JOURNAL - AUG - To A Himalayan Village
To A Himalayan Village
A chorus of roosters herald daybreak in the tiny Tibetan village of Jiabi as the locals rise to attend to their ‘Smoking Buddhas’, lighting bundles of sacred juniper as an offering to appease the mountain gods.
As the sun rises high and the valley warms, so begins the simple rhythm of daily life in the Himalayas. Cattle are milked and fed. Sheaves of barley are cut to mill into bread flour and distil into firewater.
Strings of colourful prayer flags wave mantras of good will towards the heavens as men tend to their honeybees and women in traditional ‘tuxie’ headdresses prepare butter tea and dishes spiced with fiery red chillies.
Then, as the light fades, heavy wooden doors are shut tight against the chilly mountain night, each home protected by a guardian spirit, a fearsome character who keeps the wandering souls of the dead at bay.