah juga Sunan Giri, berarti kekuasaan rohani tersatukan dengan kekuasaan duniawi. Dalam komentar Graaf dan Pigeaud, "Memiliki taman semacam ini tentu menambah wibawa dan kekuasaan pemimpin agama pertama di Giri."
Lebih jauh kedua sejarawan membahas, "Tindakan Prabu Satmata dari Giri itu (seperti juga yang dilakukan para wali Islam di Jawa pada zaman yang sama) dapat dianggap sebagai usaha memantapkan dan menguatkan pusat keagamaan dan kemasyarakatan ini bagi kepentingan para pedagang Islam yang sering kurang semangat agamanya." Para pedagang ini keturunan asing, berasal dari golongan menengah, dan diduga sudah tinggal di Jawa sejak abad ke 14, baik di kota besar maupun kecil. "Dibangunnya kedaton dan dipakainya nama gelar raja (Prabu Satmata) boleh dianggap sebagai gejala telah meningkatnya kesadaran harga diri pada wali dan pemimpin kelompok keagamaan Islam yang lebih muda; lebih dari kelompok-kelompok yang lebih tua, merasa dirinya anggota masyarakat Islam internasional," tulis Graaf dan Pigeaud, lagi.
Perhatikan bahwa konsentrasi para sejarawan ini bukanlah personifikasi Sunan Giri itu sendiri, melainkan bagaimana personifikasi Sunan Giri dalam legenda menunjukkan fenomena agama dalam sejarah Jawa. Tentang kediaman di puncak bukit misalnya disebutkan, "... dialah orang pertama di antara ulama yang membangun tempat berkhalwat dan tempat berkubur di atas bukit." Dibahas, "Tempat keramat di atas gunung tentu sudah dianggap penting dalam kehidupan keagamaan sebelum zaman Islam di Jawa Timur/Dapat diduga bahwa kelompok-kelompok 'kafir' yang memiliki satu atau beberapa 'bukit keramat' sebagai pusat keagamaannya telah memberikan perlawanan bersenjata waktu orang-orang alim Islam datang untuk menjadikan gunung keramat mereka menjadi daerah Islam. Apakah Giri dekat Gresik sebagai pusat kehidupan Islam dan sebagai tempat penghayatan agama bagi orang-orang Islam beriman telah didirikan sekadar mencontoh 'gunung keramat' di Jawa Timur? Ataukah didirikan di bekas 'gunung keramat'?"
Personifikasi Nyai Gede Pinatih juga memungkinkan spekulasi bahwa pembangunan kedaton Giri mendapat dukungan dana komunitas dagang tersebut. Dalam bahasa Al Qurtuby yang khusus meneliti tentang peranan Tionghoa sebagai penyebar Islam, "Bahkan di Giri, back up dana Giri Kedaton adalah seorang Cina Muslimah dan saudagar kaya bernama Nyai Gede Pinatih yang sekaligus ibu angkat Sunan Giri."
Graaf dan Pigeaud menegaskan, pemimpin agama di Giri,"... sebenarnya berasal dari kalangan pelaut dan pedagang asing, yang tinggal di kota pelabuhan Gresik. Cerita Jawa tentang awal mula keturunan Giri tidak memberitakan apa-apa tentang pemilikan tanah atau wilayah pertanian." Ini juga mengukuhkan posisi Gresik dan Surabaya sebagai kota pelabuhan, tempat para pembawa agama Islam yang berdagang mendarat, dan baru dari sini menyebarkannya ke barat.
Sunan Giri yang mana?
Sunan Dalem tercatat sebagai penguasa kedua pada 1506. Dalam legenda, Prabu Satmata dan Sunan Dalem suka dicampuradukkan. Diduga, pada masa Sunan Dalem baru dimulai sikap permusuhan antara Majapahit dan Giri, menandakan mulai ditanggapinya pengislaman di kota-kota pelabuhan sebagai bahaya bagi kekuasaan Majapahit. Disebutkan dalam legenda bahwa Majapahit menuduh para pemimpin agama di Giri berusaha merebut kekuasaan duniawi di kota pelabuhan tua Gresik; dan betapa Sunan Dalem "memperlihatkan ketidaksenangannya untuk memberi penghormatan kepada maharaja 'kafir' di Majapahit sebagai penguasa tertinggi, meskipun Tuban, yang sama tuanya dengan Giri-Gresik, dan waktu itu sudah Islam, melakukannya." Menurut Graaf dan Pigeaud, "Keyakinan beragama yang teguh pada keturunan Giri ini mungkin disebabkan ia keturunan seorang cendekiawan agama."
Cerita tentang Sunan Giri yang ikut dalam pendudukan kota tua Majapahit, yang dalam sejarah diduduki orang-orang Islam tahun 1527, beredar dari abad ke-17 atau ke-18, itu pun di Jawa Tengah. Jika "fiksi" ini mau "dicocokkan" dengan fakta, sebetulnya tidak terhubungkan dengan Sunan Giri yang Raden Paku murid Sunan Ngampel Denta, melainkan Sunan Dalem ini. Yang lebih bisa dipercaya justru cerita tutur atas konflik dengan Sengguruh (sekarang Malang), yang disebutkan pernah menduduki Giri pada 1535, sehingga Sunan Dalem menyingkir ke Gumena, sementara orang-orang "kafir" dari selatan tadi merusak antara lain kuburan Prabu Satmata.
Konon kawanan lebah kemudian keluar dari makam itu dan berhasil mengusir mereka kembali ke Sengguruh. Faktanya, pada 1535 pasukan Demak menduduki Pasuruan, padahal Sengguruh termasuk wilayah Pasuruan, membuat mereka harus melepaskan Giri dan kembali agar tak terputus hubungan dengan markas besarnya di pedalaman.
Jatuhnya Majapahit diduga membuat para ulama Giri merasa merdeka dan bebas, juga dari raja Islam yang baru di Demak. Dalam pendudukan Tuban tahun 1527 dan Surabaya tahun 1531 oleh Sultan Tranggana dari Demak, tidak terdapat berita didudukinya juga Giri-Gresik. Mengingat hubungan erat Gumena-Gresik, yang dalam catatan Tome Pires dalam Suma Oriental dikatakan selalu saling bertengkar, Graaf dan Pigeaud menyebutkan bahwa "Sunan Dalem di Giri itu pada 1535 telah mengambil keuntungan politik dari rasa takut yang ditimbulkan oleh kedatangan laskar 'kafir' dari Sengguruh untuk memperkuat kekuasaannya sendiri di kota pelabuhan itu." Berdirinya mesjid di Gumena pada 1539, dalam cerita tutur, adalah pengukuhan kekuasaan para ulama Giri di Gresik.
Yang terkemuka: Sunan Giri Prapen
Pemimpin agama yang paling terkemuka dari Giri adalah penguasa keempat-penguasa ketiganya, putra Sunan Dalem yang diceritakan wafat tahun 1546 hanya memimpin dua tahun, lantas diberi gelar Sunan Seda-ing-Margi. Sejarawan G.P.Rouffaer dalam Encyclopaedie (1930) menduga Sunan Giri ketiga ini gugur tahun 1548 ketika ikut Sultan Tranggana dari Demak menyerbu kerajaan "kafir" di Panarukan -meski kerajaan ini sejak lama mempunyai hubungan dengan pedagang-pedagang Gresik. Nyaris tak ada fakta maupun fiksi tentang Sunan Giri ketiga ini.
Sunan Giri keempat yang menggantikannya adalah Sunan Prapen, kakaknya, yang mendapat nama itu dari tempat ia dimakamkan. Berbeda dengan adiknya, masa kekuasaannya panjang sekali, antara 1548 sampai sekitar 1605. Pelaut Belanda Olivier van Noort pada 1601 mampir di Gresik dan mendengar (bukan melihat tentu) bahwa raja tua itu berusia 120 tahun, dan seperti dikutip Graaf dan Pigeaud dari De Reis om de Wereld 1598-1601 (1926)," ...istri-istrinya yang banyak itu mempertahankan hidupnya dengan menyusuinya seperti seorang bayi." Lanjutnya usia sang raja juga tercatat dalam Berita Cina, yang mengabarkan usianya sebagai lebih dari seratus tahun. Ia meninggal tahun 1605.
Tahun 1549, setahun setelah berkuasa, ia membangun lagi kedaton, karena bangunan yang didirikan kakeknya dianggap tidak setara lagi dengan kejayaan mereka. Jatuhnya Demak sepeninggal Sultan Tranggana pada 1546 jelas mempunyai pengaruh. Perlu didirikan bangunan besar sebagai tanda kemerdekaan. Berdirinya Mesjid Kudus pada 1549 boleh diambil sebagai bandingan atas penanda sikap merdeka dari kekuasaan Demak ini. Namun meski Sunan Giri Prapen, demikian ia populer di kalangan peziarah, tercatat paling berjasa memperluas pengaruh kekuasaan duniawi dan rohani Giri, ia tidak mengganggu urusan politik penguasa-penguasa pedalaman Jawa Tengah. Bahkan di Jawa Timur pun tidak. Ia berekspansi dalam hubungan dagang melalui laut ke arah timur.
Para pelaut Gresik membawa nama Giri ke pantai-pantai kepulauan Nusantara bagian timur pada abad ke-16 dan ke-17, suatu tanda terdominasinya Gresik oleh para pemimpin agama Giri pada masa Sunan Prapen. Namanya disebut dengan jelas dalam kisah-kisah di Lombok, bagaimana ia setelah singgah di Pulau Sulat dan Sungian, mengislamkan raja "kafir" di Teluk Lombok, memasuki Tanah Sasak di barat daya, lantas melanjutkan pelayaran ke Sumbawa dan Bima. Namun kisah yang berasal dari Babad Lombok ini juga menunjukkan gagalnya usaha penyebaran ekonomi dan budaya Jawa mereka di Bali Selatan, karena perlawanan Dewa Agung sang raja Gelgel, seperti dikutip oleh Roo de la Faille dalam Lombok: Studie over Lomboksch adatrecht (1928).
Bukan hanya di timur, dalam Babad Lombok juga disebut tentang murid yang belajar di Giri menjadi pemimpin agama di Makassar, meski asalnya sendiri dari Minangkabau. Nama murid itu, Dato ri Bandang, ternyata juga tersebut-sebut di Kutai, Kalimantan Timur, dalam De Kroniek van Koetai (C.A.Mees, 1935); sementara dalam penelitian S.G.Veld tahun 1882, di Pasir, Kalimantan Selatan, tersebutlah perkawinan "pangeran-pangeran dari Giri dengan putri-putri setempat"; bahkan Raja Matan dari Sukadana yang memerintah tahun 1590, seperti dicatat G.Muller tahun 1843, memakai nama Giri Kusuma, yang diduga keras sebagai bukti pengaruh Giri. Di Maluku, dalam Hikajat Hitu karya Rijali, tercatat tentang perjanjian tahun 1565 dengan "Raja Giri" yang juga disebut "Raja Bukit", mengenai penempatan pasukan Jawa selama tiga tahun, untuk melindungi mereka dari kemungkinan adanya serangan Portugis. Raja Ternate yang memerintah antara 1486 sampai 1500 disebut pernah menjadi pejabat di Giri, dan dengan pedangnya menetak kepala seorang Jawa, yang mengamuk dan mau menyerang Sunan Giri, sampai belah dan menembus ke batu karang-dikisahkan betapa bertahun kemudian masih kelihatan bekas pedangnya di batu itu.
Antara politik dan agama
Penting untuk diketahui bahwa kekuasaan rohani Sunan Giri Prapen diakui oleh raja-raja Jawa Timur maupun Jawa Tengah. Terdapat cerita yang dapat dipercaya, betapa pada 1581 upacara pelantikan Sultan Pajang yang juga sudah tua berlangsung di Giri Kedaton. Seperti dibahas secara rinci dalam karya De Graaf yang lain, Awal Kebangkitan Mataram: Masa Pemerintahan Senapati (1954), upacara yang dihadiri oleh sebagian besar penguasa Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, dan Madura ini bermakna penting bagi keberadaan Sunan Giri Prapen sebagai negarawan-bahwa dalam kepemimpinan rohaninya, berlangsung ketertiban pemerintahan duniawi. Suatu kondisi yang terganggu semenjak Senapati mulai memerintah Mataram pada 1584.
Sebegitu jauh, Sunan Giri menjadi pendamai antara Surabaya yang menjadi pusat perlawanan raja-raja Jawa Timur, dan Mataram yang berekspansi ke mana-mana. Sesudah tahun 1589, Giri Kedaton menjadi tempat berlindung raja-raja Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Timur yang tanahnya diduduki Mataram. Sikap ini hanya bisa dilakukan justru karena tidak bermusuhan, bahkan memihak Mataram itu - toh tidak bisa dipercaya kisah ramalan Sunan Giri tentang akan berkuasanya Mataram di seluruh Jawa. Cerita itu beredar abad ke 17 dan ke-18, lebih sebagai fiksi atau "politik dongeng" para abdi dalem Mataram, karena Sunan Giri adalah sahabat para kerabat Sultan Pajang.
Tercatat tentang niatnya untuk membuat cungkup di atas makam Prabu Satmata, yang mendirikan dinasti pemimpin-pemimpin rohani di Giri. Pada tahun 1590 itu rupanya terbetik kesadaran, betapa kekuasaannya di Jawa Timur berada di atas landasan rohani teguh seorang ulama yang adalah kakeknya tersebut. Selama dua abad, para sunan di Giri mampu mempertahankan kemerdekaan terhadap serangan raja-raja pedalaman Majapahit dan Mataram.
Menurut Graaf dan Pigeaud, "Keraton di Giri sungguh besar sumbangannya untuk kemajuan peradaban Islam di Pesisir, yang masih tetap melanjutkan tradisi kebudayaan 'kafir' pra-Islam." Mereka juga mencatat bahwa, "Perdagangan antarpulau, kekayaan, dan pengaruh politik rupanya lebih diperhatikan oleh para sunan di Giri daripada hidup saleh secara Islam dan mempelajari ilmu agama."
Ketika Sultan Agung berkuasa, Panembahan Kawis Guwa dari Giri dibawa ke Mataram sebagai tawanan pada 1636. Agaknya di sanalah akhir wibawa politik Giri Kedaton, sebagai kekuasaan duniawi maupun kekuasaan rohani. Kebalikan dari Giri, tak puas dengan ekspansi kekuasaan duniawi, raja-raja Mataram juga mau jadi penguasa rohani seperti ditunjukkan oleh denah keraton mereka, bahwa Mesjid Agung dan kauman (pemukiman ulama dan pengikutnya) terintegrasi dalam sistem pemerintahan kerajaan. Perhatikan pula istilah Panembahan yang tertambahkan di depan nama Senapati.
Denys Lombard menuliskan dalam Nusa Jawa: Silang Budaya 2, Jaringan Asia (1990), "Akhirnya Sultan Agung menguasai Giri, tempat keramat lama, dan pengikut - pengikut Sunan diusirnya./ Menarik untuk dicatat bahwa di antara pembela-pembela Giri terdapat pasukan-pasukan Cina. Keturunan Sunan Giri yang penghabisan, dua anak laki-laki dan seorang anak perempuan, yang diusir dari tempat leluhur mereka dahulu memegang pemerintahan, konon lama mengembara dengan menyamar menjelajahi seluruh Pulau Jawa; kisah pengembaraan mereka itulah yang menjadi plot Serat Cabolang dan Serat Centini, puisi panjang yang dianggap mengungkapkan inti kearifan dan filsafat Jawa...."
Itulah akhir riwayat dinasti pemuka agama di Giri yang pengaruhnya pernah begitu besar. Tinggal para pengemis kini, menengadahkan tangan kepada para peziarah yang mendaki.

MAULANA MALIK IBRAHIM: KISAH MAKAM-MAKAM ISLAM...
Maulana Malik Ibrahim yang makamnya terdapat di Gresik, selain disebut sebagai Sunan Gresik, juga sering disebut-sebut sebagai walisanga yang pertama, yang tampaknya hanyalah didasarkan kepada tahun kewafatan yang tertulis pada nisannya, yakni 822 Hijriah, yang berarti 1419 Masehi. Dibandingkan dengan Sunan Ngampel Denta yang dianggap sebagai perintis dan pelopor, dan tahun kewafatannya diduga sekitar tahun 1467, kiranya data semacam ini mengundang sebutan bahwa Malik Ibrahim adalah wali yang pertama di antara para walisanga.
Meski hanya dugaan, legenda akan tetap beredar demi pengukuhan. Di antara banyak legenda, kita periksa saja yang ditemukan oleh Husein Djajadiningrat dalam disertasinya Tinjauan Kritis tentang Sajarah Banten (1913).
Sebetulnya yang diteliti oleh Djajadiningrat adalah tentang sifat-sifat penulisan sejarah Jawa, dengan Sajarah Banten sebagai kasusnya, tempat antara lain terdapatnya kisah-kisah walisanga, termasuk juga tentang Maulana (Djajadiningrat mengeja Molana) Malik Ibrahim yang jelas disebutnya sebagai dongeng. Disebutkan dalam Sajarah Banten bahwa Malik Ibrahim adalah penyebar Islam tertua, yang kisahnya berjalin dengan kisah "saudara sepupu"- nya, Putri Suwari yang juga disebut sebagai Putri Leran.
Konon Molana Ibrahim ulama sohor dari Arab, keturunan Zeinulabidin, cicit Nabi Muhammad, menetap dengan sesama orang beriman lainnya di Leran. Lantas datang saudara sepupu lain, raja Cermen dari tanah seberang, yang bermaksud mengislamkan Angkawijaya raja Majapahit - jika berhasil, bahkan ia berniat menghadiahkan putrinya menjadi istri raja Majapahit.
Ringkas cerita, bersualah kedua raja ini di perbatasan, raja Cermen yang diiringi 40 wali mem-persembahkan sebuah delima, diterima tidaknya menjadi ukuran apakah raja itu akan masuk Islam. Disebut betapa raja Majapahit merasa heran, mengapa seorang raja dari seberang mempersembahkan buah delima, seolah-olah buah semacam itu tak ada di Jawa.
Mengetahui yang dipikirkan raja Majapahit, raja Cermen pamit untuk kembali ke Leran, hanya Molana Magfur, putera Malik Ibrahim, tinggal di Majapahit. Ketika buah dibelah, di dalamnya terdapat permata, maka segeralah raja meminta agar Molana Magfur menyusul raja Cermen agar balik ke Majapahit. Raja Cermen ternyata menolak. Ketika sampai di Leran berjangkit penyakit yang membunuh banyak orang. Tiga dari lima orang saudara sepupu yang bersamanya datang dari seberang, Jafar, Sayid Kasim, dan Sayid Ghart tewas pula karenanya - makam mereka terkenal dengan nama kuburan panjang. Tak ketinggalan sakit pula Putri Leran, putrinya, yang berencana ia nikahkan dengan raja Majapahit. Adapun doanya kepada Tuhan adalah, mohon kesembuhan putrinya agar bisa dinikahkan, tetapi kalau raja Majapahit tak bisa masuk Islam mohon agar usia putrinya dipendekkan saja - dan itulah yang terjadi.
Ternyata Angkawijaya menyusul ke Leran, dan ketika mendengar kematian ketiga "pangeran" ia disebutkan menilai rendah kepercayaan raja Cermen, karena tidak bisa menghalangi kematian para pangeran yang masih muda. Sampai di sini Malik Ibrahim berperan lagi, dengan memberi jawaban bahwa ketidakpahaman raja yang seperti itu tentunya diakibatkan penyembahan kepada dewa-dewa, dan bukan kepada Tuhan yang hakiki. Dikisahkan betapa Angkawijaya menjadi murka dan terpaksa ditenangkan para pengikutnya. Pulanglah ia ke Majapahit dan tidak mau mengingat lagi peristiwa yang terjadi tahun 1313 (tentunya penanggalan Saka, meski hanya dalam dongeng) itu. Disebutkan bahwa Malik Ibrahim kemudian pindah dari Leran ke Gresik, setelah meninggal dimakamkan di gerbang timur kota pelabuhan itu. Makam dan pembongkaran
Masih ada lagi legenda tentang Malik Ibrahim, tetapi mirip cerita sinetron laga, sehingga bagi pembaca Intisari yang budiman lebih berguna disajikan cerita tadi saja, karena pembongkarannya akan menjelaskan beberapa hal.
Pertama, tentang dihubung-hubungkannya Malik Ibrahim dengan Putri Leran. Cerita ini terbentuk tentu karena terdapatnya kuburan atau makam panjang di Leran, yang tanggalnya lebih tua tiga abad. Dalam penelitian J.P. Moquette, batu nisan Malik Ibrahim berasal dari Cambay di Gujarat, sedangkan Djajadiningrat menyebutkan tentang makam di Leran, bahwa "Batu-batu nisan semacam itu masih tiga abad lagi lamanya dipesan di luar Jawa, yaitu di India." Belum bisa disimpulkan apa pun dari data ini, kecuali pengenalan bahwa untuk setiap pernyataan dalam ilmu sejarah dituntut pendasaran yang kuat. Dalam hal makam panjang di Leran, bisa diikuti misalnya beberapa cuplikan dari uraian ahli epigrafi (ilmu tentang prasasti) Louis-Charles Damais dalam artikel "Epigrafi Islam di Asia Tenggara" (1968) dari buku Epigrafi dan Sejarah Nusantara (1995):
"Prasasti paling tua yang dikenal di Jawa berasal dari suatu zaman ketika kebanyakan orang-orang Muslim di pulau itu berasal dari luar; kemungkinan besar mereka adalah pedagang, entah mereka menetap atau hanya singgah, walaupun kemungkinan yang kedua itu jelas lebih besar. Yang dimaksud di sini ialah nisan seorang gadis di kuburan Leran, beberapa kilometer dari Gresik di Jawa Timur, sebelah barat laut pelabuhan besar Surabaya (ucapan Jawanya adalah Suroboyo).
"Oleh karena kami di sini tidak mungkin dapat memerinci dan membahas hasil bacaan Moquette yang telah berjasa sebagai orang pertama yang menafsirkan prasasti itu, ataupun hasil pembacaan Ravaisse yang telah mengadakan beberapa perubahan, cukuplah kami kemukakan bahwa almarhumah bernama binti Maymun, sebagaimana cukup terbukti. Tanggalnya Jumat 7 Radjab 475 tahun Hijriah, atau 2 Desember 1082 M, artinya keesokan hari padanan teoretis menurut Tabel-tabel. Tanggal ini telah menimbulkan perdebatan, oleh karena 70 dan 90 mudah dikacaukan dalam tulisan Arab yang tidak ada tanda diakritiknya dan oleh karena epitaf itu mengandung kesalahan; yang tertulis sesungguhnya ialah ....., jadi harus dibetulkan. Akan tetapi hari pekan yang tercantum itu beserta kemungkinan paleografinya menurut kami merupakan kunci masalah itu, dan padanannya dengan tarikh Julius bagi kami tidak meragukan lagi, seperti telah kami uraikan sebabnya dalam tulisan lain.
"Tidak diketahui siapa gerangan gadis itu. Menurut dongeng setempat, ia adalah seorang putri raja, yaitu Putri Dewi Suwari atau Putri Leran. Unsur ini sudah tentu tidak tepat, karena sengkalan-sengkalan (kalimat yang menunjuk tahun - Red) yang bersangkutan dengan gadis itu menunjuk angka-angka tahun yang kira-kira tiga abad lebih muda, sedangkan prasasti itu sekurang-kurangnya jelas mengenai angka abad dalam tahun Hijriah. Sebuah dongeng dalam teks yang disebut oleh Knebel pada tahun 1906 dan yang ketika itu milik juru kunci makam itu, mengemukakan umpamanya sebuah sengkalan yang diartikan sama dengan 1308 Saka = 1386 (-87) M. Sebuah sengkalan lain sama dengan 1313 Saka = 1391 (-92) M. Lagipula, seandainya binti Maymun itu seorang putri raja, derajatnya pasti tertera pada nisannya, sedangkan di sini tidak. Jadi, sudah boleh dianggap pasti bahwa pada waktu itu yang bersangkutan adalah anak orang asing yang menetap untuk sementara waktu, tetapi yang tidak kita ketahui apa-apanya." Intisari sendiri juga belum memeriksa, bagaimana diketahui bahwa yang disebut sebagai gadis itu bukannya nenek-nenek.
Kedua, dan dengan begitu, layak diperiksa pula fakta mengenai Maulana Malik Ibrahim itu sendiri, apakah sesuai dengan dongengnya, masih memanfaatkan penelitian Louis-Charles Damais yang diterbitkan dua tahun setelah pria Prancis yang menikah dengan perempuan Indonesia itu meninggal pada 1966:
"Yang dikemukakan sekarang ialah prasasti lain, dari daerah yang sama, dari masa tiga abad sesudah prasasti binti Maymun, sebab tanggalnya Senin 12 Rabi al-awwal 822 H = 10 April 1419 M (dua hari sesudah padanannya yang teoretis). Prasasti itu terdapat di sebuah kuburan di Gresik yang bernama Gapura Wetan. Menurut suatu tradisi setempat, makam itu makam salah seorang tokoh yang dianggap termasuk penyebar agama Islam yang pertama di Jawa, yang sering dinamakan Wali Sanga. Bahwasanya dia termasuk salah seorang penyebar utama agama Islam, agaknya patut diragukan, mengingat bahwa penyebaran agama itu di Jawa Timur telah berlangsung jauh lebih awal, akan tetapi sudah tentu tidaklah mustahil bahwa tokoh itu, jika memang berwibawa, telah dapat mengajak orang masuk agama Islam, sehingga hal itu masih dikenang orang. Dia juga dianggap keturunan Nabi yang datang dari Tanah Arab. Dan salah satu namanya menurut dongeng, yang malah menganggapnya sebagai seorang paman Dewi Putri Suwari, adalah Mawlana Maghribi, "Guru dari Barat". Tetapi hal itu tidak tertulis pada nisannya. Prasasti berbahasa Arab itu, yang keadaannya masih baik sekali, tidak menyebutkan asal-usulnya, tetapi kita dapat membaca namanya dengan jelas, yaitu Malik Ibrahim, sebuah nama yang juga masih bertahan dalam tradisi setempat."
Islamisasi: faktor Gresik
Dengan begitu menjadi jelas perbedaan teks, antara yang mengemukakan fakta dengan yang berimajinasi, bahwa antara Malik Ibrahim dan Maymun (Djajadiningrat menyebutnya Fatimah binti Maimun, tapi ia mengacu epigraf M. van Berchem yang mengikuti petunjuk Snouck Hurgronje, dosen pembimbingnya yang tersohor) ternyata tak ada hubungannya sama sekali, meskipun fakta keduanya terhubungkan dalam konteks spekulasi lain, bahwa Gresik atau tepatnya Garesik yang bentuk krama-nya dalam prasasti dan naskah ditulis sebagai Tandes, adalah kota pelabuhan yang menjadi jalan masuk agama Islam di Jawa.
Kalau kita ikuti kembali hasil penelitian Graaf dan Pigeaud dalam Kerajaan-Kerajaan Islam di Jawa: Peralihan dari Majapahit ke Mataram (1974), terbaca laporan dari berita-berita kuno yang tersusun sebagai berikut:
"Menurut berita-berita Cina, Gresik didirikan sebagai kota pelabuhan pada paruh kedua abad ke-14 di sebidang tanah pantai yang terlantar. Penduduk pertama ialah pelaut dan pedagang Cina. Pada abad ke-15 perkampungan baru itu mungkin telah menjadi makmur; pada tahun 1411 seorang penguasa Cina di situ telah mengirim utusan yang membawa surat-surat dan upeti ke keraton Kaisar di Cina. Pada tahun 1387 M. Gresik sudah dikenal sebagai wilayah kekuasaan maharaja Majapahit. Ini terbukti dari Piagam Karang Bogem, yang berisi ketetapan tentang kawula, budak, atau orang tebusan di keraton yang berasal dari Gresik.
"Mungkin maharaja Majapahit yang bersemayam di pedalaman Jawa Timur beranggapan bahwa daerah-daerah pantai juga termasuk wilayahnya dan di situ kekuasaannya sebagai penguasa wilayah juga diakui. Hubungan antara raja pribumi dan pedagang asing yang menetap di negara mereka yang ingin mempertahankan hubungan mereka dengan tanah leluhurnya, lebih-lebih dari sudut kepentingan perdagangan, dapat diduga dengan adanya berita-berita tentang perutusan dari seberang lautan ke Cina. Seperti yang diberitakan pada permulaan abad ke-15 sehubungan dengan Gresik, perutusan yang menghadap kaisar Tiongkok (biasanya orang Cina peranakan), mengambil peranan yang penting."
Dengan membandingkan angka-angka tahun, kita bisa meraba konteks keberadaan Malik Ibrahim, yang oleh Denys Lombard dalam Nusa Jawa: Silang Budaya 2, Jaringan Asia (1990), disebutkan, "... mungkin sekali pedagang dari Gujarat." Namun dengan pertimbangan angka tahun itu pula, kelompok makam panjang di Leran kehilangan konteks yang penting dalam pembahasan tentang penyebaran Islam di Jawa.
Menjadi misterius memang apa yang sebetulnya terjadi sehingga orang-orang ini bermakam panjang pada abad ke-11 di Leran. Memang diyakini mereka Muslim, kemungkinan pedagang asing yang singgah, dan tidak dipertimbangkan sama sekali sebagai penyebar Islam, meski kuburan mereka adalah yang tertua. Dalam bahasa Damais pun, "Di sini tidak ikut kami perhitungkan makam di Leran, yang dilihat dari segala segi merupakan kelompok tersendiri." Pertanyaannya, ketika Majapahit masih berkuasa penuh, apakah itu berarti Islam hanya beredar di pesisir seperti Gresik, itu pun di antara para pedagang asing?
Kuburan Matahari
Louis-Charles Damais memeriksa setidaknya 36 berkas laporan, oleh para peneliti maupun pejabat pemerintah Hindia Belanda, untuk akhirnya sampai kepada kesimpulan bahwa para ahli kepurbakalaan Belanda telah melewatkan fakta penting di depan hidung mereka, betapa pada puncak kejayaan Majapahit, yakni masa pemerintahan Hayam Wuruk, sebagian anggota keluarga kerajaan telah memeluk agama Islam, seperti dibuktikannya melalui pembahasan epigrafis tujuh makam di Tralaya.
Melalui berkas "Makam Islam di Tralaya" (1955), kita bisa mengikuti penelusuran Damais atas berbagai data menyangkut tujuh makam yang dituliskannya," ... disebutkan pertama kali 75 tahun lalu; meskipun demikian nilai purbakala dan sejarahnya selalu diabaikan."
Secara ringkas, yang terutama diabaikan adalah fakta terdapatnya tulisan Arab pada nisan-nisan tersebut, karena selalu dianggap sebagai tambahan baru pada nisan lama yang berangka tahun Saka. Dengan sangat rumit, bahkan disebut seperti perhitungan matematis, Damais akhirnya bisa membuktikan bahwa pada kelompok makam yang oleh penduduk disebut Kuburan Srengenge tempat dimakamkannya Pangeran Surya, boleh diyakini terdapatnya para anggota kerajaan Majapahit yang telah memeluk Islam, dan dimakamkan masing-masing tahun 1376, 1380, 1418, 1407, 1427, 1467, 1475, 1467, 1469, dan yang agak meloncat, yakni 1611.
Mengapa data angka kematian lebih dari tujuh? Karena Damais berhasil juga menemukan tumpang tindihnya nisan-nisan tersebut, bahwa yang sepertinya di tempat kaki ternyata untuk kepala juga misalnya, sehingga ia berpendapat sebetulnya terdapat sepuluh makam di sana. Perhatikan pula bahwa angka tahun yang tertua hanya sebelas tahun lebih muda dari Nagarakrtagama yang ditulis Prapanca.
Sayang sekali tidak cukup ruang untuk menceritakan kembali bagaimana mengagumkannya Damais menguak misteri, bahkan ketika sebagian nisan berprasasti itu disebutnya sudah hilang, sehingga ia menafsir hanya dari yang tersisa maupun dari foto-foto yang diambil para peneliti dan petugas dinas purbakala Hindia Belanda, yang telah mencatat terdapatnya kuburan tersebut se-jak abad ke-19. Dengan meneliti ke-36 berkas ilmiah maupun laporan dinas atas kelompok makam tersebut, Damais menemukan misalnya dalam konteks makam ke-9, "Kami tidak melihat nisan itu disebutkan di mana pun, sebab para ilmuwan, yang telah meneliti situs Tralaya, tidak pernah menunjukkan minat sedikit pun pada prasasti Arab. Padahal teks pendek itu sangat penting karena menunjukkan bahwa di samping angka tahun berangka Jawa kuno, sekurang-kurangnya ada satu yang bertahun Hijriah dan berasal dari periode yang sama."
Bahwa kuburan itu kuburan bangsawan Majapahit, tertandai dari apa yang disebut medalion yang dilingkari "kalangan bersinar dari Majapahit". Suatu tanda yang rupanya telah mengarahkan penyebutan Kuburan Srengenge (Matahari) atau Pangeran Surya itu. Juga dari lokasinya yang begitu dekat dengan pusat pemerintahan di Trowulan. Menarik sekali analisis Damais atas kesalahan tulis kalimah syahadat pada salah satu nisan itu, yang terarah kepada tukang pahatnya, bahwa mungkin saja pengetahuannya sangat kurang atau nihil, mampu mengucapkan syahadat tapi tidak mengetahui aturan ejaan bahasa Arab, dan mungkin pula salah menafsirkan tanda dari sebuah contoh model bahasa Arab tertulis.
Terutama sekali Damais mengoreksi kesalahan teknis maupun keluputan tafsir para ilmuwan pendahulunya, yang tampak sulit melepaskan diri dari stigma bahwa kejayaan Majapahit memustahilkan terdapatnya pemeluk Islam dari kalangan penduduk asli. Kesimpulan Damais memang sebaliknya, "Secara pribadi kami tidak dapat berbuat lain kecuali menganggap angka tahun pada nisan-nisan Tralaya sebagai bukti keberadaan orang Islam, yang mungkin sekali berbangsa Jawa, di ibu kota Majapahit, sejak tahun-tahun akhir abad ke-13 Saka. Jadi, pada hemat kami tidak dapat dikatakan, seperti halnya Krom, bahwa situs itu 'dilihat dari dirinya sendiri tidak mempunyai arti arkeologis'. Justru sebaliknya, dalam suatu kajian sistematis mengenai makam-makam Islam tertua di Jawa - yang masih harus dilakukan - situs itu tidak pelak lagi akan meng-ambil tempat yang penting." melahirkan dongeng dirinya sebagai "walisanga pertama";,karena pada nisannya tertulis angka (1419),namun ternyata ada kelompok makam panjang Leran yang jauh lebih tua (1082) dan diduga sebagai makam orang asing yang sebetulnya hanya singgah; maupun dengan makam Islam di Tralaya yang juga sebagian besar lebih tua (1376/1611) dari zaman Majapahit, yang kali ini diduga kuat adalah makam orang Jawa.

Sunan Drajat
Nama kecilnya Raden Qosim. Ia anak Sunan Ampel. Dengan demikian ia bersaudara dengan Sunan Bonang. Diperkirakan Sunan Drajat yang bergelar Raden Syaifuddin ini lahir pada tahun 1470 M.
Sunan Drajat mendapat tugas pertama kali dari ayahnya untuk berdakwah ke pesisir Gresik, melalui laut. Ia kemudian terdampar di Dusun pesisir Banjarwati atau Lamongan sekarang. Tapi setahun berikutnya Sunan Drajat berpindah 1 kilometer ke selatan dan mendirikan padepokan santri Dalem Duwur, yang kini bernama Desa Drajat, Paciran-Lamongan.
Dalam pengajaran tauhid dan akidah, Sunan Drajat mengambil cara ayahnya: langsung dan tidak banyak mendekati budaya lokal. Meskipun demikian, cara penyampaiannya mengadaptasi cara berkesenian yang dilakukan Sunan Muria. Terutama seni suluk. Maka ia menggubah sejumlah suluk, di antaranya adalah suluk petuah "berilah tongkat pada si buta/beri makan pada yang lapar/beri pakaian pada yang telanjang'.
Sunan Drajat juga dikenal sebagai seorang bersahaja yang suka menolong. Di pondok pesantrennya, ia banyak memelihara anak-anak yatim-piatu dan fakir miskin.



SUNAN BONANG, WALI YANG MEMBUJANG
Mereka yang melacak jejak Sunan Bonang setidaknya akan mendapatkan tiga lokasi pemakaman, yang jika para juru kuncinya ditanggapi terlalu serius, tentu akan menjadi bingung - karena tiada cara untuk membuktikan kesahihannya.
Kerancuan ini disebabkan antara lain karena sejak awal tidak terbedakan, mana yang makam dan mana yang petilasan: tempat para wali pernah tinggal, mengajar, atau sekadar lewat saja. Meski begitu, petilasan boleh dianggap tak kalah penting dengan makam, karena makam sebetulnya hanyalah tempat para beliau dikubur, sedangkan petilasan justru merupakan atmosfer lingkungan hidup seorang wali ratusan tahun silam.
Apabila petilasan yang menjadi ukuran, maka jumlah lokasi yang terhubungkan dengan Sunan Bonang menjadi empat.
Kisah empat lokasi
Lokasi pertama, dan yang paling populer, adalah makam di belakang Mesjid Agung Tuban. Barang siapa berkunjung ke sana akan melihat suatu kontras, antara Mesjid Agung Tuban yang arsitekturnya megah dan berwarna-warni itu, dengan astana masjid Sunan Bonang di belakangnya yang sederhana. Di dekat astana mesjid yang mungil itulah terletak makam Sunan Bonang. Untuk mencapai tempat itu kita harus menyusuri gang sempit di samping mesjid besar, bagaikan perlambang atas keterpinggiran alam mistik dalam kehidupan pragmatik masa kini.
Lokasi kedua adalah petilasan di sebuah bukit di pantai utara Jawa, antara Rembang dan Lasem, tempat yang dikenal sebagai mBonang, dan dari sanalah memang ternisbahkan nama sang sunan. Di kaki bukit itu konon juga terdapat makam Sunan Bonang, tanpa cungkup dan tanpa nisan, hanya tertandai oleh tanaman bunga melati. Namun atraksi utama justru di atas bukit, tempat terdapatnya batu yang digunakan sebagai alas untuk shalat - di batu itu terdapat jejak kaki Sunan Bonang, konon kesaktiannya membuat batu itu melesak.
Situs ini berdampingan dengan makam Putri Cempo (Cempa, Campa) dan ini terjelaskan oleh cerita tutur bahwa Sunan Bonang adalah putra Sunan Ngampel Denta yang berasal dari Cempa tersebut - seperti teruraikan dalam Intisari bulan lalu. Sunan Bonang telah memindahkan makam putri Darawati atau Andarawati yang merupakan maktuanya tersebut dari makam lama di Citra Wulan (bertarikh Jawa 1370 alias 1448 Masehi, mungkin maksudnya di wilayah ibukota Majapahit) ke Karang Kemuning, Bonang, tak dijelaskan kenapa. Namun keterangan ini muncul sebagai catatan kaki atas cerita tentang perampasan barang-barang berharga Demak ketika direbut Mataram, dalam Kerajaan-Kerajaan Islam di Jawa: Peralihan dari Majapahit ke Mataram (1974) karya Graaf dan Pigeaud.
Lokasi ketiga adalah makam Sunan Bonang di Tambak Kramat, Pulau Bawean. Ketika Intisari melacak ke pulau terpencil antara Jawa dan Kalimantan tersebut, terdapat dua makam Sunan Bonang di tepi pantai - dan tiada cara untuk memastikan mana yang lebih masuk akal, meski untuk sekadar "dikira" sebagai makam Sunan Bonang. Salah satu makam memang tampak lebih terurus, karena dibuatkan "rumah" dan diberi kelambu - sedang makam satunya masih harus bersaing pengakuan dengan spekulasi lain bahwa itu sebenarnya makam seorang pelaut dari Sulawesi yang kapalnya karam di sekitar Bawean.
Dengan begitu, sudah terdapat tiga situs yang disebut sebagai makam Sunan Bonang. Tentang makam di Bawean terdapat legenda yang bisa diikuti dari Islamisasi di Jawa: Walisongo, Penyebar Islam di Jawa, Menurut Penuturan Babad (2000) karya Ridin Sofwan, Wasit, dan Mundiri. Konon setelah Sunan Bonang wafat di Bawean, murid-muridnya di Tuban menghendaki agar Sunan Bonang dimakamkan di Tuban, tetapi para santri di Bawean berpendapat sebaiknya dimakamkan di Bawean saja, mengingat lamanya perjalanan menyeberangi laut. Syahdan, para penjaga jenazah di Bawean telah disirep (ditidurkan dengan mantra) oleh mereka yang datang Bawean telah disirep (ditidurkan dengan mantra) oleh mereka yang datangmalam hari dari Tuban.
Dikisahkan betapa kuburan dibongkar {versi lain, dalam Misteri Syekh Siti Jenar: Peranan Walisongo dalam Mengislamkan Tanah Jawa (2004) karya Hasanu Simon, jenazah masih di tengah ruangan dan jenazah dibawa berlayar ke Tuban malam itu juga, untuk dimakamkan di dekat astana mesjid Sunan Bonang. Meskipun begitu, menurut para santri Bawean, yang berhasil dibawa ke Tuban sebetulnya hanyalah salah satu kain kafan; sebaliknya menurut para santri Tuban, yang terkubur di Bawean juga hanyalah salah satu kain kafan.
Lokasi keempat adalah sebuah tempat bernama Singkal di tepi Sungai Brantas di Kediri. Konon dari tempat itu, seperti dituturkan dalam Babad Kadhiri, Sunan Bonang melancarkan dakwah tetapi gagal mengislamkan Kediri. Ketika laskar Belanda-Jawa pada 1678 menyerang pasukan Trunajaya di daerah itu, mereka menemukan mesjid yang digunakan sebagai gudang mesiu, seperti dilaporkan Antonio Hurdt. Menurut Graaf dan Pigeaud, "Adanya mesjid yang cukup penting di Singkal pada abad ke-17 menyebabkan legenda yang mengisahkan tempat itu sebagai pusat propaganda agama Islam pada permulaan abad ke-16 menjadi agak lebih dapat dipercaya." Tentang Babad Kadhiri itu sendiri, yang disebutkan telah dibicarakan G.W.J. Drewes, dianggap Graaf dan Pigeaud sebagai "kurang penting bagi sejarawan, yang mencari peristiwa-peristiwa yang serba pasti."
Meskipun Hasanu Simon meragukan Sunan Bonang pernah pergi ke Bawean, berdasarkan faktor usia dan kesulitan perjalanan masa lalu, tersebutnya Sunan Bonang di berbagai tempat ini membenarkan penemuan Graaf dan Pigeaud. "Menurut cerita, Wali Lanang di Malaka memberikan tugas-tugas berbeda tetapi senada kepada kedua muridnya: Santri Bonang pada umumnya harus menyebarkan (dan memang, kenyataannya kelak Sunan Bonang banyak menjelajahi daerah-daerah), tetapi Raden Paku harus menetap di Giri (dan tentang dia tidak diberitakan perjalanan-perjalanan jauh)." Kedua sejarawan ini juga sama sekali tidak menghubungkan Sunan Bonang dengan Bawean.
Siapakah Sunan Bonang?
Berdasarkan cerita tutur dari berbagai sumber tersebutkan Sunan Bonang adalah putra Sunan Ngampel Denta dari istrinya yang bernama Nyai Ageng Manila (sumber lain menyebut Dewi Candrawati, putri dari Majapahit), dan kelak ia menjadi imam yang pertama di Mesjid Demak. Diperkirakan lahir antara 1440 atau 1465, dan meninggal 1525, masa pelajaran ditempuh di bawah ayahnya, dengan saudara seperguruan Raden Paku yang kelak menjadi Sunan Giri. Namanya sendiri adalah Makdum Ibrahim dan karena tidak pernah menikah, atau setidaknya tak berputra, ia juga disebut Sunan Wadat Anyakra Wati.
Konon ia dan Raden Paku bermaksud naik haji ke Mekah, dan sebelumnya berguru kepada Abdulisbar atau Dulislam di Pasai (versi lain Wali Lanang, kali ini ayah Raden Paku, di Malaka), tetapi yang kemudian diminta kembali ke Jawa oleh gurunya. Menurut Abdul Hadi WM dalam Sunan Bonang, Perintis dan Pendekar Sastra Suluk (1993), "Pada tahun 1503, setelah beberapa tahun jabatan imam mesjid dipegangnya, dia berselisih paham dengan Sultan Demak dan meletakkan jabatan, lalu pindah ke Lasem. Di situ dia memilih Desa Bonang sebagai tempat tinggalnya. Di Bonang dia mendirikan pesantren dan pesujudan (tempat tafakur), sebelum akhirnya kembali ke kampung halamannya, Tuban."
Sangat terkenal kisahnya sebagai wali yang memberikan Raden Sahid alias Brandal Lokajaya suatu pencerahan, sehingga kelak menjadi pendakwah sinkretik ulung bernama Sunan Kalijaga. Namun dalam Serat Dermagandul yang baru ditulis tahun 1879, yang bersikap negatif terhadap para wali, seperti diteliti Denys Lombard dalam Nusa Jawa, Silang Budaya 2: Jaringan Asia (1990), Sunan Bonang "digambarkan sebagai tokoh kasar dan tidak tahu malu." Tentu saja ini bagian dari "politik dongeng" yang sering bisa dilacak atas berbagai legenda, mengingat tokoh Sabdopalon dan Nayagenggong dalam karya itu digambarkan menolak masuk Islam.
Sementara itu, sejauh cerita yang menyebut Sunan Bonang sebagai putra Sunan Ngampel Denta bisa dipercaya, Sunan Bonang tentu tergolong keturunan orang Cam - tepatnya keturunan orang asing yang menyebarkan Islam di Jawa. Mungkinkah ini yang membuat orang berspekulasi bahwa nama Sunan Bonang berasal dari Lim Bun An bahkan juga Bong Ang atau Bong Bing Nang, sementara Sunan Ngampel Denta tersebut sebagai Bong Swie Hoo? Tentu maksudnya bahwa para wali ini adalah keturunan Tionghoa, seperti disebut tanpa argumentasi meyakinkan dalam Tuanku Rao (1964) oleh Mangaraja Onggang Parlindungan maupun dalam Kalidjaga (1956) oleh Hadiwidjaja.
Spekulasi ini hanya meyakinkan sejauh menyangkut Raden Patah, sultan Demak yang pertama, seperti terbahas dalam Arus Cina-Islam-Jawa: Bongkar Sejarah atas Peranan Tionghoa dalam Penyebaran Agama Islam di Nusantara Abad XV & XVI (2003) karya Sumanto Al Qurtuby. Tentang para wali, jangankan sebagai keturunan Tionghoa, sedangkan keberadaan mereka secara historik saja hanya bisa dibeberkan dengan spekulasi yang sangat hati-hati, melalui analisis teliti terhadap sumber-sumber yang nyaris merupakan dongeng. Para sejarawan lebih cenderung merujukkan cerita tentang ketionghoaan itu, untuk menafsir fakta keberadaan komunitas Muslim Tionghoa, yang sudah bertebaran di berbagai daerah pantai di Jawa Timur sejak abad ke-15. Hilda Soemantri dalam Majapahit Terracotta Art (1997) misalnya menunjuk keramik "orang berturban" di antara keramik "orang Tartar", "Tionghoa tertawa", maupun "Tionghoa bertopi", yang menunjukkan ketertarikan para seniman keramik Majapahit kepada orang-orang asing, termasuk yang beragama Muslim, di daerah pantai.
Ini tentu saja mendukung "teori Cina" sebagai salah satu teori tentang kedatangan Islam di Pulau Jawa, terutama melalui Tuban dan Gresik. Pengembara dari Tiongkok, Ma Huan, mencatat adanya Xin Cun (Kampung Baru) di Gresik yang berpenduduk seribu orang Tionghoa asal Guangdong dan Zhangzhou. Sebegitu jauh, pelacakan atas keberadaan Sunan Ngampel Denta, yang disebut sebagai ayah Sunan Bonang, hanya terujuk kepada keberadaan bangsa Cam dan terdapatnya poros Jawa Timur-Campa - dan kitab seperti Serat Dermagandul adalah bentuk "perlawanan" kepercayaan lama setelah Islam menjadi dominan di Jawa pada abad ke-19.
Tentang "kitab Bonang"
Sarjana Belanda B.Schrieke menulis tesis Het Boek van Bonang pada 1916, seperti mengandaikan bahwa manuskrip yang dibahasnya adalah karya atau ajaran Sunan Bonang. Sayang sekali bahwa penamaan "Kitab Bonang" itu tidak dianggap tepat, juga oleh Graaf dan Pigeaud, karena tidak ada bukti meyakinkan bahwa naskah itu memang ditulis oleh Sunan Bonang. Meski begitu, disetujui bahwa manuskrip tersebut memberi gambaran tentang ajaran Islam macam apa yang dominan didakwahkan pada abad ke-16, jadi mungkin pula diajarkan seorang wali seperti Sunan Bonang, sebagai pengenalan pertama kepada orang-orang yang jika tidak memeluk agama Buddha atau Hindu, tentu memeluk kepercayaan sebelum agama besar yang mana pun tiba di Jawa.
Tesis Schrieke itu kemudian dikoreksi oleh Drewes, dan diberi terjemahan bahasa Inggris sebagai The Admonitions of Seh Bari (1969). Manuskrip yang dimaksud, seperti diuraikan Abdul Hadi WM, rupanya terdiri dari sejumlah suluk - suatu genre dalam kesusastraan Jawa, Sunda, dan Madura yang memang muncul pertama kali abad ke-15 bersama penyebaran Islam. Bukan kebetulan agaknya, karena suluk berarti jalan kerohanian, isinya adalah ajaran-ajaran tasawuf. Dalam hal manuskrip terbincangkan ini, khususnya yang berjudul Suluk Wujil (koreksian Purbatjaraka terhadap Schrieke yang menyebutnya Suluk Dulil), disebutkan Purbatjaraka sebagai ajaran rahasia untuk orang-orang tertentu saja. Rahasia artinya tidak begitu saja bisa dipahami, seperti dapat diperiksa dari kutipan-kutipan berikut:
"Tak ada orang tahu di mana Mekkah yang hakiki berada, sekalipun mereka melakukan perjalanan sejak muda hingga tua renta. Mereka tak akan sampai ke tujuan. Kecuali apabila seseorang mempunyai bekal ilmu yang cukup, ia akan dapat sampai di Mekkah dan malahan sesudah itu akan menjadi wali.
"Apabila seseorang sembahyang di sana, maka hanya ada ruangan untuk satu orang saja. Jika ada dua atau tiga orang yang bersembahyang, maka ruangan itu juga akan cukup untuk dua tiga orang itu saja. Namun jika terdapat 10.000 orang bersembahyang di sana, maka Ka'bah dapat menampung mereka semua. Bahkan seandainya seluruh dunia akan dimasukkan ke sana, maka seluruh dunia akan tertampung juga."
Teks seperti ini, disebutkan Abdul Hadi WM sebagai, "... kerap menimbulkan persoalan. Baik golongan kebatinan maupun ortodoks jarang dapat memberi tafsir yang sesuai dan bermanfaat terhadap hakikat ajaran para sufi." Manuskrip ini disalah tafsirkan Schrieke sebagai karya Sunan Bonang, kemungkinan besar karena tokoh bernama Sunan Bonang muncul dalam Suluk Wujil, sebagai guru tasawuf tokoh Wujil yang berarti cebol. Purbatjaraka dalam Kepustakaan Djawa (1952) menduga karya itu ditulis oleh "sastrawan Jawa yang menjadi murid sang wali". Sementara berdasarkan penelitiannya, menurut Drewes penulisnya adalah Seh Bari dari Karang, daerah Banten. Terutama dalam suluk tersebut, unsur-unsur kerohanian Jawa klasik dan tasawuf Islam terpadukan. Kisahnya sendiri mewadahi gagasan zaman peralihan: Wujil, seorang terpelajar Majapahit yang meninggalkan aga Hindu dan beralih menjadi penganut Islam.
Dengan demikian, meski dari sudut ilmu sejarah tidak bisa dipastikan bahwa Sunan Bonang yang menulis Suluk Wujil, dari manuskrip tersebut tergambarkan segi-segi wajd (ekstase mistis) dan kasyf (tersingkapnya mata batin) yang akan membawa seseorang kepada kesadaran supralogis, atau bisa disebut dimensi mistik, yang layak diduga sebagai daya tarik bagi orang-orang Jawa abad ke-15 dan 16 untuk menerima Islam.

SUNAN MURIA, EKSIS DALAM LEGENDA
Dari caranya memilih lokasi padepokan, Sunan Muria menjadi wali yang paling eksotik. Padepokan itu kini menjadi kompleks pemakaman di kaki Gunung Muria, Jawa Tengah, tepatnya di Colo, yang dari kakinya sendiri masih harus mendaki jalan melingkar sepanjang 7 kilometer. Disebut kaki gunung, tapi posisinya berada di suatu puncak.
Pada masa kini, peziarah bisa mencapai Colo dengan mobil, dan dari sana memanfaatkan jasa ojek karena jalan menjadi curam. Namun bisa disaksikan betapa masih banyak para peziarah ini menghayati perjalanan menuju puncak dengan jalan kaki - salah satu metode yang membuat banyak tempat suci sengaja ditempatkan di gunung, karena kelelahan pendakian serta udara tipis konon membantu kondisi mental untuk mendapatkan pengalaman spiritual.
Maka memang terlihat, dalam udara sejuk, wajah-wajah yang percaya kepada berkah yang sangat mungkin didapatkan dari ziarah, berduyun-duyun tanpa perasaan terbeban. Ojek-ojek berseliweran naik turun, tetapi itu tidak memberikan perasaan ketinggalan, justru semakin terhayati makna peziarahan dalam perjalanan. Mundur ke abad XV, tanpa aspal, raung sepeda motor, dan rumah tembok - terbayang sebuah suasana yang begitu layak didatangi dari jauh. Ini semua menjadi bagian dari sosok seorang wali, dan rupa-rupanya dengan cara itu mendapatkan wibawa dan memberi pengaruh, bahkan sampai jauh hari setelah mereka meninggal dunia.
Sejarawan De Graaf dan Pigeaud berdasarkan sumber-sumber literer menyatakan dalam Kerajaan-Kerajaan Islam Pertama di Jawa (1974) bahwa semula Demak merupakan sebuah distrik yang "terletak di pantai selat yang memisahkan Pegunungan Muria dari Jawa. Sebelumnya selat itu rupanya agak lebar dan dapat dilayari dengan baik, sehingga kapal-kapal dagang dari Semarang dapat mengambil jalan pintas untuk berlayar ke Rembang. Tetapi sudah sejak abad XVII jalan pintas itu tidak lagi dapat dilayari setiap saat."
Hanya saja, "Selama musim hujan orang dapat berlayar dengan sampan lewat tanah yang tergenang air, mulai dari Jepara sampai Pati di tepi Sungai Juwana. Pada tahun 1657, Tumenggung Pati mengumumkan bahwa ia bermaksud menggali saluran air baru dari Demak ke Juwana, hingga dapat menjadi pusat perdagangan. Boleh jadi ia bermaksud memulihkan jalan air lama, yang satu abad lalu masih dapat dipakai."
Dalam bukunya yang lain, Disintegrasi Mataram di Bawah Mangkurat I (1961), De Graaf masih mencatat, "... residen ini dengan sebuah kapal kecil melewati daratan yang tergenang air di sebelah selatan Muria." Dengan begitu, jika memang Sunan Muria hidup di abad XV, berarti ia menyeberangi selat itu lebih dahulu, sebelum mendaki sampai ke puncak Colo untuk mendirikan padepokannya.
Dalam buku Misteri Syeh Siti Jenar: Peran Walisongo dalam Mengislamkan Tanah Jawa (2004) tulisan Hasanu Simon, terdapat suatu tabel tentang periodisasi Walisanga yang mencapai enam angkatan, dan Sunan Muria tergolong dalam angkatan keenam, yang baru dimulai tahun 1478.
Dalam tabel ini, para wali angkatan pertama, antara 1404-1421, tidak ada yang bergelar sunan sama sekali. Sunan Ampel baru masuk pada angkatan kedua, antara 1421-1436; Syarif Hidayatullah dan Ja'far Shodiq yang kelak disebut Sunan Kudus, baru tercatat di angkatan ketiga, antara 1436-1463; Sunan Bonang, Sunan Gunungjati, Sunan Giri, Sunan Drajad, dan Sunan Kalijaga terdapat di angkatan keempat, antara 1463-1466; dalam angkatan kelima, antara 1466-1478, masuk nama Raden Fattah; dan baru dalam angkatan terakhir Sunan Muria masuk bersama Sunan Pandanaran.
Tabel ini hanya berlaku jika kelembagaan Walisanga memang harus sembilan, yang dalam kenyataannya tidak begitu, bahkan kata sanga (sembilan) di sana sering disebut berasal dari sana yang berasal dari kata Arab tsana' (terpuji). Mengingat kata wali berasal dari awliya, yakni orang beriman, maka pengertian walisana tentu menunjukkan penghargaan masyarakat Jawa abad XV kepada para pendakwah tersebut, seperti terjelaskan oleh Widji Saksono dalam Mengislamkan Tanah Jawa: Telaah atas Metode Dakwah Walisongo (1995). Sarjana ini juga mencatat, setidaknya terdapat 21 wali yang termasuk dalam lingkaran Walisanga, sedangkan dari buku Hasanu Simon tercatat pula yang disebut wali nukba (pengganti), yang jumlahnya sampai 25 orang. Akan halnya Sunan Muria, Saksono mencatat terdapatnya ketidaksepakatan untuk memastikan, apakah ia tergolong wali utama atau wali pengganti. Kata sunan berasal dari susuhunan yang berarti junjungan menegaskan makna penghargaan tersebut, meski para pendakwah angkatan pertama, seperti Maulana Malik Ibrahim, tidak ada yang digelari sunan dan meski begitu tentu tak kurang dihargai pula - seperti bisa disaksikan dari mengalirnya peziarah ke makam para wali ini di mana pun mereka berada.
Keturunan Arab atau Jawa?
Ke atas gunung itulah, setapak demi setapak para peziarah mendaki, tetapi seberapa jauhkah mereka mengenal Sunan Muria? Bahkan para sejarawan "mati angin" jika mesti menuliskan biografi wali penggubah tembang sinom dan kinanthi ini.
Tiga peneliti yang bekerja sama dalam penulisan buku Islamisasi di Jawa (2000), yakni Ridin Sofwan, Wasit, dan Mundiri bahkan menulis dalam pengantarnya: "Lengkap dan tidaknya kisah-kisah pribadi Walisanga dalam kisah ini adalah tergantung pada sedikit dan banyaknya sumber rujukan yang didapatkan. Manakala sumber itu lengkap, maka lengkap pula pemaparan kisahnya dan bila tidak maka sebaliknya." Akan halnya Sunan Muria, termasuk yang hanya bersumberkan cerita rakyat, dan hanya sebagian kecil berasal dari sumber babad, itu pun bukan tanpa masalah.
Pertama, tentang siapakah pribadi di balik gelar Sunan Muria itu saja silsilahnya terdapat dua versi; yang satu disebut sebagai putra Sunan Kalijaga, yang lain sebagai putra Sunan Ngudung. Dalam versi putra Sunan Kalijaga juga terdapat dua versi, yakni sebagai keturunan Arab dan keturunan Jawa. Tentang keturunan Arab itu terdapat versi dua buku, yakni karya C.L.N. Van Den Berg, De Handramaut et les Colonies Arabes maupun Pustoko Darah Agung, sedangkan tentang keturunan Jawa diyakinkan oleh Umar Hasyim dalam Sunan Muria, antara Fakta dan Legenda (1993).
Sementara itu, sebagai putra Sunan Kalijaga ataupun Sunan Ngudung, sebuah naskah tulisan tangan Keraton Cirebon, Purwaka Caruban Nagari, akan menghubungkan dua versi silsilah Sunan Muria ke satu nenek moyang, yakni Syekh Jumadil
          Re:Politics - USA        
Nuking two cities? I mean, although justifed by war, thousands of civilians were killed or otherwise harmed. Something along the lines of "I wish this could have been prevented".


Here you go:
"I'm sorry the Empire of Japan stupidly attacked us, killed thousands of our citizens and forced us to beat your brains in for four years until you quit committing war crimes. I am sorry the Empire of Japan's actions directly led to the death of millions of Chinese, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, Koreans, Laotians, Cambodians, Malayans, Burmese, Singaporeans, and hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens. I am sorry that it took the Allies four years to stop this global horror, this global tragedy from continuing. I am sorry for the men, women, and children, who suffered and died as a result of the Empire of Japan's insane policies and actions, and the suffering they endured until the Empire of Japan was destroyed. I am not sorry that today we stand together, as allies, as two democracies, as friends across the Pacific. "

wow, thats pretty good. I should be a speech writer instead of world renowned lover and Renaissance Neanderthal.
          Re:Politics - USA        
 CptJake wrote:
 whembly wrote:

Still on the #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary camp.



Just out of curiosity, have you read this piece by David Horowitz...


http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...trump-pouters/

I've read some pf Horowitz's books (like Destructive Generation).

I'm fully convinced that HRC will win handily.

So, I'm at the "feth it" mindset.

I get the view that HRC will make more lasting change, probably for the worst.

I also get that Trump *may* making lasting changes for the worst.

But, my heart isn't in it.

HRC would have to collapse in the same vein as Romney did in '12. I don't see that happening... (edit: well, that's not right, Romney never really had a strong lead, but the perception was that it was Romeny's election to lose. The DNC/Obama's ground game kicked epic arse in '12)


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Frazzled wrote:
Nuking two cities? I mean, although justifed by war, thousands of civilians were killed or otherwise harmed. Something along the lines of "I wish this could have been prevented".


Here you go:
"I'm sorry the Empire of Japan stupidly attacked us, killed thousands of our citizens and forced us to beat your brains in for four years until you quit committing war crimes. I am sorry the Empire of Japan's actions directly led to the death of millions of Chinese, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, Koreans, Laotians, Cambodians, Malayans, Burmese, Singaporeans, and hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizens. I am sorry that it took the Allies four years to stop this global horror, this global tragedy from continuing. I am sorry for the men, women, and children, who suffered and died as a result of the Empire of Japan's insane policies and actions, and the suffering they endured until the Empire of Japan was destroyed. I am not sorry that today we stand together, as allies, as two democracies, as friends across the Pacific. "

wow, thats pretty good. I should be a speech writer instead of world renowned lover and Renaissance Neanderthal.

I'm whembly and I endorse this message.
          Australia Government To Ban Convicted Pedophile To Protect South-East Asia Children        

The Australian government is now looking to ban its convicted paedophiles from leaving the country, as most of these Paedophiles go to South-East Asia and harm vulnerable kids. 

Paedophiles from Australia have been known to visit countries like the Philipines, Vietnam, Cambodia and other South-East Asia country to exploit poor kids by either tricking to help them learn English Language, or gained the trust of the kids by supporting their families, and in turn violate the kids.

                        

The new legislation that is looking to pass into parliament soon will allow the government cancel the passport of 20,000 convicted paedophiles on the national child sex offender register, foreign minister Julie Bishop, said.

Around 800 convicted paedophiles on the national sex offender register was said to have travelled last year alone, and half of them went to different countries in the South-East Asia region.

While speaking to reporters, Bishop said;

There has been increasing community concern about sexual exploitation of vulnerable children and community concern is justified. There will be new legislation which will make Australia a world leader in protecting vulnerable children in our region from child sex tourism.

The register also 3,200 serious offenders who will be banned from travelling for life. Less serious offenders who had complied with the rules and regulation would then again be eligible for their passport renewed.

Independent Senator Derryn Hinch, who was also molested a kid, and had gone to jail for name shaming Paedophiles on radio broadcast took credit for the new government initiative. Hinch said he never knew that Paedophiles were allowed to leave the country until he got a letter from Australian actress and children's rights campaigner Rachel Griffiths after he was elected senator last year.

Hinch was also involved in drafting the new legislation, and he said that the new legislation would allow temporary passport to be granted to paedophiles who needs to travel abroad for business and family reasons. Hinch said;

This will not apply to a teenager who has been caught sexting to his 15-year-old girlfriend," said Hinch, referring to sexual phone communications. I know sometimes, I think unfairly, they go on registers, but we're trying to work it out so they don't.

 

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          29 Nigerians, Legal And Illegal Occupants Raided By Police In Cambodia        

Immigration officials in Cambodia have raided a house occupied by Nigerians in Chom Chao, and have detained 29 of them while they await the occupants with documents, and those living and working illegally in the country.

                 

The 29 Nigerians have been detained, and anyone without the right documents faces deportation.

The local residents of Chom Chao have reported the Nigerians to the local immigration department, said UK Heisela, chief of investigation department, while speaking on the arrests.

We arrested people from Nigeria, but we still don’t know how many are legal and how many are illegal.

  

 

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          Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick        
It surprised me to see Patricia McCormick's name as a finalist for this year's National Book Award. I missed this book when it came out earlier this year so I was excited to read it. Patricia McCormick books tackle tough and unusual YA topics so something new from her always piques my interest. I loved Purple Heart and here she is with another war story.

Never Fall Down takes place in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields in the late 1970s. The book is based on the experience of Arn Chorn-Pond who narrates the story. (See video below.)

In the Hunger Games kids are forced to kill kids for survival, but here in this book we have a real historical event of children forced to join an army. The only chance for survival is to join the Khmer Rouge where they are used as bait to flush out the Vietnamese. It's horrifying, brutal, and graphic. Arn reflects on how quickly he learns to adjust to the constant death, the constant threat of death, and witnessing and assisting the death of others. One boy accidentally shoots himself with his new gun and stands there, shocked, trying to put his guts back into his body as he is dying. Arn holds the boy as he dies and becomes covered in his blood.
I think maybe I should wash it, get rid of it. But I think maybe it can protect me, this boy's blood on my body, so I paint myself with it--wipe it on my face, my throat, my arms. I take his gun also and strap it across my chest, two guns on me now.

I go see Phat, the Khmer Rouge boy who say I'm not real soldier. So he can see what I am now. (p 122-123)


Since this is Arn's story, the novel ends better than I expected had it not been a true story. There a few moments of humor, particularly at the end when Arn gets a Star War comic and learns the phrase, "Let the force be with you!"

The end of the book includes an epilogue, author's note, and acknowledgements. Then National Book Awards Ceremony is November 14.




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On his trip to Cambodia, a country he claimed didn't deserve a visit due to its strongman government, first lady Bun Rany greeted Obama with a traditional "sampeah" pressed-hands greeting reserved for servants, a little dig that was probably lost on him but not to Asians.


In his tour of Burma, billed as an historic first visit since Burma's 2007 move to democracy, it was clear he was in way over his head, even on small things. Obama repeatedly referred to the country's Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader Aung San Suu Kyi as Aung Yan Suu Kyi, an astonishing error given her global fame.

Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112012-634213-obama-southeast-asian-trip-more-style-than-substance.htm#ixzz2DBP03RQt
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          Cambodian Food in Siem Reap        
1 USD = 4,000 Riel

21 October 2015 
Our plane touched down at about 2:30 p.m., Siem Reap time. After arriving at the Phsar Chas (Old Market), we went for a drink at Khmer Food Restaurant at Street 9. I was pretty thirsty at that time. By the time we finished, it was already about 3:45 p.m. While strolling around, I told CTT that we have to look for a hostel first, otherwise we might have difficulty getting a room once more and more people came into town.

It was already 4:30 p.m. when we walked into Pub Street looking for a very late lunch/ very early dinner. We walked into the Old Market again and found this stall. I asked CTT whether he wanted to take the risk of eating in a less than hygienic place. He did not hesitate and I decided to take the chance with him for Delhi belly. We asked the hawker how much was the noodle but she was unable to answer us in English. Sitting beside me was a local and he helped us with the order and the price, but which I have forgotten. I think it was USD1.




While we were eating a couple of white girls came from behind us. One of them was very interested in the pancake. I chatted with her and learnt that she had one a day earlier. She said it was very tasty. She and her friend had one each and had them take-away. Both CTT and I decided to have a go at it too. I think it was 2,000 Riel per piece.


At about 6:40 p.m., we went out again to look for dinner. We were not sure where to go. We walked into a restaurant but it was full. The waiter told us that there was another branch of Khmer Kitchen Restaurant at another location and I told CTT that would be the place where we were dropped off by our tuk-tuk driver earlier that afternoon. I could not remember whether I ordered Amok chicken or Amok pork but was served Amok fish.

After taking the orders, I browsed through the menu again. The fresh spring rolls looked very tempting and I ordered a plate. It was raw vegetable and I don't like raw food. CTT had to finish it for me.





22 October 2015

We left for Angkor Wat at 5:10 am this morning. We weren't thinking of breakfast but came across the food stalls while walking within the Angkor Wat Temple complex.





From Angkor Wat, we went to Angkor Thom. We had lunch at Srey Mom Restaurant at Angkor Thom parking lot close to Terrace of the Leper King. Here, the food on average was more expensive than those at Angkor Wat.




That evening, we decided to take our dinner at the street stall near our hostel. It was situated at the intersection of Sok San Street and Sivatha Boulevard. Here, the food cost less than half of those of the touristy area of Pub Street and the nearby streets. I was craving for a similar fried noodle like the one I had at Phsar Chas yesterday. I did not know the name but it was fried noodle, so I went for fried yellow noodle, emphasizing to the vendor that it was not to be Mama (instant) noodle as I did not want a repetition of the noodle served at Angkor Wat.




23 October 2015

Restaurants in Siem Reap opened late in the morning. We told our tuk-tuk driver to take us somewhere cheap along the way to Banteay Srey. He wasn't listening and we ended up at a tourist restaurant, Khmer Angkor Kitchen Restaurant. The prices of the dishes on the menu were expensive and I was not happy with the driver. Just then, the restaurant staff removed the menu and gave us another set of menu. It was still tourist prices, but slightly cheaper.




Lunch was at Angkor Flower Restaurant at the parking lot of Beng Mealea, just outside of the temple gate. We had just arrived from Banteay Srey. I had white rice with grilled pork. This was by far the most expensive place so far and the pork was hard and dry. This was my worst meal in Siem Reap.




This morning, we realised that food offered at Continental Cafe, Restaurant, Bar and Rooms where we were staying was cheaper than those at the tourist streets. Why hadn't we had our meals here? We decided that we would have our dinner here tonight. When we opened the menu during dinner, we realised that it was even cheaper than the street stall where we had dinner the previous night.



24 October 2015

This morning, we went back to the Old Market to look for breakfast. I was hoping we could go back to the stall where we first had our fried noodle. CTT has other idea and settled for another stall. It was noodle soup. We asked the vendor how much it was but she did not response. Anyway, we went ahead and ordered our noodle. When it was time to pay, she had to call someone from a neighbouring stand who could speak English. It was USD2, twice the price of the noodle from the first vendor. Were we cheated?





CTT was very keen to do some shopping. We found the shopping mall that CTT wanted to go to but it was a tourist shop catering to organised tours. On our return to the hostel, we stopped at a small restaurant. The owner was an ethnic Chinese and the menu was posted on the wall like those in China. The picture on the wall seemed to be caramelized pork. The pork on my plate was artificial colouring.



CTT had been talking about the beef noodle stall operating at the corner shop close to our hostel. I decided that we could as well go there tonight, being my final night in 'Siem Reap. He was saying that he could come the following day but I told him I would love to try the beef noodle too.




It was not that filling. I had appetite for more and decided to go for the fried noodle again, hoping against hope that this would turn out as nice as the one we first had at the Old Market and which I had been craving for. It was not as good.



I have not been ordering rice with Khmer dishes because they sounded and looked uninteresting. Many seemed to be influenced by Chinese or the cuisine of the neighbouring countries. I just felt they were not authentic Khmer dishes. 

However, whatever food I tasted seemed to be made for my taste-buds. They were simply delicious. 


          Day 5 Back to Malaysia        
25th October 2015

A day earlier, I informed the hostel staff that I needed a tuk-tuk to the airport. The staff wasted no time in flagging down a tuk-tuk on the street. The driver agreed to a fare of USD5 and we would leave at 6:30 a.m.

The driver was waiting for me when I checked out of the hostel. He did not take the main road to the airport. Instead, he took a back road which merges with the main road two-third of the way out. On the way, I was able to see how the average sub-urban Cambodian live in Siem Reap.













Siem Reap International Airport was a small, single-storey building. It was being expanded. The building was modern and nicely adorned. However, it was a beautiful building occupied by corrupted Immigration officers. When the duty officer was going through my passport for the departure stamp, he asked me for money. I replied I had no USD. Then, he gave me the "give-me-money" sign and asked me for Malaysian Ringgit. I replied it was in my backpack. He flipped through my passport without taking action to stamp my passport. I just waited. He gave up finally and stamped my passport.

















          Day 1 Cambodia: Arriving at Siem Reap        
21st October 2015

So many people want to be there, including me. Who would forget the ruins of Angkor and the giant strangler fig trees 'strangling' the temples in Tomb Raider? Those were fascinating sights.

Now, after having postponed Angkor Wat for years for other beautiful places, I decided to head to Angkor Wat this time. I had run out of places to go in South-East Asia and Airasia tickets were not too expensive. I gave myself three full days for Siem Reap, including one day planned for Tonle Sap. Unfortunately, there were too many bad reviews about trips to the villages at Tonle Sap such as Chong Kneas and Kompong Phluk.

Moving around Siem Reap should be easy. I read that most people in the tourism industry here speak some English, including tuk-tuk drivers. In fact, while in Siem Reap, many hawkers would speak to us in Mandarin too.


Boarding time was at 12:40 p.m. on flight AK 540 from klia2. I was still at HomeTown Hainan Coffee at 12:35 pm, having just finished my lunch in a hurry. I only remembered that the distant to the boarding gate was a very long walk away at about 12:25 p.m. but I could not leave as I had paid HomeTown already for my Laksa which had still not arrived at that time.

I rushed off to the departure hall. Flight AK 540 was at Gate Q21. I had to run. Gate Q21 was too far away. At the last security check point, there were long queues. I could not make it before boarding time but if I could beat the gate closing time at 1:00 p.m., I would still be safe. I was already imagining myself giving excuses to be allowed to board the plane should I miss the closing time.

I ran and ran. Gate Q21 is the farthest gate. I made it on time. The passengers were still there. Within seconds of my arrival, passengers were asked to board.







On reaching Siem Reap International Airport, CTT wanted to buy a local SIM card to stay in touch with his office. I was not thinking of buying one until I saw "Internet Unlimited 4G" at a cost of $3 only. I have been starved of internet while in PNG and I have unfinished business downloading files while staying at Capsule by The Container at klia2. I was not going to let this opportunity go and I got myself a Metfone card too.




While waiting for CTT to complete his transaction, I walked around the Arrival Hall exit door and a young man approached me asking whether I needed transport and recommending me to go to the transport ticket counter. There was no tuk tuk displayed on the notice there. There were also no tuk-tuk drivers approaching passengers to solicit for business. I knew we were late and probably, all the tuk-tuk drivers had gone.

CTT finished his transaction and we walked out of the building. We did not see any tuk tuk around. On the left of the building was a parking area and we walked over. A tuk tuk was leaving. Another driver was sleeping in his tuk-tuk. I found that strange because over the years in my travel, there would always be drivers around at airports (except Cairns Airport, I supposed). Fortunately, we spotted a few tuk tuk outside the perimeter gate and approached the drivers. One came forward and the deal was done for USD6 to bring us to Old Market (Phsar Chas). From there, we would start looking for our accommodation.






Within 20 minutes, we arrived at the Old Market and were dropped off in front of Khmer Kitchen Restaurant at Street 9. I was pretty thirsty and we went for a drink at Khmer Food Restaurant at Street 9 too.



From there, we walked around the area looking for a hostel but most of the time, we saw small hotels and upon checking, the prices were always USD45 per room. While at Sok San Street, having just being told of USD45 per room at a small hotel, I told CTT that I would use my Garmin to help us find a cheap hostel. Right on the gps screen was the Apsara Centrepole Hotel, which we checked just moment ago. When I looked away from Centrepole, I saw Continental Cafe - Restaurant, Bar and Rooms. It looked cheap so I went inside to check the price while CTT waited outside. It was USD15 per room, air-conditioned and with attached bathroom. We asked the worker there to show us the rooms and we were satisfied.



After checking in, we went to look for lunch and realised that we were barely 100 meters away from Pub Street and Night Market. Continental was a great find with a good location (N13.35419° E103.85288°).














After dinner that evening, I told CTT that we have to arrange with the hostel to get a tuk-tuk for the next day to see Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom and other nearby temples.

A worker told us that he could get his brother to be our driver for the next two days. For the next day, the price would be USD20 and for the following day, we could talk directly with the driver to negotiate a price and the places to visit.


          Ashis Nandy        
Freud, modernity and postcolonial violence:
Analytic attitude, dissent and the boundaries of the self

by Ashis Nandy [The Little Magazine: vol iv: issue 5 & 6]

http://www.littlemag.com/looking/ashisnandy.html

We live in an intellectual edifice primarily built by the European Enlightenment. It is not very old, having been given its final shape less than three hundred years ago, and our concepts of an ideal society and meaningful social criticism are coloured by this heritage. However, this said, we also have to confront the uncomfortable reality that these concepts of a desirable society and desirable forms of social criticism invoke altogether different associations in other parts of the world. These other associations have acquired new play in recent years because the Enlightenment vision itself has, finally, come under scrutiny in North America and Western Europe. Indeed, the rumours about its complicity with the violence of our times have been given a certain edge by a whole range of work.

Take for example the crisis in the Middle East. Jerusalem is on the one hand an ancient city of spiritual and moral grace, and on the other, a city of violence, uprooting and divided selves. Simone Weil and Martin Buber, I suspect, lived with the first Jerusalem, the modern Israelis live with the second. For the former, Jerusalem not only had secular and sacred geographies, but also moral and psychological ones. The latter seem to oscillate between their passion for an Israeli nation-state delicately perched on the desperate denial of a West Asian identity and a fierce commitment to a secular, modern European identity, precariously balanced on memories of massive suffering and projects of annihilation, once so lovingly designed by Europe for its Jewish population. The denial goes with a refusal to acknowledge that the Arabs and the Jews are often not divided by distance but by proximity. The commitment goes with the search for a magical remedy for remembered discrimination and genocide in the values of the European Enlightenment, presum ably in the belief that a European disease requires European therapy. The search reaffirms an identity that many can neither disown nor fully own up to.

I shall use as my baseline what one of the greatest ever products of the Jewish tradition, Sigmund Freud, who lived much of his life with an ambivalent aware ness of his cultural-religious status, might have said about the bitterness that has come to surround Jerusalem. Namely, that the narcissism of small differences and familiarity is often a better predictor of ethnic discontents and violence in our age than distance and ignorance. I am told that in the late nineteenth century a Belgian anthropologist, finding it difficult to ethnographically distinguish between the Hutus and the Tutsis, ultimately decided to distinguish between the two tribes by the number of heads of cattle they owned. When the Rwandan genocide took place, that story became one of the ways of acknowledging what many anthropologists always knew, that the Hutus and Tutsis were two tribes that, apart from being neighbours, were closest to each other ethnographically. There is a parallel to this in the Bosnian situation too. About 30 per cent of the Bosnian Muslims, one hears, are related to the Serbs by marriage.

I simultaneously want to use as my baseline some of the popular forms that the Enlightenment values have taken in the global middle-class culture to serve as the heart of a global structure of common sense. This is important because these values now shape our concepts of the normal, the rational and the sane, both within and outside the clinic. I shall also lay my cards on the table and confess that I am suspicious of the claim that Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries answered all basic questions of humankind once and for all, that all it left for the other civilisations to do is to write a few polite footnotes and useful appendices to these answers.

The body of work that challenges the Enlighten ment vision, when not directly dependent on psychoanalytic insights, has borrowed heavily from clinical work and therapeutic visions. Why?

One reason could be that the first psychoanalyst was a rebellious child of the Enlighten ment. He did not reject the Enlightenment vision, but the social critique he offered was not from the vantage ground of the Enlightenment’s standard ideas of a desirable society and knowledge. He tried to supply a critique of the Enlightenment reason from within its perimeters but while doing so, often accidentally strayed into strange territories. Indeed, his crypto-Platonic worldview was more open-ended than it had seemed at one time. Scholars have located in Freud’s work a whole range of new elements — from German romanticism and Naturphilosophie and the more open-ended concept of science associated with that tradition, to the East European, Hassidic-Jewish culture and mystical tradition that occasionally broke through his public self and overdone conformity to the model of the positive sciences.[1] As he gained confidence in his middle years, he returned to some of the philosophical and civilisational questions that had always haunted him. Books like Civilisation and its Discontents, The Future of an Illusion, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Moses and Monotheism and Thoughts for the Times on War and Death could be read as ‘regressions’ to a more defiant and daring mode of psychological theorisation. These works are more Dostoyevskyan and more informed by his tragic vision of life. They show that Freud was no intellectual kin of Francis Bacon, though sometimes, in his cultural and intellectual insecurity, he appeared or pretended to be so. At least one commentator has felt compelled to say that Freud’s tragic vision implied a rejection of ‘the simplest Anglo-American belief in the virtues of progress.’[2]

Unfortunately, despite the rediscovery of psychoanalysis by literary theory and cultural studies in the last decade, this other Freud, a product of multiple cultural traditions who tries to negotiate cultural borders, remains a stranger to many. The limited cultural sensitivities of some of the mainstream schools of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis partly derive from this. These schools seem to be unaware that even modernity is no longer what it was, that four hundred years is a long time in human history; even the Dark Ages in Europe did not last that long. Today modernity, to qualify as such, requires an element of self-criticism or at least a sense of loss. The problem is compounded by the various schools of post-Freudian psychology, which are mostly progenies of the theoretical frames that crystallised as forms of dissent within the Enlighten ment. Even when they defy the modern, the defiance is primarily addressed to and remains confined within the citadels of modernity. The ones that try to break out of the grid often turn out to be transient fashions of brief shelf life. A culture not only produces its own ideas of conformity but also its distinctive concepts of valid or sane dissent. Worse, what looks like dissent in one culture at one time may not appear so in another culture at another time. Let me give an example.

When Freud’s ideas first came to India in the first decade of the last century, it was remarkable how little protest they aroused.[3] There was no frenzied opposition to them as there was in Victorian Europe. (I am using the term ‘Victorian’ here in the wider sense in which Carl Jung used it, to capture the flavour of the middle-class culture in all of Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.) What offended Victorian sensibilities in Freud’s work did not evidently offend the middle classes in India. Elsewhere, I have mentioned Rangin Halder, a pioneering Indian psychoanalyst who did a classical Freudian interpretation of the Oedipal imagery in Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry in the 1920s, when Tagore was already being regarded as a national poet and had become a revered figure in Indian public life. Such interpretations at the time primarily meant a heavy-handed exploration of psycho sexuality. Almost no one was offended, not even Tagore. And Halder, who first presented the paper to a small group of psychoanalysts, subsequently translated it into English and presented it at the annual meeting of the Indian Science Congress. It was a hit there, too.

What seems to be defiant in one cultural context may not seem so in another. A colleague once told me how her great-aunt — a seemingly house-bound, puritanical widow who had limited education and always wore white to conform to the traditional image of an austere widow in east India — helped her brother Sarasilal Sarkar, a first-generation psychoanalyst, to translate some of Freud’s works into Bengali. She was not at all shocked by the newly imported European theory of human nature, tinged with ideas of infantile sexuality and incestual fantasies. I remember in this context a number of Indian folk tales about the Oedipal situation collected by the poet and scholar A.K. Ramanujan. Many of them end rather tamely with the hero learning to live with the knowledge that he has unknowingly married or slept with his mother. There is moral anguish in them, but not usually of the fierce, self-destructive kind found in the Greek myth. In one story that carries a touch of moral agony, the mother is the one who commits suicide.[4]

Contemporary Indian middle-class culture, however, has more in common with the global culture of common sense than with the folk tales Ramanujan had collected. We have to come to these alternative formulations in a different way, by examining the status of the post-Galilean world itself. Let me, therefore, look more closely at some elements in the critical apparatus of Enlightenment reason that the global triumph of rationality, sanity and progress (encased in an expanding global culture of common sense and conventionality) should have given us the confidence to re-examine. Victory should have brought with it a new sense of self-confidence and responsibility, but evidently it has not.

The stalwarts who contributed to the Enlightenment vision tended to nurture one particular kind of critical attitude. That attitude used as its pivot, often creatively, the idea of demystification or unmasking. From Giambattista Vico to Sir Francis Bacon to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, it was the creation and unfolding of a new tradition of social criticism that sought to rid the world of the sacred and the magical. That was the tradition on which the great critical theorists like Freud and Marx were to build. This tradition of demystification usually assumes that manifest reality, after a point, is not trustworthy. If one tears the mask off that reality, one is closer to the truth, or to more justifiable certitudes. After the demystification, the certitudes that sustain the manifest reality and supply its standardised interpretations are shown to be unsustainable. Indeed, through this exegesis, one constructs a new reality closer to truth, and that second-order reality provides one with a fresh bedrock of certitudes. It was the hope of the protagonists of this tradition that a new society, a new social vision, and even a new human personality could be built based on this new hermeneutics.

The model, of course, was borrowed from modern science. There, too, the assumption is that once someone like Galileo dismantles common sense and everyday reality by proposing the idea of a heliocentric universe in place of the geocentric one, he demystifies or demagicalises the universe and comes closer to truth. Likewise, the emergence of modern medicine can also be viewed as the emergence of a new narrative that sheds the earlier mystification of illness and explains all diseases solely in the language of the body, as formalised in the science of biology. The assumption is that once one reaches the hard realities encrypted in the language of the body, one acquires greater mastery over ill health. Similarly with the Marxist concept of production relations and Freud’s concept of psychosexuality.

There is another tacit assumption here. Namely, that there can be competing theories of knowledge, but not two truths. Ultimately, one of the theories is expected to supersede the rest. Take the case of the Galilean discovery itself, which has served as a foundational myth of modern knowledge systems for nearly two centuries. Only two years ago the Catholic Church recanted and apologised for prosecuting Galileo, a little too late in the day, some might say. Yet, a whole range of works which rely on the actual arguments and exchanges between the two sides make us suspect that the Church was not clear about the position it should take on Galileo’s cosmology. Galileo was influential and had powerful friends in the Church. During his trial, he stayed in an abbey with a Church dignitary. The Catholic Church, never insensitive to political realities, was willing to compromise. In any case, it was probably less hostile to Galileo’s heliocentric universe than to his belief that the Church should repudiate geocentricism and make heliocentricism a part of official Christian dogma. In other words, the Church was willing to keep things vague and open and live with both the heliocentric and geocentric theories as contestants for the status of truth. But the idea that there could be two coexisting, contesting versions of truth was not acceptable to Galileo. In his world, one of the two theories had to win at the end.

Today, in the age of supercomputers, it is possible to argue that in a relativistic universe, conceiving the sun as the epicentre is not that striking an improvement over conceiving the earth as the epicentre, if one chooses to confine oneself solely to the issue of truth. A reasonably good computer can calculate the co-ordinates of the geocentric universe clumsily and inelegantly, but nonethe less truthfully. I emphasise the word truthfully, because Galileo’s battle with the Church is described in school texts as a battle for truth. I admit that the computations in the case of a geocentric universe will be more complicated; they will certainly not be aesthetic or efficient. But they will not be false. For heliocentricism and geocentricism are only two possible ways of viewing a relativistic universe. There could be other ways. Any modern physicist will agree with you on this as long as you do not bring in Galileo. He or she will be uncomfort able the moment you propose that Galileo was as right or as wrong as the dignitaries of the Church were. Galileo’s dissent is a major myth of modernity, on which we have been brought up. To disown it is to disown a part of our selves.

The moral of the story is clear. What looks like radical dissent at one time may look like a lesser innovation at another, or become a lovely little story of dissent that has lost some of its edge. However, this also has a dangerous corollary: many ideas that were once instruments of liberation or parts of an emancipatory theory, which for decades came in handy for those battling social injustice or inequality, have ceased to be emancipatory. Perhaps for the simple reason that human beings, given enough time, are perfectly capable of converting even the most radical theories of emancipation into sanctions for new forms of violence and oppression. It is probably better to be suspicious of all theories of emancipation after a point. Indeed, I believe that the coming generations may seriously demand that any significant psychological or political theory, to be so recognised, must have either an element of self-destructiveness or a subsystem of self-criticism built in. It may not be good for the theorists, but it will certainly be good for the rest of the world. There is no harm in viewing all theories of liberation as transient instruments that retain the potentiality of becoming oppressive in the end.

Everyone knows of the demise of Leninism; few have noticed the demise of classical liberalism. Nothing reveals this twin defeat more poignantly than the changing language of the winners of the world. The new slogans of the victorious have gradually become those that the likes of Marx and Freud thought emancipatory. I have in mind the various theories of progress, science, rationality, social evolutionism and development. The Nazis killed in the name of eugenics, the Soviet communists in the name of scientific history. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia virtually acted out the dissertations that some of its leaders wrote for prestigious French universities. Values that at one time were associated with or indicated the defiance of authority are the values of the authorities today. Values that at one time looked authoritative and dominant have become the values of the marginalised and the powerless. We are moving into a world where the nature of authority is different. People at the heart of the Establishment today talk of the end of history, poverty and human rights. Obviously because the end history has reached is not the one for which generations of dissenting intellectuals have worked. Poverty has become a billion-dollar multinational enterprise and the idea of human rights is being exported by countries that have the shoddiest human rights record in the southern world. Nothing lasts forever; even dissent does not remain dissent after a point.

For us, who deal with human subjectivities, there is a more serious development in the wake of the crisis in modernity. The visions that presumed that individuality should provide the basic unit of social analysis and psychological intervention are themselves under severe stress. With individualism increasingly taking quasi pathological forms, strengthening individuality no longer looks like a foolproof recipe for health. A few years ago, I was told that in large apartment complexes in some Scandinavian cities, electronic devices were fitted in the toilets of lonely, elderly people. If a toilet was not flushed for a long stretch of time, the janitor came and broke into the apartment to check if the householder was alive. This was a response to instances of lonely senior citizens, deprived of community life, dying in their flats and the neighbours finding out only after the bodies began to decompose and smell. This is individualism taken to its logical conclusion. It is my suspicion that all theories of consciousness — and unconsciousness — will have to learn to look at the individual from a different point of view.

We do not have to give up the concept of individualism. We have seen what reified, overdone concepts of aggregates — such as race, class, nationality and ethnicity — can do. In the last century, mostly deriving sanction from deified or demonised concepts of groups, we killed 200 million of our fellow human beings. Their ghosts haunt all contemporary ideas of collectivity. I suggest that we re-examine individualism in societies where, in the name of individualism, certain basic dimensions of individuality have themselves been subverted. For most practical purposes, individualism has been reinterpreted as self-interest and consumer ism. The Internet now threatens to reinterpret it as solipsism. The advertisement-driven individual ism associated with consumer choice would have frightened even Sigmund Freud, whose individualism always had a Shakespearean dimension.

I once tried to calculate the number of shades of lipsticks on the world market. Within a short time, I arrived at a figure that ran into thousands. It is doubtful if the human retina is physiologically capable of registering that many shades of colour. I presume the width of this choice is partly bogus; it creates an illusion of wider choice than there actually is. It would have been a perfectly innocent illusion if the total cosmetics bill of American women had not over-stripped the total budgets of all the African countries taken together. For the moment, I am ignoring the quarter of a million animals sacrificed every year in US laboratories alone for scientific experiments, a significant proportion of them conducted for the cosmetics industry.[5] This is not a plea to abridge choice across the board; it is a plea to recognise that certain forms of absurd multiplication of choices can have psychosocial costs and can be considered puerile. I am merely taking seriously the activist-scholar R.L. Kumar’s proposition that the rhetoric of wider choice often hides the fact that in modern societies, an individual is increasing ly left with only three substantive choices: to be a tourist, a voter or a consumer. Other choices are usually either secondary or illusory. I am inviting you to extend to the favourite slogans of our times what Philip Rieff considers the heart of the Freudian enterprise, the analytic attitude.[6]

The very idea of the disenchantment of the world, so closely associated with the idea of demystification, is itself reaching the end of its tether. The world is getting so thoroughly secularised that the idea of a fully secular world has ceased to be an attractive dream, except to those still living in the nineteenth century. Two factors have contributed to the growing scepticism towards secularism. First, there is the growing environmental crisis, which to many seems intertwined with the secularisation of the cosmos and the desacralisation of nature and nonhuman life forms. If nothing is transcendent or sacred, the final word on social morality becomes the aphorism of John Maynard Keynes, who crucially shaped some of the major economic institutions with which we live: "In the long run we are all dead." If that is so, in a fully secularised, fully individualistic world, there is no reason why we should leave anything behind for the future. Certainly, institutions structured around self-interest, rationality and hard realism have even less reason to do so. A conventional wit, W.C. Fields puts it more directly and honestly: "Why should I think about the future? What has the future done for me?"

That is why many of the social formations that look like rebellions against secularism turn out to be, on closer scrutiny, the offspring of secularisation. Disoriented by a changing world, they desperately seek meaning in the packaged versions of faith vended by charlatans, gurus and bloodthirsty religious fanatics. I have been studying ethnic and religious violence during the last two decades. One of the most remarkable features of such violence, I find, is the element of secularisation that has crept into it. Religious fanaticism now has little to do with faith, tradition or community. It is a product of uprooting, breakdown of community ties and weakening of faith. Thus, expatriate Indians in the First World reportedly financed — almost entirely — the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that demolished the Babri mosque in India in 1992 and triggered countrywide violence. Likewise, expatriate Tamils have largely bankrolled Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka and the IRA has consistently received funding during the last seven decades from Irish Americans. It was almost as if individuals, feeling increasingly deracinated and uprooted, have taken up causes to battle their own sense of loss of tradition and community ties, and to create what Hannah Arendt used to call pseudo-communities.

If this explanation looks too facile, there is the fact that in all of South Asia, communal riots are becoming a kind of expertise, even a profession. You can organise ethnic or communal violence anytime you like, provided someone gives you enough cash and political protection. You can order a designer riot to bring down a regime or change voting patterns or advance the cause of a political faction. The activists are known, so are their fees and their political patrons. The leaders who deploy these activists are also increasingly blatant about their profession. Organised religious and ethnic violence itself has become one of the most secular spheres of our public life. That is why Mr L.K. Advani, the leader of what many consider the world’s biggest revivalist formation, the BJP Hindu nationalist forces in India, the man who headed the movement that led to the demolition of the Babri mosque, could openly say in an interview with The Times of India, a national newspaper, that he is not much of a believer. As for his own religious sentiments, he added for good measure, he feels closer to Sikhism than to Hinduism.

Advani is no exception. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS, the steel frame of Hindu nationalism, was established in 1925. It supposedly has a million members now. Many of them are believers. Yet, for most of its existence and throughout all its formative years, the RSS has not had as its head persons who could be called believers. The first time the RSS chose a believing Hindu as its head was when M.S. Golwalkar took over in 1940. The earlier leaders were not diffident non-believers; they openly flaunted their disbelief, often trying to show how scientifically minded they were by attacking Hindu rituals and idolatry. They believed that they were fighting for the political cause of the Hindus, not defending Hindu religious traditions. Thus V.D. Savarkar, who coined the term Hindutva and authored what has become the Bible of Hindu revivalism, Hindutva, declares himself an atheist in the same book. Evidently, the violent and venomous furies of religious fanaticism are not always associated with theories of transcendence in our time. They have been direct products of the modern, secular world and the time has come for us to re-examine such fanaticism as the pathology of a modern ideology rather than that of a faith.

At the end, very briefly, I offer two theoretical proposals that might serve as possible baselines for reconceptualising forms of contemporary subjectivity, especially as they are reflected in the idea of individuality. I choose them because both are indirectly relevant to theories of the healthy personality and psychotherapeutic practice.

First, healthy, normal individualism is also possible when the boundaries of the self are not as sharply demarcated in terms of belief, faith or identity, categories that the moderns feel comfortable with. Our deepening cross-cultural experiences demand that we redefine health to accommodate a different concept of the boundaries of the self. Let me give two examples, one of them my favourite. I can confidently predict that there will never be religious conflict between the Shintos and the Buddhists in Japan, for the simple reason that a huge majority of the Japanese are Shintos and a huge majority of them are Buddhists. A similar prediction can be made about the Confucians and the Buddhists in China. Whereas in a country like India, where a periodic modern, scientific census has been conducted since colonial times, the percentages of different religious communities are so meticulously calculated that they always add up to exactly 100 per cent. The Hindus constitute 82.0 per cent of India, the Muslims 12.1 per cent, the Christians 2.3 per cent, the Sikhs 1.9 per cent, and so on.

Yet, when the Indian Anthropological Survey did a comprehensive survey in the early 1990s, not of individuals but of communities, it discovered that roughly 15 per cent of the 2,800 communities studied had more than one faith. That does not only mean that these communities consist of people from different faiths; it also means that the communities include individuals who can be classified as belonging to more than one faith. This is not new for us. I have mentioned Japan and China. Even Christianity and Islam — faiths that have shed enormous volumes of blood to deter mine the fate of Jerusalem over the last two millennia — evidently have other incarnations in the tropics. The Indian survey mentions 116 communities that are simultaneously Christian and Hindu, 94 that follow both Christianity and the various ‘tribal religions’, and 35 that are Hindu and Muslim. Seventeen communities are followers of three religions simultaneously — 11 can be classified as Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, six as Hindu, Muslim and Christian.[7] A colleague of mine has studied the Meos, one of the largest Muslim communities in northern India. They are devoutly Muslim, but also trace their origins to the Mahabharata clans. They have their own Mahabharata that they perform ritually. Even now, some elderly Meos have both Hindu and Muslim names, the way a huge majority of the Indonesians do.[8]

It is possible to re-envision individualism, self-identity, and even the borders of the self. Some points of departure are available and it is our responsibility to confront the violence of our age by pursuing these possibilities. We also have to remember that the communities that have kept alive these possibilities, despite enormous pressures to change or conform, are a beleaguer ed lot. The forces of globalisation and cultural homogenis ation threaten their lifestyles. Take the case of the Meos. Muslim fundamentalists, Islamic nationalists and many modern Muslims have not been comfortable with Meo religious culture. Many Meos, too, having been victims of religious violence on and off during the last fifty years, now feel that their Islam is flawed. Indeed, Professor K. Suresh Singh, who headed the Indian Anthropolog ical Survey’s study of communities, tells me that the multi-religious communities revealed by his survey are the last remnants of a phenomenon that was once much more widespread in the region. They have ceased to be the norm in India, as in other parts of South and Southeast Asia. The official, enumerative world in which we live has no respect for such traditions. It works with a more Cartesian concept of the individual self.

I reaffirm that there are possible ways of looking at the person to which the modern world has few clues. These possible ways cannot be explained away as mystificat ions or as romantic invocations of the past. Indeed, it is we who have been living in a make-believe world that ignores other concepts of the boundaries of the self with which a huge proportion, perhaps even a majority of the world, still lives. The new slave trade flourishing in our times, with the full support of a large cross-section of the intellectual community, exports such people from our neighbourhoods to history. We talk about them in the past tense and accuse anyone concerned about them of incurable romanticism.

Secondly, not only can the self be seen as being in dialogue with others, as most currently fashionable theories of multiculturalism have come to acknowledge, the self can also be seen in the other and the other as telescoped in the self. This is not unheard of in clinical literature. There are studies that explain homicidal hatred towards outgroups as an attempt to exorcise alien parts of the self, the ghosts within. From the beginning, projection and displacement have been important defences in psychological studies of racism and ethnophobia. However, the healthier, more integrative possibilities in the story have not been explored The same defences of projection and displacement can sometimes bond diverse communities within a shared cultural space.[9] As I have already said, the Enlightenment’s tradition of demystification bares the material, the corporeal, the unhealthy and the ‘ugly’. It undervalues forms of second-order demystification that might reveal the sources of creativity and psychological health that underlie manifest ill health.

Recently, I studied a city in South India, Cochin, where at least fourteen major communities have lived for centuries. It is a small city which was cosmopolitan and international much before the present idea of cosmopolitanism was imported into India in colonial times. The communities range from two Jewish communities, one of which claims to have been in the region for more than two millennia, to Yemeni Arabs, who claim that they were in touch with Cochin even in pre-Islamic times, to the Eurasian Parangis who came into being as a community only in the last four hundred-odd years. These communities live there and have lived there in peace. I studied the city to learn how.[10]

It took me some time to find out that their co-existence was not dependent on brotherly love. The communities were often ambivalent towards each other; sometimes they positively disliked the other. But while they did so, no person or community considered itself complete without the others. Cochin lives in what I have elsewhere called an epic culture, not a linear, empirical, historical concept of culture and community. In that epic vision of life, you need villains to complete the picture, though these villains are usually fashioned out of the same defensive structures that students of ethnic and religious violence have come to fear.[11] Such a vision has to reaffirm, ritually and regularly, the existing configur ation of the contests between the godly and the ungodly. You simply cannot do without the demons because you cannot even represent the gods without the demons. They are symbiotic al ly related and are an unavoidable part of each other and your self. You do not have to love the demons, but you cannot nurture annihilatory fantasies about them either. It is a bit like the story of the Jewish Robinson Crusoe who, I am told, had to build two synagogues, one to pray in and the other to set up as the one into which he would never step. The second synagogue was important to him. He might have hated it, but his self-definition was not complete without it

During the last two centuries, in the area of social knowledge and knowledge of self, we have managed to destroy such visions by bringing in a peculiar evolutionary perspective on the relation between space and time. That perspective has drawn upon the various nineteenth-century theories of progress to convert geographies into histories, histories into geographies. At one time, one had the right to dislike other communities because they did not conform to one’s ideas of morality and propriety. However, usually one was forced to yield to the others, even if unwilling ly, the same right to dislike one. It is no longer fashionable to exercise such rights or to own up to such prejudices. The triumphant culture of globalised cosmopolitanism has convinced us that we must pretend, even if we do not believe so, that everyone is the same. Yet, the same cosmo politan ism allows us to classify cultures according to the distance they have traversed on the time-scale of history. So, I may not detest you — as representing a culture, a religion, nationality or ethnic group — but I retain the right to believe that you are what I was yesterday or in the last century. And if you behave well, if you obey the textbooks I have produced on self-improvement — through economic development, technological growth, acquisition of scientific rationality or ‘proper’ political education — you could be like me tomorrow. It is like Albert Schweitzer’s idea of fraternity, as recalled by Chinua Achebe. "The African is my brother," Schweitzer appears to have said, "but a younger brother." Only this idea, which today infects virtually all liberal and radical theories of social change, is apparently an improvement on Immanuel Kant’s or David Hume’s belief in the natural inferiority of the blacks, browns and yellows.

For in Schweitzer’s view, some cultures are only living out the pasts of others and are, to that extent, obsolete and redundant. A few cynics may claim that this is a way of pre-empting the future of some of the oldest civilisations of the world and annihilating the present of hundreds of humble micro-cultures that keep open our options by acting like cultural gene banks of alternative, dissenting or even fantastic concepts of selfhood. But that is certainly not a popular view in the mainstream global culture of common sense.

I am optimistic enough to believe that the new century will define the capacity to listen to others as a major human virtue. An earlier generation of psychotherapists spoke of the need to listen with a third ear. Perhaps the next generation, less burdened by the ghosts of yesteryear, will not be embarrassed to speak of the need to listen with a second heart.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes:

This essay draws on the author’s keynote address at the International Congress of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy, Jerusalem, 2000

1. See a more detailed discussion in Ashis Nandy, ‘The Savage Freud: The First Non-Western Psychoanalyst and the Politics of Secret Selves in Colonial India’, in The Savage Freud and Other Essays in Possible and Retrievable Selves (New Delhi: OUP, 1995).

2. Friedrich Heer, ‘Freud, the Viennese Jew’, tr W. A. Littlewood, in Jonathan Miller (ed.), Freud, The Man, His World, His Influence (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1972).

3. Christiane Hartnack, ‘Psychoanalysis and Colonialism in British India’, PhD dissertation, Berlin, Freie Universität, 1988; Ashis Nandy, ‘The Savage Freud’ (see above).

4. A. K. Ramanujan, ‘The Indian Oedipus’, in T. G. Vaidyanathan and Jeffrey Kripal (eds.), Vishnu on Freud’s Desk: A Reader in Psychoanalysis and Hinduism (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999). See also Gananath Obeysekere, ‘Further Steps in Relativisation: The Indian Oedipus Revisited’, Ibid.

5. Shiv Visvanathan, ‘Annals of a Laboratory State’, A. Nandy,
Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity (New Delhi: Oxford University Press and Tokyo: UN University Press).

6. Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud (New York: Harper, 1968).

7. K. S. Singh, People of India: An Introduction (New Delhi: Anthropological Survey of India, 1994), Vol. 1.

8. Shail Mayaram, Resisting Regimes: Myth and Memory in a Muslim Community (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997).

9. Shail Mayaram, ‘Living Together: Ajmer as a Paradigm of the Asiatic City’, in Kayoko Tatsumi (ed.), Multiculturalism: Modes of Coexistence in South and Southeast Asia (Washington: SPF, 1998), mimeo. This paper unwittingly and, therefore, unselfconsciously shows the involvement of two of the classical concerns of psychoanalytic anthropology — possession and psychic healing — in an Islamic mosque shared by Muslims and Hindus, and presided over by an unlikely Imam, a woman called Sushila Rohatgi.

10. See Ashis Nandy, ‘Time Travel to a Possible Self: Searching for the Alternative Cosmopolitanism of Cochin’, The Japanese Journal of Political Science, December 2000, 1(2).

11. Cf. Vamik D. Volkan, The Need to Have Enemies and Allies (New York: Jason Aronson, 1988).
          Holocaust Commemoration        
Remember What? Remember How?

by Uri Avnery [from Counter Currents]

http://www.countercurrents.org/avnery220305.htm

22 March, 2005.


From the well-chosen - as usual - words from Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, to the tortured - as usual - face of Eli Wiesel, the Holocaust professional, it was an appropriate commemoration of the historic crime.


But it was also a great victory for Israeli diplomacy. The chiefs of our Foreign Office openly boasted of this political achievement. The foreign guests met with the Israeli leaders and thus lent their indirect but clear support to Ariel Sharon’s policy.


Altogether, it underlined the ambiguity of the Holocaust commemoration at this time.


When one of the leading Nazis imprisoned in Nuremberg first learned the full dimensions of the Holocaust, he exclaimed: “This will not be forgotten for a thousand years!” He was right. The Holocaust was indeed a unique crime in history.


It is difficult for foreigners to understand that for us in Israel the Shoah is not just a thing of the past. It is a part of the present. An example: at the time of the museum opening, I was flying back from Europe. In the airplane I got into conversation with an Israeli professor I had not known before, and he told me about the various stages of his life. I noticed that he passed quickly over several years of his childhood. When I asked him, be told me that he had been in Theresienstadt. He did not go into detail, so I did not ask what happened to his family.


From the concentration camp of Theresienstadt, most prisoners were sent on to the death camps. My aunt committed suicide there, her husband was sent from there to Auschwitz and was never heard of again. I remember this uncle laughing when my father decided to flee from Germany in 1933. “What can happen to us here?” he asked, “After all, Germany is a civilized country!”


The impact of the Holocaust is not restricted to the generation of the survivors. A young writer once told me that both her parents had spent time in the death camps. “I did not know that,” she recounted, “They never spoke about it. But when I was a child, I knew there was an awful secret in our family, a secret so terrible that it was forbidden to ask about it. That filled my whole childhood world with dread. Even now I still feel anxious and insecure.”


Almost every day we hear stories that are connected with the Shoah. One cannot escape it. One should not try to escape it, either. Forgetting the Holocaust is a kind of betrayal of the victims.


The question is: HOW to remember? WHAT to remember?


After World War II, the Shoah became the center of Jewish consciousness. Yeshayahu Leibovitz, the philosopher who was an observant orthodox Jew, told me once: “The Jewish religion died 200 years ago. Now there is nothing that unifies the Jews around the world apart from the Holocaust.” That is natural, because every Jew knows that if he had fallen into the hands of the Nazis, his life would probably have ended in a gas chamber. We, in Palestine at the time, were quite close to that when the German Afrika Corps under Erwin Rommel approached the gates of our country.


There was no need for a conclave of the Elders of Zion in order to turn the Holocaust into a central instrument in the struggle for the creation of Israel. It was self-evident. The Zionists had argued right from the beginning that in the modern world there can be no existence for the Jews without a state of their own. The Shoah lent this argument an irresistible force.


It caused the Jews in the State of Israel, which was created in war and had to fight for its life, to crave total security, and so we became a military power. It is impossible to understand both the good and the bad in Israel without taking into account the impact of the Shoah on our national and personal consciousness. It was none other than the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said, who told this to his compatriots.


The centrality of the Holocaust in Jewish consciousness caused the Jews to insist on its absolute exclusiveness. We are shocked and furious when somebody tries to remind us that the Nazis exterminated other communities too, such as the Roma, the homosexuals and the mentally ill. We get very angry when somebody comes and compares “our” Holocaust with other genocides: Armenians, Cambodians, Tutsis in Ruanda and others. Really! How can one compare?


The Holocaust was indeed unique in many respects. Nothing compares with the organized extermination of a whole people by industrial means, with the participation of all the organs of a modern state. It may be that Stalin murdered no fewer, and perhaps even more human beings than Hitler, but his victims were drawn from all the peoples and classes of the Soviet Union, and were not subjected to a process of industrialized extermination.


But the concept of the exclusiveness of the Holocaust can lead to despicable perversions. Many among us argue that no moral restraints apply to us, because “after what they did to us” nobody can teach us what is or is not permitted. “After the Shoah” we have the duty to do everything to save Jewish lives, even by ignoble means. We are allowed to use the memory of the Holocaust as an instrument of our foreign policy, since Israel is the “state of the Holocaust survivors”. We are allowed to stifle all criticism of our behavior, since it is self-evident that all critics are anti-Semites. We are allowed to blow up every insignificant incident, such as the painting a swastika on a Jewish tombstone, in order to prove that “anti-Semitism is on the rise” in the world and raise the alarm.


I want to argue that now, 60 years after the end of the Holocaust, it is time to grow out of all this.The time has come to turn the memory of the Holocaust from an exclusively Jewish property into a world-wide human possession.


The mourning, the anger and the shame must be turned into a universal message against all forms of genocide.


The struggle against anti-Semitism must become a part of the fight against all kinds of racism, whether directed against Muslims in Europe or Blacks in America, Kurds in Turkey or Palestinians in Israel, or foreign workers everywhere.


The Jews’ long history as the victims of murderous persecution must not cause us to wrap ourselves in a cult of self-pity, but, on the contrary, should encourage us to take the lead in the world-wide struggle against racism, prejudice and stereotypes that begin with incitement by vile demagogues and can end in genocide.


Such a people would truly be “a light unto the nations.”
          Island get away — Koh Rong, Cambodia        
Sisters in South East Asia
          Camodia's capital — Phnom Penh, Cambodia        
Sisters in South East Asia
          Angkor Wat — Siem Reap, Cambodia        
Sisters in South East Asia
          Dirtiest beach town EVER — Sihanoukville, Cambodia        
Sisters in South East Asia
          los gritos del silencio        
1984 Inglaterra 136 minutos. director: Roland Joffé. Guión: Bruce Robinson. música: Mike Oldfield. Fotografía: Chris Menges. Productora: Golchrest Films International. Reparto: Sam Waterson, Hains Ngor, Jhon Malkovich, Spalding Gray, Bill Paterson, Patrick Malahide, Athol Fugard.
Sinopsis: Roland Joffé, realizador británico curtido en la televisión, sorprendió al mundo con una ambiciosa y magistral ópera prima producida por David Puttnam -que venía de obtener gran éxito con "Carros de fuego" (1981) y "El expreso de medianoche" (1978)-. Un drama intenso, adulto y realista, donde todo -la dirección, el guión, la fotografía, la música de Mike Olfield- alcanza un nivel de excelencia. Por sus numerosas similitudes en la temática de periodismo y conflicto asiático, se recomienda ver en sesión continua junto a "El año que vivimos peligrosamente" (The Year of Living Dangerously, 1983), dirigida por Peter Weir un año antes. La del australiano narraba una historia de amor en la convulsa Indonesia de mediados de los 60. Aquí Joffé sobrecoge con una historia sobre el horror y la amistad en la sangrante Camboya de principios de los 70. Una película basada en hechos reales de un impacto profundo, que resonará en tu cabeza con la escalofriante sensación de haber hundido medio cuerpo en el lodazal del espanto.
No he podido ver la misma película que el resto de los usuarios. Lo digo, más que nada, porque “The killing fields” me ha parecido un telefilme muy largo y aburrido.

Estoy de acuerdo en que películas como esta son positivas si gracias a ella se conoce el mayor genocidio de los últimos cincuenta años a manos de los jemeres rojos. Pero no considero a “The Killing fields” el vehículo perfecto para que se conozca esta parte de la historia camboyana. Con una terrorífica visita al museo de Choeung Ek, en Phnom Penh te das cuenta que la película de Roland Joffé queda en la nada más absoluta. Es un barco que ya empieza hundido y no puede nunca salir a flote. 


No ayuda un guión mal elaborado. Ni su protagonista, Sam Waterston, que se pasa toda la película gritando y a mí, particularmente, me saca de quicio. Exceptuando la interpretación de Haing S. Ngor, que le valió un Oscar, los demás actores están tan perdidos como su director. 

No es difícil sacar una hermosa fotografía de un país como Camboya y si es pecaminoso, la horrible banda sonora que nos ha endosado Mike Olfield que no pega nada con la película, por no hablar de la canción que cierra el final, “Imagine” de Lennon, completamente fuera de lugar.

Para lo único que a mí me ha servido la película, es para conocer un poco la vida de Haing S. Ngor. Un hombre, que sólo tuvo que revivir delante de la cámara la pesadilla que experimentó tras el “Año Cero” del hijo puta de Pol-Pot. Ngor, un ginecólogo de descendencia china, que tras un cautiverio en campos de exterminio, el fallecimiento de su esposa en este y la huída a EUA, escribió un libro sobre las atrocidades de la Kampuchea Democrática: “A Cambodian Odyssey” (1987). En 1996, con un Oscar en su cuarto de baño, fue tiroteado por tres simpatizantes de los Jemeres Rojos.

No aconsejo esta película ni como arte cinematográfico ni como vehículo para saciar nuestras lagunas históricas. Para esto último, hay un escalofriante documental “S21: The khmer rouge killing machine” de Rithy Panh que sí consigue ponernos en antecedentes de lo que ocurrió después de la famosa guerra de Vietnam.
          LA Sign Of The Times #105        
If you can find one home in Los Angeles that does not have a statue of the Buddha either inside or in their garden, I'll show you someone who just moved here and has not gotten with the program. We are very pro-Buddha out here. Ask us why and we'll say, "It was on sale."

This is mine, from Cambodia. 


          Spirituality, politics deal with people        
by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar...

Both spirituality or religion and politics deal with human beings. A politics devoid of spirituality is infested with corruption and creates an unethical atmosphere of manoeuvred situations, circumstances and people. If you do not recognise the individual or universal spirit, there is no reason for you to be ethical. Politics without ethics and human values would result in chaos, crime and corruption.


The goal of politics is to bring good governance and increase material, emotional and physical comfort of people. The aim of spirituality is to boost morality and human values. Both politics and spirituality need to go hand in hand.

For good governance, spirituality is necessary. Only spirituality can invoke commitment, care and confidence. Spiritual people live the values, which are absolutely essential for those in governance. A leader has to be a samadarshi , one who sees everyone as being equal; satyadarshi , who moves with the Truth; paradarshi, who is transparent in action; doordarshi, being broad-minded and a visionary; and priyadarshi, embodying love and compassion.


On the one hand, religion has been the cause of many wars on this planet. On the other hand, religion and spirituality have thrived only because of the patronage of the state. If a society is chaotic and has no spiritual values it is difficult to govern and if there is no official patronage, it is difficult for spirituality to survive.

Spirituality makes people honest and committed and this is necessary to create a crime-free society. State patronage makes spirituality spread faster to all sections of society. While many wars are fought in the name of religion, spirituality has given courage, confidence and commitment to people even in the toughest of times. Many saints, prophets, Sufis and sanyasis have been victimised due to lack of political patronage. For example, many Sikh gurus were persecuted by the state. This affected the morale of society and resulted in bad governance.

Religion has created conflict, but irreligious societies have created chaos and corruption. Did not millions suffer in Russia, China and Cambodia in the name of freeing society of religious beliefs? Today, both religion and politics need reform. Religion has to become more spiritual to allow freedom of worship and broader to encompass all the wisdom in the world and politicians have to become more righteous and spiritual.

When spirituality and politics don't coexist, then you have corrupt politicians and pseudo-religious leaders. Spirituality is ingrained in the Indian polity. Since ancient times rajgurus have guided and counselled rulers and in turn rulers have supported religious and spiritual leaders. Rama's guru was Vasishta and Krishna's guru was Sandipani. Jainism and Buddhism flourished under the patronage of the rulers of their time. Shivaji gave patronage to Samarth Ramdass.

M K Gandhi appealed to people across the board because of his spiritual approach. Spirituality brought freedom to India. Indian spirituality has given a secular ethos to the world.

The need of the hour is a prejudice-free political system. Consensus can emerge only when politicians learn to drop prejudices of religion, caste and gender. To be able to drop prejudices, politicians need to widen their sense of belongingness. This can happen only when they are free from stress and gain a spiritual perspective.

Politics is mainly about caring for people, providing for their welfare. Spirituality gives you a broader vision of life, teaching all to share, care and nurture each other selflessly and with equanimity.

The writer is founder, the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values.

Source: TOI-6 Apr2009
          The dark side of fashion: The True Cost will change how you shop        
Since the Industrial Revolution over 150 years ago, the price of clothing has slowly but steadily been falling. When mass production began to move to overseas countries with minimal regulation, the prices dropped even further. Today clothing is as cheap as it’s ever been, and consumers can find dresses, although not of high quality, that cost less than a single deli sandwich. This has led to ‘fast fashion’ and styles cycling in and out of fashion at lightning speed. But what is the true cost of cheap clothing? That’s the question the recently released documentary The True Cost asks, and unfortunately it’s not a question with a pretty answer. Director Andrew Morgan takes viewers on a journey that spans from high fashion catwalks to garment factories in Cambodia and Bangladesh. The concept of selling clothes at the cheapest possible price and the highest possible profit is broken down, and what that means to the workers on the supply end of the chain is examined. The glamour of the models that display the clothing and the designers that conceptualize them is powerfully contrasted against the filth and poverty experienced by the human beings actually making the garments. Though this is a […]
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          Comment on Siem Reap, Cambodia Photo Pack (100 Photos) by Siem Reap, Cambodia Photo Pack (100 Photos) ⋆ Free By U Viral        
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          The Removal of Cesare Maestri's Bolt Ladders on Cerro Torre        
A couple weeks ago, climbers Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk completed the first "fair means" ascent of the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre, and on their descent successfully removed a large portion of the bolt ladders installed there in 1971 by Cesare Maestri. This has sparked a large debate within the global climbing community, as to whether it was a wise action, and if Kennedy and Kruk had the right to make it. I would personally love to stay un-involved in this debate, but having climbed in the Fitz Roy range for eight seasons, having descended the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre twice, and having attempted the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre twice by "fair means," I feel it is my obligation to share my thoughts. I will try to break this long-winded essay into separate, more managable subjects, starting with my personal history with Cerro Torre.


MY PERSONAL HISTORY WITH CERRO TORRE:

I have been dreaming of Cerro Torre since I was twelve years old. I don't remember exactly which photo I saw first, but at that time I was already obsessed with climbing mountains, and I specifically remember being awestruck by photos I saw of this mountain. Cerro Torre became my greatest dream - if there was one goal I wanted to accomplish in my life, it was to climb Cerro Torre. When I was fifteen I tried to convince my cousin Aidan, two years younger and my main climbing partner at the time, that we needed to start training, and go attempt the Compressor Route in two years - when I would be seventeen and him fifteen. By the time I was seventeen I knew I wasn't ready for Cerro Torre, but two years later, in 2003, I finally went to the Fitz Roy range with my friend Bart Paull. We managed to climb three of the easier summits of the Fitz Roy massif, and on our last climbing day, on Aguja de l'S, I finally saw Cerro Torre for the first time. On my second trip to Patagonia, in 2005 with Mark Westman, I managed to climb the rest of the seven "major summits" of the Fitz Roy ridgeline, and I decided that I was finally ready to try Cerro Torre.

In 2006 I went to Patagonia with Kelly Cordes, with Cerro Torre as our main goal. At the time my thoughts on the Compressor Route were fairly ambivalent, and we planned to attempt the West Face mostly because it was more suited to our climbing strengths and interests. Although we spent almost our entire trip festering in camp during bad weather, at the last minute a great weather window arrived. We climbed Cerro Torre via a linkup of the "Tiempos Perdidos" route on the left margin of the south face and the Ragni route on the west face (this was the first integral ascent of "Tiempos Perdidos"). The climb was an absolute dream come true - a beautiful, 1,500m line of fantastic ice and mixed terrain, that played perfectly to our strengths as a team, to a summit that I had been obsessing over for ten years.

Kelly and I descended Cerro Torre via the southeast ridge, which neither of us had been on before, and my thoughts on the Compressor Route changed dramatically. It is difficult to comprehend the Compressor Route without seeing it in person - both in terms of the enormous quantity of Maestri's bolts, and in terms of the bolt ladders' locations, in close proximity to easily-protectable, easily-climbable terrain. After seeing the Compressor Route first hand, I knew I had no desire to climb it, and since then I have never considered an ascent of the Compressor Route to be an ascent of Cerro Torre - the climber on that route is simply too disconnected from engaging with the mountain itself.

The following season, I had the tremendous fortune of being in the right place at the right time, and I got to partner with Rolando Garibotti to make the first ascent of the Torres Traverse. Although I can aspire to greater personal goals since I played a lesser role in the Torres Traverse than Rolo, I don't think I'll ever make an ascent more significant than this first ascent. I think that Rolo is certainly one of the best alpinists of our time, and the best Patagonian alpinist of recent years - seeing him at his peak of performance was an inspiration that continues to drive my progression as a climber today. Rolo and I also descended the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre, and I think that season, 2008, is when I first realized that Maestri's bolt ladders ought to be removed some day.

Last year, in February 2011, I made two attempts to climb the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre by "fair means," the first with Zack Smith and the second with Rolo Garibotti and Doerte Pietron. On both attempts we were turned back by poor weather at the base of the ice towers. On both attempts we carried a small bolt kit which we thought we might use on the headwall, rationalizing that adding a few bolts to avoid a few hundred was a sound trade. In hindsight I think it is fortunate that we were turned back by weather - perhaps if we had been able to continue we would have put several bolts in the headwall, which Hayden managed to lead without placing any. It would have been a perfect, short-term example of "stealing a climb from the future."

Since I first read about the Compressor Route, my cumulation of personal climbing experience, my knowledge of climbing history, and my cumulation of personal experience in the Fitz Roy range have all increased by huge amounts, and my opinion of the Compressor route has accordingly changed from an ambivalent one to a conviction that Maestri's bolt ladders ought to be removed. Because of the obviously controversial nature of removing Maestri's bolt ladders, I have never had the courage to act on my conviction. Now that Hayden and Jason have done what I believed in but was too cowardly to do, the least I can do is voice my support for them.


IT'S NOT ABOUT HAYDEN AND JASON - IT'S ABOUT CERRO TORRE

A lot of the discussion surrounding the bolt removal has been focused on who Hayden and Jason are, where they come from, what style they climbed in, if they can be considered "locals" of these mountains, and what their motives were. To me, this discussion is largely irrelevant to the real question: Do Maestri's bolt ladders belong on Cerro Torre, and if they don't, is it right to remove them 40 years after they were installed? For many people I think it is important that the people who removed Maestri's bolt ladders were the same people who first climbed the southeast ridge by fair means, but to me this doesn't matter all that much. I believe that Maestri's bolt ladders do not belong on Cerro Torre, so it really doesn't make any difference to me if they are removed by a Canadian, Argentinean or Cambodian climber, young or old climber. A few years from now we won't care too much about who removed Maestri's bolt ladders, we will care about what state the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre is in.


WHAT ABOUT RESPECT FOR CESARE MAESTRI?

Several people have been calling for more respect to be paid to Cesare Maestri, who is now in his old age and of failing health. Sorry to be brutally honest, but I simply don't have respect for liars. Maestri told the biggest lie in the history of climbing for the gain of his own reputation. Alpine climbing often relies on the honor system, and unfortunately people like Maestri ruin the system of honesty for all of us. Dishonesty goes beyond the simple game of besting one's competition - consider for a moment that Maestri's drive to be labeled the winner was so great that he didn't even have the decency to tell Toni Egger's mother and sister the true circumstances of how Toni died in the mountains.

The fact that Maestri also vengefully showed the world the most heavy-handed climbing style it has ever seen - the epitome of the "murder of the impossible" - doesn't help him gain respect.

If Maestri were to come clean in his old age, and tell the world what actually happened during his 1959 Cerro Torre attempt, it would probably require more courage than any climb ever demanded of him. If Maestri could do that, I could respect him.


WHAT ABOUT RESPECT FOR THE STYLE OF THE FIRST ASCENT?

Many people have been bringing up the very valid point that generally in climbing we respect the style of the first ascent of a route. However, people have been neglecting to keep in mind that Maestri did not make the first ascent of the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre. In climbing mountains, especially such sharp needles as in the Fitz Roy range, a successful ascent ends on the top of the mountain. Not only did Maestri not manage to reach the summit of Cerro Torre, but most evidence suggests that he did not even reach the top of the headwall (Jim Bridwell was the first to note this). Therefore, if you want to ask the first ascensionists their opinions about what should become of the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre, you will have to consult Jim Bridwell and Steve Brewer.

Some people will inevitably say that even though Maestri didn't climb Cerro Torre, the style up to his high-point ought to be respected. By that same logic, Maestri would have been violating the style of Fonrouge, Boysen, Burke, Crew and Haston, who climbed half-way up Cerro Torre's southeast ridge in 1968 without placing any bolts. By the time Maestri had reached the same level on the mountain as their highpoint he had already placed hundreds of bolts.


THE COMPRESSOR ROUTE IS AN OUTLIER

Obviously the concept of "fair means" is very subjective. What one person considers only "necessary" bolts can vary dramatically from what another person considers "necessary" bolts. However, the Compressor Route bolt ladders are far, far, beyond anyone's definition of "necessary" bolts. Even Kurt Albert's routes on nearby Fitz Roy, Aguja Mermoz and Aguja St. Exupery (which have bolted belays every 35 meters or less, and include at least 3 bolts per pitch, immediately next to perfect cracks) are not even in the same realm of over-bolting that the compressor route is. There were some spots on the Compressor Route where a climber clipped to one bolt with a daisy chain could easily touch more than ten other bolts.

How did Maestri put up a climb that was so far beyond anything else in terms of bolting? The answer is that he used tactics that have never been used by another climber before or since. A gasoline-powered air compressor is not climbing equipment - it is industrial equipment. With his compressor Maestri could place a bolt more easily than he could place a chock or piton, so of course bolt-ladders up blank rock, even with crack systems immediately nearby, were suddenly a logical solution for him. Maestri explained that he put a single bolt ladder up the entire 5-pitch headwall because they had forgotten the pitons down below. How does one arrive to 5 pitches below Cerro Torre's summit and only there realize that the pitons were left far below? - only with a gasoline-powered air compressor.

Many people have been comparing the Compressor Route to The Nose on El Capitan. I think that most of these people must not have seen both routes in person. If the Compressor Route were established with the same bolting discretion as Warren Harding used on The Nose, it would have something like 50 bolts on it. On the other hand, if The Nose were established with the same bolting discretion as Maestri used on the Compressor Route, it would have more than 2,000 bolts on it.

I am not extremely anti-bolt. Even Kurt Albert's bolts on the east pillar of Aguja Mermoz (a route which was climbed 90% of the way to the summit without a single bolt, in a single day, before Albert layed siege to it), which go beyond all normal conventions of acceptable bolt use, do not bother me anywhere close to as much as Maestri's bolt ladders on Cerro Torre. I really think it is such a sad shame that the most beautiful mountain on earth (in my opinion), which naturally requires fantastic and difficult climbing to reach its summit, is marred by a via ferrata (And yes, it is a "via ferrata," even if much more difficult than most via ferrata - after all, "via ferrata" means "iron way.").


ADVENTURE VS. TOURISM

As in any discussion regarding bolts that some people consider unnecessary, some people have asked why Hayden and Jason didn't just leave the bolts in, and future climbers could always opt to simply not clip them. However, as long as the bolts ladders are there, future climbers are denied an adventure, because the mere presence of the bolts changes one's experience dramatically. With the bolt ladders removed, a climber ventures upward with doubts and fears, constantly trying to gauge where the next protection will be and where the route will go, and climbs with commitment - knowing that a poor route-finding choice might place him or her in a bad situation. With the bolt ladders in place, the knowledge that you can immediately end your fear and doubt at any moment removes the commitment completely. With the bolt ladders in place, the climber is denied the experience of moving fearfully into the unknown, and the elation that comes from finding a good crack or good holds for security. With the bolt ladders in place there is no real adventure; choosing to not clip the bolts can only amount to a contrived game. I certainly am much more inspired to go attempt Cerro Torre's headwall now, as a canvas of natural rock, than I ever was before to go play a contrived game of bolt-skipping.

Thus, climbing for adventure on the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre, and climbing for tourism on the southeast ridge, are completely at odds with each other. As long as Maestri's bolt ladders are in place, one cannot climb for adventure on the southeast ridge, and with the bolts removed, the tourists are denied their easy route to the summit. It really comes down to a question of which you value more, adventure or tourism? I think we can all agree that the currently-popular phrase "adventure tourism" is oxymoronic.

I'm sure that many people will be offended that I refer to the Compressor Route as "tourism," and I'm sorry about that. Ultimately, I think it more important to be honest and potentially offensive than speak tactfully and untruthfully. Quite simply, the Compressor Route is an avenue to "tick" the summit of Cerro Torre without actually engaging the difficulties of the mountain - completely analogous to climbing Everest with supplemental oxygen.


THESE ELITISTS HAVE DENIED MY RIGHT TO EASILY ASCEND THE SOUTHEAST RIDGE OF CERRO TORRE!

Many people have called Hayden and Jason elitist, because they are forcing future climbers on the southeast ridge to rise to their climbing level, removing the via ferrata which allowed access to climbers who didn't actually posses the skill to climb Cerro Torre's southeast ridge. What then about the poor unfortunate souls who are denied their "right" to summit Torre Egger? What if I went to Patagonia next year and installed a 1,200m bolt ladder up the east pillar of Torre Egger, making it accessible to all the 5.8 climbers who are currently denied their Torre Egger experience?

It is ridiculous to attempt to choose an arbitrary difficulty-level that a route should be dumbed-down to. Here's a concept: just leave the difficulty level as it was naturally!


DESTROYING HISTORY

History is not a physical object. You cannot destroy history unless you are able to burn every book, destroy every hard-drive and erase everyone's memory. At most one can claim that a monument has been destroyed, but history remains unharmed. Maestri showed us the worst example of heavy-handed climbing style that a mountain has ever experienced - it is not something that people will forget. Also, Maestri's air compressor remains lashed to the middle of Cerro Torre's headwall - as long as it remains it will be unmistakable physical evidence of what Maestri did to Cerro Torre (although personally I would rather see it removed).


BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Of course it would have been much better if Maestri's bolt ladders were removed the year after their installation rather than 40 years after the fact. If that were the case, no one would call them "history" or "Argentine patrimony." However, I think that when the bolt ladders were installed, most of the world wasn't aware of the extent of the bolting. In addition, Maestri's siege on the southeast ridge used 1,000 meters of fixed rope and nine months, so it took a long time before people realized that the bolt ladders could be easily removed in a single day.

For the 40 years that Maestri's bolt ladders were in place, Cerro Torre was a compromised mountain. Very impressive routes that joined the Compressor Route at the headwall, such as Devil's Directissima and Quinque Anni ad Paradisum, will unfortunately always be tarnished by the fact that they ascended the last five pitches of Cerro Torre on a ladder of bolts. This is not the fault of the first ascensionists (Jeglic, Karo, Knez, Podgornik, Kozjek, Fistravek, Salvaterra, Beltrami, and Rossetti - many of the biggest names in Cerro Torre history), because, as I already explained, skipping the bolts immediately in front of you is a contrived game that most alpinists are not interested in. Both of these routes climbed an enormous amount of very difficult climbing to reach the base of the headwall, but the last five pitches of Cerro Torre were stolen from them by Maestri.

The removal of Maestri's bolt ladders was inevitable. If it hadn't been done by Hayden and Jason, it would have been done before too long by someone else. There were other climbers in El Chalten this season who had specific plans to remove Maestri's bolt ladders - and no, it wasn't me or Rolo, but some very strong and accomplished alpinists from Europe.


HYPOCRISY OF USING SOME OF MAESTRI'S BOLTS

Some people have told me that anyone who has ever used Maestri's bolts (such as Garibotti, Cordes and myself rappelling from them) cannot support the removal of the bolts without hypocrisy. I think it is almost exactly the opposite in fact - I think that people who have seen Maestri's bolt ladders in person generally have a much better understanding of their physical context than people who have only read about them or seen photos.

Others have criticized Hayden and Jason for using and leaving in place some of Maestri's belay/rappel stations. They did this as a compromise to appease you. If you think that is hypocritical, then feel free to go remove them. There is plentiful natural gear available, and climbing or rappelling the southeast ridge will not be compromised if you remove every last one of Maestri's bolts.


INTEGRITY

As I said at first, I would personally prefer to stay far away from this controversy. However, I feel that Hayden and Jason have done a great service to the global community of Patagonian alpinists, and it saddens me to see them receive so much criticism for what I consider an altruistic act. Many of the people who agree with the bolt removal are staying quiet simply to stay out of drama (and in fact, some people who have previously expressed their wish for the bolt ladders to be removed, are now back-pedaling in the face of controversy), but I see it as my obligation to speak out in support of them.

I'm sure that many people, particularly on internet forums, will criticize me for writing this essay. Please remain civil. Just because you disagree with my opinion doesn't mean you need to hate me or denigrate me personally. I won't criticize you for lamenting the bolt removal. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
          Boy Soldier        

Never Fall DownThe smell is what gets him.  He can survive the endless marching, total exhaustion and constant hunger. But the smell from the dirt piles, the piles of dead bodies, penetrates his wall of stone-faced nothingness. Sickly-sweet yet slightly bitter, the smell makes him wince, cringe, and lose what little he has been able to put into his stomach. He could survive another day if not for the smell.

 

Arn Chorn-Pond was 11 years old when the Khmer Rouge came into his Cambodian village and forced everyone to march to the work camps. Never Fall Down is a fictional account of Chorn-Pond’s capture, torture, and exploitation by these “freedom fighters.” Divided from his family, he struggles to survive each day by not drawing attention to himself. Arn is a smart boy, and eventually he uses his quick mind to learn to play the khim, a traditional musical instrument. The Khmer Rouge use music as propaganda to turn the minds of the captives and make them loyal to the cause, and as a musician Arn gains some small status among the soldiers. Does he dare risk standing up for himself and the other children against his captors? Now that he has some small measure of freedom, should he just run away?

 

Patricia McCormick is the author of numerous young adult novels, including Cut and Sold, for which she was nominated for the National Book Award. McCormick is an author who is not afraid to examine difficult topics such as self-injury and sex trafficking. She decided to write Never Fall Down in the first person so that Arn’s own voice (including his broken English) could be heard. This book is a good choice for reluctant teen readers needing to read historical fiction, or for anyone who enjoyed Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone or Emmanuel Jal’s War Child.


          Cambodia or Thailand? Comparing expat destinations        
flagsAs Cambodia braces itself to welcome more expats from across the border, Tim LaRocco takes a lighthearted look at the the pluses and minuses of both options. Continue reading
          Review: The Bug Cafe Siem Reap        
two eatingNaomi Collett Ritz tries out a unique new restaurant in Siem Reap, based on Cambodia's love of insects. The Bug Cafe features a menu of tarantula-stuffed donuts, ant-filled muffins and - her favourite - scorpions. Continue reading
          Provincial Protein – A Guide to Subsistence Dining 2/2        
DPedro Milladino continues to munch his way through myriad varieties of rustic Khmer nosh in the second part of this series It’s a well established fact that Asians eat dog, but then again so do some Swiss. Without dwelling too...
          Provincial Protein – A Guide to Subsistence Dining 1/2        
Amazing Street Food From Around the World (16)Cambodian food has a bad rep, and quite deserved too for the most part, with cheap refined cooking oil, diabetes inducing sugar levels and liberal doses of that culinary crack- highly addictive crystal monosodium glutamate, MSG- the stuff that makes...
          Cambodia as My ‘New Colossus’        
Flag-Pins-Cambodia-USATim LaRocco opines on his impending return to Cambodia as an expat I’m a New Yorker born and bred, and thus, a creature of particular routines and habits. I eat the same breakfast everyday (toasted everything bagel with an egg,...
          Fried Short Noodles and Friendly Sisters: a Recipe for a Good Market Lunch        
OJenny Conrad continues her search for budget vegetarian street food in Phnom Penh. Having conquered my initial wariness of Cambodian street food in the Russian market – largely through an appreciation of the tasty nom kachay available – I slowly...
          AMR Call from Southeast Asia – Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Research and Innovation (SEA-EU-NET)        
AMR Call from Southeast Asia – Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Research and Innovation (SEA-EU-NET) The JPIAMR members Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey participate in a joint call with the South-East Asian countries Cambodia, Lao PDR, The Phillipines, Thailand, and Vietnam within the framework of the EU-funded project SEA-EU-NET. The call […]
          15 geng mafia gangster terkenal dunia        

15 Kumpulan Kongsi Gelap terkenal didunia!

Mafia, Yakuza, Cosa Nostra, Geng Mexico antara pertubuhan dunia bawah tanah yang dikuasai oleh pertubuhan jenayah yang mempunyai hubungan yang agak rumit! Pertubuhan ini dijangka menjana antara £1.2 trillion, lebih besar dari ekonomi negara sepanyol. Kebanyakkanya memperdagangkan dadah, orang dan barangan palsu yang mewakili pasaran gelap di lima buah benua!

kongsi gelap, mafia, yakuza

1. MEXICAN CARTELS
The Tijuana, Juarez, Pacific and Gulf cartels bring Colombian cocaine north. Currently engaged in an all-out war with the Mexican government.

2. NORTE DEL VALLE
Once Colombia’s leading drugs cartel. Has now been mostly dismantled — cocaine is smuggled by smaller organisations.

3. COSA NOSTRA
US group still tied to its Italian-Mafia antecedents. Involved in extortion, money laundering, cybercrime and smuggling.

4. NIGERIAN ORGANISED CRIME
Inventors of the 419 bank scam. Nigerian workers in south Asia give the mob street-level access to 90 per cent of the world’s heroin.

5. ITALIAN MAFIA
The mob against which all others are judged. Today it’s whacking fewer people but is still laundering money and smuggling heroin and arms.

6. ALBANIAN MOB
Criminals across this region comprise one of the world’s largest organised-crime groups. Provides drugs, arms, sex workers and cigarettes globally.

7. RUSSIAN MAFIA
Career criminals who cosied up to government officials after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Eastern Europe has become a hub for human trafficking.

8. ISRAELI MAFIA
Nonhierarchical and egalitarian, the group includes Arabs and, increasingly, Russians. One of the world’s largest ecstasy traffickers.

9.RED WA
Originally part of the Burmese Community Party’s military. Now produces and exports methamphetamine and heroin on the Myanmar-Thailand border.

10. JAO PHO
Primarily ethnic Chinese in Thailand. Uses legitimate businesses as fronts for crime and infiltration of the police, military and government.

11. CAMBODIAN ORGANISED CRIME
The authorities are reluctant to crack down on trafficking abuses in this group’s sex industry because it attracts tourists.

12. TRIADS
With tens of thousands of members, these Hong Kong-based gangs are active in loan sharking, car theft, protection rackets and other criminal enterprises.

13. HEIJIN
Taiwanese gangsters get more done when they infiltrate business or politics. A third of the government’s officials are current or former members.

14. FILIPINO ORGANISED CRIME
Many women who apply for entertainer visas to leave the unstable Philippines are smuggled into prostitution rings.

15. YAKUZA
Historically low-caste Japanese pedlars, the Yakuza bills itself as the protector of ordinary people. Today it may comprise up to ten per cent ethnic Koreans.

PERKOSA dan PER####L masih belum mencapai standard untuk diletakkan didalam senarai ini, wakakaa

*bahasa inggeris ya, tak larat nak translate :D


TAG: Yakuza, Mafia, Kongsi gelap


          UN Women Announces 16 Steps Policy Agenda | Say NO - UNiTE        
UN Women Announces 16 Steps Policy Agenda | Say NO - UNiTE


In her first message for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, since UN Women became operational earlier this year, Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet outlines a comprehensive policy agenda to end violence against women globally. Focusing on the three critical pillars of prevention, protection and provision of services, Ms. Bachelet’s call for action, urges world leaders to mobilize political will and investment to ensure that women can live a life without violence.

16 Steps Policy Agenda to End Violence against Women

1. Ratify international and regional treaties …
that protect the rights of women and girls, and ensure that national laws and services meet international human rights standards.
2. Adopt and enforce laws…
to end impunity, bring perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice and provide women with reparations and remedy for the violations perpetrated against them.
3. Develop national and local action plans…
for ending violence against women and girls in every country that bring the government, women’s and other civil society organizations, the mass media and the private sector into a coordinated, collective front against such human rights violations.
4. Make justice accessible to women and girls …
by providing free legal and specialized services, and increasing women in law enforcement and frontline services.
5. End impunity towards conflict-related sexual violence …
by prosecuting perpetrators in conflict and post-conflict contexts and fulfilling survivors’ right to comprehensive reparations programmes that are non-stigmatizing and have a transformative impact on women and girls’ lives.
6. Ensure universal access to critical services…
at a minimum, women’s and girls’ emergency and immediate needs should be met through free 24-hour hotlines, prompt intervention for their safety and protection, safe housing and shelter for them and their children, counseling and psycho-social support, post-rape care, and free legal aid to understand their rights and options.
7. Train providers of frontline services…
especially the police, lawyers and judges, social workers and health personnel to ensure that they follow quality standards and protocols. Services should be confidential, sensitive and convenient to women survivors.
8. Provide adequate public resources…
to implement existing laws and policies, recognizing the devastating costs and consequences of violence against women not only for the lives directly affected, but to society and the economy at large, and to public budgets.
9. Collect, analyze and disseminate national data…
on prevalence, causes and consequences of violence against women and girls, profiles of survivors and perpetrators, and progress and gaps in the implementation of national policies, plans and laws.
  • Gender-based violence study in Morocco reveals that approximately 60 percent of Moroccan women have experienced some form of violence recently, and violence against women is three times more likely in urban areas than in rural ones.
  • Together for Girls, a global effort to prevent sexual violence against girls, of which UN Women is a partner, makes an urgent call for national surveys. The alarming finding in Swaziland—one-third of girls have experienced sexual violence—spurred a national education campaign, strengthening of the capacity of police to respond to sexual violence, and the establishment of a child-friendly court. For more information about Together for Girls, click here.
  • Access data on prevalence, laws and more at Progress of the World’s Women and Violence against Women Prevalence Data: Surveys by Country.
10. Invest in gender equality and women’s empowerment…
to tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls. Strategic areas are girls’ secondary education, advancing women’s reproductive health and rights, addressing the inter-linkages of violence with HIV and AIDS, and increasing women’s political and economic participation and leadership. Gender equality and ending violence against women must be placed squarely at the heart of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Up to three quarters of women and girls worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The MDGs and Gender Series cautions, unless violence against women is curbed, meeting all of the eight Millennium Development Goals will be impossible.
11. Enhance women’s economic empowerment…
by ensuring women’s rights to own land and property, to inheritance, equal pay for equal work, and safe and decent employment. Women’s unequal economic and employment opportunities are a major factor in perpetuating their entrapment in situations of violence, exploitation and abuse.
  • In a land torn apart by years of bitter conflict, the daily struggle to survive is an ongoing battle. Feeding the family is a constant challenge. Bread Winner, Bread Maker tells the story of some inspirational women who are bringing hope to thousands in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • Millions of women work overseas each year and endure abuse and exploitation. On the Move: Nepal’s Women Migrant Workersfight for their rights.
12. Increase public awareness and social mobilization…
to stop violence against women and girls, and to enable women and girls subjected to violence to break the silence and seek justice and support.
  • With over 2 million actions and 600 partners, Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women offers a global platform for information, action and social mobilization. Visit www.saynotoviolence.org and post your action today!
13. Engage the mass media…
 in shaping public opinion and challenging the harmful gender norms that perpetuate violence against women and girls.
14. Work for and with young people as champions of change…
 to end violence against women, and ensure that educational systems empower girls and boys to transform and build gender relations based on harmony, mutual respect and non-violence.
15. Mobilize men and boys…
 of all ages and walks of life to take a stand against violence against women and girls, and foster equality and gender solidarity.
16. Donate to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women..
 the only grant-making fund in the world exclusively dedicated to channeling expertise and financial support to national, local and grassroots efforts.
  • It’s the 15th anniversary of the UN Trust Fund—since its establishment, the UN Trust Fund has supported 339 programmes in 127 countries and territories, relying on voluntary contributions. Please help us make the world a safer place for women and girls by sending a donation today!

Related links: Download the 16 Steps to End Violence against Women.



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          Sticky Mango Rice        
Been away for months, my last post was in June then nothing. Hope this post will give a new hope that my blog is still alive!

Thai-Sticky-Rice-with-Mango


Last August I ordered Mango Sticky Rice from BlackGarlicIndonesia, an internet based company that helps people to be able to cook without spending much time for grocery shopping. I wrote about my experience with BlackGarlic here and here, and the reason why you should start to subscribe and try BlackGarlic in this post, all posts written in Bahasa Indonesia. It (sticky mango rice) was so delicious and the most important: easy to make.

Khao Neeo Mamuang or Mango Sticky Rice is a Thai dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango
and coconut milk. Mango Sticky Rice also a popular dish in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam (Wikipedia).
But You do not need to go to Thailand to eat this sweet dessert as you can make it at home. The
ingredients are easy to find everywhere, If you cannot find Thai mango, just use any mango available.

Thai-Sticky-Rice-with-Mango-3


Mango Sticky Rice

1 cup glutinous rice, soak in water
for 3 hours or overnight.
Steam over medium heat until
set. Place in a bowl.

1 or 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and
cut as desired.

Mix in a saucepan 1 cup of
coconut milk, 3 tbsp sugar. 1/4 tsp
salt and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Cook
over medium heat and keep on
stiring until boil. Remove from
the heat. Pour over the sticky rice,
mix well.

Place sticky rice and mango in a
serving plate, garnish sitcky rice
with white sesame seeds. Eat
while it still warm or at room
temperature.



So, what do you think? Do you want to give it a try?


Have a sweet weekend!

          The UN—Where Good and Evil Stand as Equals [Was: Dollars for Despots]        

SOLO-International Op-Ed: Dollars for Despots

Philip Duck
January 20, 2010

Yet another hopeless talkfest kicks off today as officials from the morally bankrupt United Nations meet the wholly corrupt ministers and bureaucrats of 15 Asian and Pacific Island states tagged, ‘Least-developed countries.’ (LDCs)

This tragic collection of thugs, thieves, tyrants, murderers and masters of moral-equivalency are meeting to review the results of having other people’s money liberally sprinkled upon them for the last ten years. Next year this review is to be presented to a larger, more tragic collection of thugs, thieves and masters of moral-equivalency, as representatives of all of the world’s 49 ‘least-developed countries,’ meet with top UN officials for mutual back-patting and sessions where they demand more cash.

Indeed today the UN kicked off part of that process when Noleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission, emphasized ‘"…the need for financial assistance from donors…” Heyzer also identified “…the need for monitoring to ensure that the pledges reached their intended targets.”

There is—as the likes of Heyzer must surely know—precious little chance of much of that money reaching its intended recipients; all 15 LDCs are highly corrupt. In fact, Transparency International’s Corruption Index ranks one LDC, Burma, as the world’s 178th most corrupt country. Of other Asian and Pacific LDCs, Yemen takes 154th place out of the 180 countries surveyed, Bangladesh sits in 139th spot, the Solomon Islands is 111th, and even the best-of-the-bunch, Bhutan, can only manage 49th place.

Rather, those pledges of taxpayers' money will sit snugly in the bank accounts of despots or be used to build opulent second, third and fourth homes. Indeed, as I write this from my LDC Cambodian home, my near-neighbour, a bureaucrat from the Department of the Environment, who insists his fellow-Cambodians address him as ‘Your Excellency,’ is sitting in his lavish four-storey home surrounded by drivers, nannies, cooks, tutors, maids and security guards. And his kids will soon be chauffeured home in a vehicle donated by the European Union. Neighbours of ‘His Excellency’ despise him; they know his money comes straight from the coffers of one of the nation's most corrupt departments.

These pledges will be also be used to silence political opposition through intimidation, beatings and bribery. They’ll be used to shut down the press, imprison rivals and produce propaganda. The UN, however, will continue to turn a blind eye to such rogues and funnel shed-loads of money to these despicable people.

Cheick Sidi Diarra, the UN’s High Representative for Least Developing Countries claimed late last year that the review process will allow LDCs to “…forge a clear vision, based on universal values, moral and ethical imperatives and the requirements of fairness and equity…”

Diarra is right: a clear vision based on the universal values of this bunch of evil-doing bastards will emerge. It won’t be the vision that Diarra or the 800 million residents of the LDCs would have in mind though. Rather the kleptocrats, dictators, communists and tyrants will do what they have always done: plunder, cheat, intimidate and bash.

The UN, too, will do what they have always done: they’ll shovel cash at tyrants while looking the other way when faced with irrefutable proof of wrongdoings. And they will continue to browbeat others into giving even more to fund the whole damn thing.

Philip Duck: thonburi-1@hotmail.com

SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists): SOLOPassion.com


          Video Doc: "The Making of Lost in New Mexico"        
From the deserts of New Mexico to the jungles of Cambodia...

Check out the Blog for LOST IN NEW MEXICO (The Movie) for complete info & updates!

          Helping the World's homeless; Vietnamese in France proud, divided         

"We are proud to be Vietnamese," says Do Queyen, a young woman gracefully attired in a dark indigo ao dai the traditional Vietnamese tunic. "We all want to go back eventually."

The spacious walled inner garden of the 18th-century Paris convent bustles with hundreds of noisy children, many of them dressed in traditional costume. They are eagerly celebrating trung thu, the Vietnamese mid-autumn festival, organized by France's anticommunist Vietnamese community.

Only a few months ago some of these laughing and singing children ahd fled Vietnam with their parents aboard cramped fishing vessels, surviving a hazardous gauntlet of pirates, storms, and drownings before reaching the often sordid refugee camps of Sotheast Asia.

"It's very important for us to help reserve and pass on our culture to the children," remarks Do Queyen, as students and members of teh Phudong (Vietnamese Boy Scouts) organize ball games and play blindman's bluff beneath the majestic chestnut trees decorated with colorful banners and lanterns.

Old men eat Chinese cakes and isp mango juice while chatting quietly on benches along the wall. Parents wander through the maze, greeting friends or shouting encouragement to their children. Several French nuns, whose religious order has helped arrange the festival, watch benignly from the cloisters.

Do Queyen is the young woman's nom d'artiste. a part-time announcer for Radio France's fortnightly, Vietnamese-language program, she adopted the name to symbolize the plight of her people. Do Queyen, she explains, is a legendary Vietnamese bird that was forced to leave its homeland and wept until it died because it could never return.

The Vietnamese community in France, the largest in europe, now numbers between 150,000 and 200,000 persons. Unlike the Vietnemese who have sought refuge in the United States, the community here is split into two significant factions: those who are pro-Hanoi, consisting mainly of students, workers, and long-established exiles; and those who are anti-Hanoi, with supporters among students from the south and the middle class.

Most of the anti-Hanoi faction, the smaller of the two groups, fled Vietnam after 1975. Despite their differences, the two groups remain deeply attached to their homeland.

"Even though we are sadly divided," notes a representative of the communist Association des Vietnamiens de France, "we know that we have not lost our compatriots. We admit that economic conditions are extremely rough in Vietnam and that many people are leaving. But they will come back. We need them and they will never forget that they are Vietnamese."

Do Queyen, educated in a French convent in Saigon as were many many middle-class Vietnamese, maintains she will never adopt the nationality of her exile country.

"We all had a great shock when we arrived," she explains. "Our conception of France had nothing to do with reality. Over there, we thought we were like the French. But here we realize that we are Vietnamese."

The pro-Hanoi and anti-Hanoi groups vie with each other in organizing festivals and influencing the young. "We all realize tht children might forget who they really are," says Tran Dinh Thuc of the noncommunist Association Generale des Edtudiantes Vietnamiens (AGEV) in Paris.

"Language is the real obstacle," he adds. "Already many Vietnamese children speak only French among themselves. They only get to speak Vietnamese when at home."

Because of its colonial strings, France has traditionally attracted Vietnamese. By the early 1970s, France could boast a thriving Vietnamese community with hundreds of restaurants, shops, and small businesses in Paris, in the south of France, and in many provincial towns. There was also a sizable Vietnamese student population.

In 1975, the community began to swell with refugees fleeing the communist takeover in Vietnam. Most of them represented the bourgeoisie from Saigon, the city name still used here by both communist and noncommunist Vietnamese. The great majority come from Southeast Asian refugee camps. But some 200 refugees with exit visas or of French nationality are flown in every month from the former South Vietnamese capital.

Besides Vietnamese, tens of thousands of other Indo-Chinese have poured into France since 1975.(Of the 70,000 total, some are of Vietnamese origin.) Whole quarters in Paris have turned Oriental almost overnight with the recent influxes of Laotians, Cambodians (Khmer), Chinese, and Vietnamese. At the Porte de Choisy in the south, for example, dozens of Indo-Chinese restaurants, grocery stores, bookshops, and even travel agencies have sprung up. Towering new apartment buildings are now 80 percent Asian occupied.

Both the pro-Hanoi and anti-Hanoi groups feel France has been unenthusiastic about absorbing too many Indo-Chinese. The country maintains a 1,000-a-month quota -- but it sometimes remains unfilled. Government officials deny they have been sitting on the quota. But observers point out that France has considerably tightened it entrance requirements for immigrants and refugees.

From the opposite point of view, the communists and others criticize the government for taking in refugees when hundreds of thousands of north African workers face explusion because of high unemployment. And critics complain that factories such as Citroen have hired numerous Indo-Chinese for jobs that used to be held by Frenchmen or immigrants.

Despite such complaints, many French consider the Indo-Chinese good workers, reliable tenants, adn polite neighbors. "I have nothing against them," exclaims one cafe owner in the Porte de Choisy area. "They don't make any noise, and as far as I'm concerned, are always welcome."

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          Asean connectivity: investors need certainty        

Asean connectivity: investors need certainty : Videos

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ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

Asean connectivity: investors

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ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY - April 5, 2012

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ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY - April 5, 2012

Asean connectivity: investors

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Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

Vietnam's needs are across the

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ASEAN « OSEAFAS [ The Oracle of Southeast Asia Faith and Studies ]

ASEAN « OSEAFAS [ The Oracle of Southeast Asia Faith and Studies ]

ASEAN « OSEAFAS [ The Oracle of Southeast Asia Faith and Studies ]

This would need both sides to

Peugeot
Peugeot

Peugeot

Peugeot

countries in Asean as well

Trade Logistics and Global Value Chains -- Trade In Services
Trade Logistics and Global Value Chains -- Trade In Services

Trade Logistics and Global Value Chains -- Trade In Services

Trade Logistics and Global Value Chains -- Trade In Services

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Nano Patents and Innovations: Shell and IBM Collaborate to Extend ...

Nano Patents and Innovations: Shell and IBM Collaborate to Extend ...

Nano Patents and Innovations: Shell and IBM Collaborate to Extend ...

certainty and efficiency,

Commercial Service « Tradeology, the ITA Blog
Commercial Service « Tradeology, the ITA Blog

Commercial Service « Tradeology, the ITA Blog

Commercial Service « Tradeology, the ITA Blog

Direct Investment in the

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Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

Evaluating Vietnam as a Trade and Investment Destination | Keith ...

ASEAN plus 3 (Japan,

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ASEAN Society — ASEAN Society, A Community for the ASEAN people A ...

ASEAN Society — ASEAN Society, A Community for the ASEAN people A ...

ASEAN Society — ASEAN Society, A Community for the ASEAN people A ...

ASEAN Society — ASEAN Society,

CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 – the Smart Alternative
CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 – the Smart Alternative

CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 – the Smart Alternative

CodeGear RAD Studio 2007 – the Smart Alternative

any degree of certainty,

Malaysian Economy Updates: 4/10/11 - 4/
Malaysian Economy Updates: 4/10/11 - 4/

Malaysian Economy Updates: 4/10/11 - 4/

Malaysian Economy Updates: 4/10/11 - 4/

investors – more than 850

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011

We need to work against this.

Cambodia buys 50 T55 tanks and 40 PTR26 APCs
Cambodia buys 50 T55 tanks and 40 PTR26 APCs

Cambodia buys 50 T55 tanks and 40 PTR26 APCs

Cambodia buys 50 T55 tanks and 40 PTR26 APCs

About Us · ASEAN · ASEAN' s

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October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

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October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

October | 2007 | Latest Singapore Property News and Insights for ...

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Kasikornbank CEO and president Banthoon Lamsam, left, signs an ...

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Kasikornbank CEO and president Banthoon Lamsam, left, signs an ...

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ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

Asean wants the private sector to help get its connectivity projects moving. But Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday that investors want 'certainty and assurance' before they plonk their money in projects such as railways, highways and ...

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY
ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

ASEAN CONNECTIVITY: INVESTORS NEED CERTAINTY

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China: Conversation with World Bank Group President Zoellick at the Boao Forum ...

China: Conversation with World Bank Group President Zoellick at the Boao Forum ...

China: Conversation with World Bank Group President Zoellick at the Boao Forum ...

In the case of the Asia-Pacific, fortunately, some of the rising Asian banks have filled some of the need and you're seeing the rise of portfolio lending and foreign direct investment. That actually underscores a point that Hank Paulson made yesterday, ...

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The Hunger Games - Part 1

The Hunger Games - Part 1

The Hunger Games - Part 1

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Holden deal secures car industry future
Holden deal secures car industry future
          Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties        

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties : Photo Gallery

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Reception Hosted by ...
Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Reception Hosted by ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Reception Hosted by ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Reception Hosted by ...

Li said Uzbekistan became the

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.
Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Singapore and Uzbekistan have

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Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

Defense-Technology News: DTN News: US And Vietnam Stage Joint ...

of the 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Washington and Hanoi.

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:
People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

People's Daily Online News Archive --- Date:

Uzbekistan issues stamps for

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The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News
The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

The saddle saga: deported from Uzbekistan - I4U News

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide
Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Photo: 15th Anniversary of

15BEFC961D5381FCC985601F3186.jpg
15BEFC961D5381FCC985601F3186.jpg

15BEFC961D5381FCC985601F3186.jpg

15BEFC961D5381FCC985601F3186.jpg

Singapore, Uzbekistan reaffirm

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...
Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui Attends the Launch Ceremony of ...

of Diplomatic Ties Between

MY OLYMPIC PHILATELY: July 2011
MY OLYMPIC PHILATELY: July 2011

MY OLYMPIC PHILATELY: July 2011

MY OLYMPIC PHILATELY: July 2011

Uzbekistan : 2009 Asian Youth

2010 December « European Council on International Relations
2010 December « European Council on International Relations

2010 December « European Council on International Relations

2010 December « European Council on International Relations

Professor Anton Caragea presence on the 15th anniversary of neutrality

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011
My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

My Little Postcard Corner: April 2011

diplomatic relations with

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.
Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Channel NewsAsia - Singapore News - channelnewsasia.

Singapore Airlines on Friday

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011
Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

Pacific Sentinel: October 2011

In Singapore, I will attend

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

It is my pleasure to be with you here today to mark the 15th anniversary of

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malta - Press Releases

Diplomatic relations established with the Republic of Congo

SINGAPORE, UZBEKISTAN MARK 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC TIES
SINGAPORE, UZBEKISTAN MARK 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC TIES

SINGAPORE, UZBEKISTAN MARK 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC TIES

SINGAPORE, UZBEKISTAN MARK 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC TIES

As Singapore and Uzbekistan marked the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, both sides agreed to promote closer people-to-people relations through cultural exchanges and tourism. Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Masagos Zulkifli ...

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties : Videos

Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars
Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars

Michael Lerner Sam Botta Atlas Shrugged April 15 Movie Release Oscars

ATLAS SHRUGGED Michael Lerner Ayn Rand Scott Brick Audible Amazon The Bachelor when there's genuinely romantic, genuinely sweet (and did we ... Rated: 1.7115717     Duration: 58 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:18:37 PDT

Laos-China high speed railway รถไฟความเร็วสูงลาว-Presentation
Laos-China high speed railway รถไฟความเร็วสูงลาว-Presentation

Laos-China high speed railway รถไฟความเร็วสูงลาว-Presentation

construction of the railway would begin in April 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of Laos-China diplomatic relations and be completed within four ... Rated: 4.8095236     Duration: 461 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Sat, 15 Jan 2011 10:33:04 PST

President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama
President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama

President Obama Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama

. And the US-Japan alliance -- well, actually it so happens that next year marks the 50th anniversary of the revision of the US-Japan security ... Rated: 4.1523809     Duration: 1998 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Fri, 20 Nov 2009 11:59:41 PST

10/7/09: White House Press Briefing
10/7/09: White House Press Briefing

10/7/09: White House Press Briefing

travel from Japan to Singapore for the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation -- APEC -- meeting from November 13th to 15th. APEC is an ... Rated: 4     Duration: 2616 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Wed, 07 Oct 2009 15:13:15 PDT

House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)
House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)

House Session 2011-09-14 (12:00:27-13:05:34)

BURMA, CHINA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN AND UZBEK STAN AS COUNTRIES OF PARTICULAR -- UZBEKISTAN AS COUNTRIES OF PARTICULAR CONCERN ... Rated: 1     Duration: 3907 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Wed, 14 Sep 2011 18:16:28 PDT

National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011
National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011

National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - December 1, 2011

couched in terms of security. MR. ALDAG: But this has an effect on our diplomatic relations in the world. And you know, especially these ... Rated: -1     Duration: 13956 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:57:55 PST

Healthy Body = Functional Body. Hollywood Look Side Effect: Healthy Function
Healthy Body = Functional Body. Hollywood Look Side Effect: Healthy Function

Healthy Body = Functional Body. Hollywood Look Side Effect: Healthy Function

2 people, with mains and starter, and a large glass of wine for the bargain price of £15 for 2 people..It was fantastic too.....:-)))Wednesday at ... Rated: 1.7704082     Duration: 167 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Thu, 22 Sep 2011 09:46:52 PDT

Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson
Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson

Reshaping the Debate on Climate Change - Mary Robinson

very keen that this Commission on Sustainability and that Conference to mark the 20th anniversary of Rio really takes seriously what we mean now ... Rated: 2.3913043     Duration: 5682 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Tue, 14 Dec 2010 12:38:40 PST

Tanya Roberts Outrageous Love & Friendship Sam Botta-Live Fearless-Chris Shining,Executive Producer
Tanya Roberts Outrageous Love & Friendship Sam Botta-Live Fearless-Chris Shining,Executive Producer

Tanya Roberts Outrageous Love & Friendship Sam Botta-Live Fearless-Chris Shining,Executive Producer

were divorced before she reached high school. Tanya dropped out of high school at age 15, got married and hitchhiked around the country until her ... Rated: 1.9666137     Duration: 54 seconds     Video type: YouTube     Hosted by: www.youtube.com on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 03:34:03 PST

train to belgium
train to belgium

train to belgium

Philippine National Museum ,Singapore,Singapore,Asian Civilisations Museum ,Lee Kong Chian Art Museum at the National University of Singapore ... Rated: 2.1414142     Duration: 73 seconds     Video type: Google     Hosted by: video.google.com on Thu, 16 Mar 2006 05:35:59 PST

Singapore, Uzbekistan mark 15th anniversary of diplomatic ties : Latest News, Information, Answers and Websites

Singapore, Uzbekistan reaffirm excellent bilateral ties

TASHKENT: Singapore and Uzbekistan have reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations as both countries commemorated the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Both sides will also promote closer ties between their ...

Investments: Is it time Singapore stock market listed, US$ 4 Billion ...

ODNI News Release: ODNI Marks Five-Year Anniversary With Ceremony - DNI Blair Celebrates Achievements, Reflects on Challenges April 21, 2010; DNI Blair Addresses the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Fifth Year .... FOREIGN RELATIONS. Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign! ... April 12, 2012; Uzbekistan: Human Rights Problems with a Strategic U.S. Partner April 3, 2012; Why Are Police Still Torturing Drug Users in Indonesia?

          Anyone who knows about Crown of Cambodia or Lying lady?        
Say anything about this looted treasure, just wanted to know . .. heheheheee
          Sihanouk’s “Korea and Cambodia Are Revolutionary Comrades-in-Arms”        
After Cambodian Head of State Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970, he took up residence in Beijing, China and Pyongyang, North Korea. I’ve always wondered what Sihanouk did in those places, and now I know. . . He composed music!... Continue Reading →
          Sihanouk’s “Thank You, Hồ Chí Minh Trail” (1973)        
In 1970, the head of state of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, was overthrown by one of his military officers, Lon Nol. Sihanouk, who had declared Cambodia to be a neutral state, was in Moscow at the time. He then flew to... Continue Reading →
          Trailer For The New Angelina Jolie Movie That Caused The Orphan Controversy [Video]        
Angelina Jolie recently opened up about life after Brad and raising her kids, and she also spoke about her new movie shot in Cambodia. Of course there was some drama.
          Just what is Khmer Massage?        

I would like to start with the obvious question, “What does Khmer mean?”. Khmer, quite simply, is the Cambodian word for… Cambodian! Yup, simple as that. If you speak ‘Khmer’, you speak Cambodian. If you are ‘Khmer’, you are Cambodian. So, if you are having a ‘Khmer’ massage… you guessed it, you are having a […]

The post Just what is Khmer Massage? appeared first on Lemongrass Garden.


          First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers        
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
author: Loung Ung
name: Jacob
average rating: 4.29
book published: 2000
rating: 4
read at:
date added: 2017/04/29
shelves:
review:


          Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land        
Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land
author: Joel Brinkley
name: Jacob
average rating: 3.72
book published: 2011
rating: 4
read at:
date added: 2017/04/29
shelves:
review:


          When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution        
When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution
author: Elizabeth Becker
name: Jacob
average rating: 4.15
book published: 1986
rating: 4
read at:
date added: 2017/04/29
shelves:
review:


          Never Fall Down        
Never Fall Down
author: Patricia McCormick
name: Jacob
average rating: 4.18
book published: 2012
rating: 4
read at: 2014/10/22
date added: 2014/11/01
shelves:
review:
I read this book in preparation for my trip to Cambodia. I really didn't know much about Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge before this, and I did learn a lot through the book. I enjoyed how McCormick wrote how Arn spoke, it might the book more engaging and real.

          You no buy, I cry — Siem Reap, Cambodia        
Around the world in about 350 days
          R & R        



By the time we reached Dong Hoi I was feeling a bit drained. I thought it was probably that on top of the long drive (which is anything but relaxing when you still can't help thinking everything and everyone on the road will eventually run into you), I would really have liked to have stayed in Hue

Actually, all of the above, plus I was coming down with a cold.

Dong Hoi is another city where the river(s) open and empty into the sea. The whole extended coast of Vietnam is shaping up in my mind like this, with these massive rivers flowing out of Cambodia and Laos. The area reminded me if anything of the central coast of New South Wales - emerging out of slow development because of isolation and a lower capital base, but blessed with wonderful natural resources like lakes, inlets and outlets, and stunning beaches. There's a brightly painted fleet of squid trawler boats which putter out at night and whose bright spot lights dance about in the black sea.

We were meant to be doing the going-up-the-river-thing and into some caves - UNESCO ones I think. But I couldn't muster up the energy.

Some rest and sleep was on the agenda, Hanoi was on the horizon, and this did just fine:





          LOOKING FOR KURTZ        


Now we're puttering around the small tributaries of the Mekong delta. It's remarkably wild and exotic at times with the river closed over by the full jungle thing broken only occasionally by bridges of various sophistication - bamboo, timber, concrete - for a network of tracks and roads. The fields beyond are rich with rice paddies and plantations.


Housing up the river is cheap - the waters are tidal, and then there's the smell - and its the full spectrum from falling down shanties to substantial and comfortable. Our guide would like house up here as a "weekender" - a good house will set you back about USD 20K. Talk about busting the mystery. And the phone service! - we call Sydney with a better connection than we can in country NSW. The telecommunications all around are exceptionally good. Agile and innovative!

Strangely there's little obvious bird life and none of the incessant insect buzzing I'd expected in this climate - just us and the putt-putt of the engine. And another thing absent - not a national flag (yellow star on red) or hammer and sickle (yellow and red), both of which are everywhere in the cities and main roads, to be seen. And certainly no propagation loudspeakers.


It's becoming a bit seductive.







Feeling queasy? Boil the yellow leaves of the Sake Tree and drink for lung and liver health. Sounds good to me, unlike live beating snake heart, our guides favourite. 


Feeling like a home stay? Well, here you go -


Ready for that weekender? Looking good -


Or the full on happy hippie house? No worries, complete with dude in hammock -


And especially for the nouveau vulgar, have we got a house for you -


Hungry? Thirsty? There's milk apples - hereabouts known as 'woman's breast' he smiles, getting me to suck the milk out before tearing it open to eat the flesh.



We've traveled hours up the canal which is widening again and starting to loop back to the main river. Population density is increasing again, with more local boats sheds, and now the need for a little ferry to cross from side to side.



By the time we are heading back to Can Tho, the sun is high up and beating down. The speed boat from Cambodia flies past as we pull the little canvas roof out over us. Not the only ones.







          acropolis in progress        

Acropolis Athens

Acropolis (and partial view of the scaffolding)

I mentioned a while back that Patrick and I weren't all that impressed with Greece.  A large part of that unenthusiasm related to Athens and the Acropolis.  If you'd asked me before I went to Greece what is the number-one-must-see attraction in the country, I would have said the Acropolis of Athens.  Right?  It's the one Greek monument that everyone knows.  It's the one attraction we were most excited to see.

 Acropolis views
 Acropolis  Views from the Acropolis

 Views from the Acropolis

You have to understand that Patrick and I love, love, love ruined architecture.  I can see the place as it once was, so many years ago, with the walls standing, the floors in bright mosaics and tiles. 

Amphitheatre outside the Acropolis

Amphitheatre outside the Acropolis

At Pompeii, we walked amongst the ancient common man, so much like us though long since dead.  At Ephesus, we marvelled at the splendors of the ancients.  And, in the tiny town of Ivailovgrad, Bulgaria, we were amazed by intricate floor tiles created centuries ago.  We love ruins, even when nature takes over, destroying the artistry of man.

Acropolis view
The reconstructed temple View of the Acropolis from the Acropolis museum
Walking up to the Acropolis

Acropolis restoration (note the reconstructed Temple of Athena Nike, with the integration of the original stones)

But, the Acropolis in Athens is no testament to ancient man's work.  Right now, it's very much a work in progress.  Cranes and scaffolding cover most of the buildings and tourists are prevented from entering the interior.  Several of the surrounding temples have been dismantled and are being reassembled.  

Acropolis restoration

Acropolis

Acropolis restoration and scaffolding and a restored temple

There are a lot of issues surrounding the restoration project, not least of which whether or not the Greek government has the funds to finish the work.  So far, the UN has paid for 50% of the restoration project (currently running around $90 million.) 

. . . keep reading standing at the acropolis after the jump

9 comments


          prague in black and white        

Prague buildings in black and white

Street in Prague

We don't often do black and white photography largely because I love color.  I love the juxtaposition of bright against light, sky against tree, and strong against weak.  One of my all time favorite photo spreads on our site is this one with the children and balloons, done in black and white, with pops of color, because the color almost springs out of the computer.  And, our penchant for bright and vivid colors is the reason that we're constantly posting about flowers, trees, gardens, and flower festivals.

But, one of the biggest benefits of black and white photography is its timelessness.  If you look at an old photo in color, you can easily determine the decade in which it was taken by the type of color and the use of the lens.  But, the pictures we took recently in Prague in black and white could have been taken a decade ago or longer.  In monochrome, our eyes aren't distracted by the newness or oldness of the camera technology or other camera distortions.  (It's only a small part of the reason why Ansel Adams' gorgeous scenery photographs looks like it was taken yesterday.)

When I started going through our photography for Prague, I realized that I had to do a photo spread in black and white because Prague has this same sense of timelessness.  Buildings and cobblestone streets are perfectly preserved, down to the ruts used for horse-drawn carriage in the Stare Mestro (Old Town).  A little further away, the city becomes stark and square, with odd monuments built to celebrate Communism and the Communist regime.  There are very few buildings (other than the famous Tancici Dum or Dancing Building) that embrace modern steel and glass.  The city seems to have stood still, with parts of it squarely stuck in the 14th century and others in the pre-Cold War era.

 

Prague building in black and white
Prague cathedral Prague clock tower

Prague black & white

Prague in black and white church Prague fountain
Prague Communist monument
 Prague in black and white
 Prague church in black and white 

. . . keep reading prague in black and white after the jump

32 comments


          on not really picking that perfect greek island        

Views from Santorini

Views from Santorini

I was reading CNN Travel yesterday on how to pick the perfect Greek island out of the 1,400 islands scattered along the Aegean.  Sure, there are the obvious choices:  Santorini and Mykonos, Crete and Rodos.  But, how do you pick a few spots to visit out of the thousands?  How do you know that these will be the perfect Greek islands for you?

Peacock in Kos

Peacock in Kos Peacock in Kos
Chewy and Abby with peacocks

Peacocks in Kos (and Chewy and Abby completely oblivious to the peacocks)

I get these questions all the time because I've kind of become an unofficial travel planner.  People --- friends, family, blog readers, and random strangers at the grocery store --- will ask me where I suggest they go, what they should do, and, most importantly, what they should be eating.  I send out epic emails that rival the Russian writers for length, depth, and excessive use of adjectives, with suggested itineraries and speculations on weather, the number of tourists, and the potential exchange rate.  These emails tend to be spattered with capital letters, enunciations, and exclamation marks when I get overly excited about TurkeyItalyJapan!  and China!  Happily, people tell me they like my suggestions so I continue doling out the advice.

Street in Rodos

Shopping street in Rodos

But, my own travel planning is a bit more haphazard.  I have a master spreadsheet where I keep track of where we're going and what we'll be doing, but, for the most part, we go where we can find reasonable accommodations and transportation.  We're not particularly picky about finding that one perfect place to visit.

Statue in Rodos Rodos Greek art

Art in Rodos Archaeological Museum

You see, anywhere could be perfect and anywhere could be a disaster.  We've gone to cities touted by everyone as the next best thing and we found it completely uninteresting or horrible.  We've gone to places that nobody else noticed and loved it.  We never know what we're going to like until we get there.  And, I posit that, no matter how much you research and plan, you cannot know what will be the perfect Greek island. 

Colorful houses in Kos

Kos
Shops in Rodos

Colorful houses in Kos

Vibrant colors in Kos and Rodos

It's like this: you have a favorite Mexican restaurant that you've eaten at for years and years.  You go there all the time.  You think it's the best Tex-Mex you'll ever eat.  So, one day,  you take your best friend to that Mexican restaurant.  She sees the crowds of people lining up to eat that food and she's excited.  Enchiladas!  Tacos!  Guacamole!  But, it turns out that the head chef is sick that day, stuck in bed with the flu.  The second tier chef is nervous and everything comes out underseasoned and underspiced.  Your friend looks at you like you're crazy.  She asks you why you would think that this is the best Tex-Mex restaurant ever?

Santorini

Fishing boats in Santorini

It's happened to all of us, right?  We rave about something and it turns out to have an off day.  It's the reason that most of us try restaurants at least twice before writing them off.  But, when we travel, we don't usually have the luxury of coming back over and over again.  Our visit to that spot might be our only visit there because it's too expensive or time-consuming to keep coming back to a place that we don't really like. 

And, I think that's what happened to us in Greece.

The truth is [just spit it out, Akila] . . . the truth is, we didn't really like Greece.  We spent a month hopping around the different islands and a week in Athens and, generally, we gave the country a "meh." 

. . . keep reading on not really picking that perfect greek island after the jump

14 comments


          FIFA Best/Worst Ranking - August 2014        
Nations currently at their best or worst all-time ranking position in the August 2014 FIFA Rankings.

Best Ranking
1 - Germany
15 - Costa Rica
29 - Venezuela
50 - Sierra Leone
73 - Azerbaijan
105 - Lesotho
165 - Montserrat


Worst Ranking
122 - Canada
157 - Thailand
167 - Liechtenstein
197 - Cayman Islands
201 - British Virgin Islands
201 - Cambodia
203 - Eritrea
205 - Djibouti
206 - Cook Islands
207 - Anguilla
208 - Bhutan
208 - San Marino

          FIFA Best/Worst Ranking - July 2014        

Nations currently at their best or worst all-time ranking position in the July 2014 FIFA Rankings.


Best Ranking
1 - Germany
16 - Costa Rica
30 - Venezuela
73 - Azerbaijan
166 - Montserrat

Worst Ranking
70 - Republic of Ireland
118 - Canada
157 - Thailand
167 - Liechtenstein
200 - Cambodia
202 - Eritrea
205 - Djibouti
206 - Cook Islands
207 - Anguilla
208 - Bhutan
208 - San Marino

          Sihanoukville and the saga of Elizabeth's toe        
This is a 2 way road and yes we are on the
wrong side
Buses! We have travelled in small buses, big buses, transport vans and trucks, both local and tourist, all around the world. From Peru to Portugal and Egypt to India we have experienced some of the world's most lawless roads and craziest drivers, but never did I actually seriously fear for my life. That changed on the trip to Sihanoukville from Battambang. Our driver was seriously dodgy. I constantly saw vehicles coming directly at me as he weaved in and out spending most of the time on the wrong side of the road, overtaking on blind corners and double white lines, and following behind trucks overtaking without knowing the road ahead, ducking in at seemingly the last moment or forcing the vehicle he had just overtaken to brake to let him in. Vehicles were constantly flashing and beeping at us, and even though this WAS actually normal for Cambodia, this dude took it to the next level. He forced most smaller vehicles coming towards us to move on to the shoulder as he played chicken with them in his bigger vehicle. The bus came with wifi so we googled 'leading cause of death in Cambodia', answer 'traffic accidents'; we were not comforted, or surprised. As a fellow traveller said in his Trip Advisor review, 'A food cart would have been safer.'

To add insult to injury, when we arrived we were dumped at a petrol station outside of town and set upon by taxi and remork drivers. Armed with google maps, we threatened to walk several times until we negotiated a sensible price and arrived a little shell shocked at our hotel the Don Bosco Hotel School. Run by students this was an awesome hotel to relax in at an incredible price. Final word on buses (and I could write a blog on them alone): check Trip Advisor for ratings. We chose our bus companies in Cambodia a bit more carefully after that.


Now that is off my chest, Sihanoukville, a cosy little coastal town famous for beaches and islands. We went into town to try to find an activity for the next day. We settled on a relaxing, peaceful hike that was available in the nearby national park. In the morning we woke up early and waited for our transport (a remork) to arrive, and were delivered the news that it was cancelled, not enough people, but a certainty for the following day. In compensation we were offered a boat trip to three islands that they could get us on for the day. We took up their offer, grabbed our bathers and set off for a pleasant day on the water (or so we thought).

The boat was called 'Happy Boat' and took us to the first island, a veritable Shangri La with beautiful beaches and bungalows on stilts so you could stay high up in the trees. Would have been a great place to stay, maybe next time :-) Next stop was out in the blue ocean where we were allowed to swim and snorkel. They had a slide going down from the second level so you could enter the water with a splash, and splash we did.

Finding a cat on the way to the waterfall
The day progressed like that until we arrived at the last island. It had a waterfall, and we wanted to see it, but with wet dirty feet we broke a long standing rule and did not put our shoes on. We arrived at the bottom of the waterfall without a problem so decided to climb up to a higher vantage point. As the path got rockier I turned and said to Elizabeth that this is getting a bit dodgy and that we might need to give it a miss, but I kept moving forward without waiting for a reply. Next thing I know Elizabeth is yelling up for me; I hurried back down to her and was presented with a small toe at a right angle to where it should be. Apparently it got caught between rocks as she slipped and her foot went one way without the toe following.

She attempted several times to stand on it but it was too painful. While I wondered what to do a  strong young Cambodian on his way down from the waterfall stopped and offered to piggy back her. Elizabeth enthusiastically took up the offer and he piggy backed her down the hill, along the path, across the beach and back on to the boat. It was a sizeable distance, and he did take a few breaks, but he refused offers of help and insisted on taking her all of the way, with me and his partner struggling to keep up. During one stop some local ladies had a look, confidently announced it was broken and pulled bottles of fluid out of their bags that they liberally doused on the toe.
The bottom of the waterfall
Heading back to the boat



"The rock was THIS BIG!"
At the boat a fairly old gentleman (I assumed he was the captain) chewed some gunk in his mouth and squished it on to Elizabeth's toe and then the staff bandaged it up. We then found out why it was called the happy boat as the music started and  dancing was encouraged for the whole trip back, culminating in some sort of soap machine filling up the dance floor with foam. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we were unable to participate (I was looking after Elizabeth). Back on shore an equally strong staff member of a Vietnamese businesswoman we befriended on the boat also piggy backed Elizabeth, from the boat to a remork, while I cancelled our hiking trip. Long story short we found a clinic with a doctor who said the toe could be broken or dislocated, suggested immobilising it for two weeks and sent us on our way with some anti inflammatory cream.
Definitely the party boat

We spent the next day and a half in our room availing ourselves of room service with Elizabeth recovering with her foot up and bandaged. Not sure what it was they put on her toe on the boat but it never swelled up. By the afternoon of the second day we carefully made our way to a beach where Elizabeth relaxed and I swam. We took things similarly easy for several days before leaving for Vietnam as our visa was about to begin.

Breakfast in bed recuperating
Relaxing at the beach
Looking out from our favourite vegan restaurant
Night time on the beach

One of the bungalows on the islands




          You can't take the bats out of Battambang        
We hopped on a bus and travelled to Battambang (pronounced Battambong). The bus kindly deposited us in a mud field with a hoard of tuk tuks (remorks) waiting. Our hotel had sent us our own remork and we jumped in with our friendly driver for the trip into town. He offered to show us around the countryside on a personalised tour the next day, but we declined as we had not had a chance to see what was available. Once we had dinner and looked at the options at the hotel we thought that a day out with a tuk tuk driver, which had worked so well in Siem Reap, would work well here. A lot of the attractions were spread far and wide.

So in the morning we headed out to see if we could find someone and lo and behold waiting just outside the hotel was the very same driver looking for work for the day! We later found out his name is Dara and he used to work in a factory in Phnom Penh but it closed down and he's now trying to survive as a tuk tuk driver with a vehicle obtained for him by his brother. We negotiated an itinerary and a price and set off for our adventure of a lifetime!!!

First up was the bamboo train. Cambodia used to have trains but they're not going anymore and there are many disused tracks. So they made small flat carriages out of bamboo and take you for trips to a little village and back. Thing is it's a single track so if someone's coming back you have a problem. The way they've solved it is by getting the carriage with the least people to hop out; they lift the carriage off the wheels and the wheels off the track, the other carriage goes past and then they put it all together again and off you go. As there were only two of us we were the ones who had to hop off EVERY TIME (about 7 times), but you start joking with the people coming the other way and everybody has a good time. Once they get going it can be more like a fairground ride as the carriage whizzes along a fairly rickety track with overgrown bushes brushing past your shoulders and the occasional buffalo can bring it all to a sudden halt. You need windscreen wipers on your sunglasses for all the insects that land. And keep your mouth firmly closed.






After some small stops at a suspension bridge, fruit bat hangout and a Muslim fishing village, we arrived at the next major destination, Banon Hill Temple. The temple ruins were at the top of about 400 fairly steep steps. You saw from the red faces coming down that this was going to take some effort, especially in the characteristic heat and humidity of Cambodia. So off we went, on the way playing tag team with a couple of other visitors. We would stop for a break and they would pass us, then they would stop and we would pass them, and then...well, you get the idea. We ended up chatting and trading pictures with them on the way up. The top was worth it, not so much for the temples although they were nice, but for the fabulous views and atmosphere among the temple ruins.
Rest break







We next headed to Phnom Sampov, a small mountain that again required a considerable amount of uphill walking. Along the way we visited a cave with an opening in the top where Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed many people and threw them in. The cave's now a shrine containing victims' skulls, a reclining Buddha and a prayer section. At the top there were temples and many spectacular lookout areas as well as mischievous monkeys coming out to play.




Waiting for the bats


We had to head back to the bottom at double pace because this mountain was home to another famous landmark, the bat cave. Not the one with Batman and Robin but about a million actual bats, and every night around 6:30 they all head out to go feeding for the night. They hunt insects, including many agricultural pests, and it's estimated they prevent the loss of 2,000 tons of rice per year. Running about half an hour late the bats did indeed start streaming out from the cave for well over half an hour. It was longer and more impressive than I expected and fun to watch. I could not capture it well on film, one of those things where you did 'have to be there'.

Our trusty guide then told us he knew where there was a secret cave with twice as many bats so off we went again. It required some steep climbing to reach his 'secret cave' that appeared to be a fairly well known secret when we got there and found a crowd. Nevertheless it indeed had a constant stream of bats impressively streaking across the sunset for a night pillaging the insect population as far as 50km away.



It was a long day, but we had a fantastic adventure with another hardworking tuk tuk driver that will be a happy lingering memory and another friend made.








Roller coaster, Cambodian style