Category Archives: Tradition

Photos from cutting reeds

Cutting the reeds turned out to be pretty exciting after a long wait for the day to get started. The photos below show a bit of the march, the cutting, the preparing, the tying, and the posing with the reeds. … Continue reading

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Day four: Another long march

Friday is the day of the return march to Ludzidzini.  When I arrived, my group was already packed and we departed for the umphakatsi within a few minutes. I thought things would be happening soon, but of course, that wasn’t … Continue reading

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Day three: Cutting umhlanga

Cutting reeds was definitely a day for the memory books.  It started with many hours of waiting, which has become a common theme. Then the group of timbali that has most adopted me disappeared after getting ready. I had realized … Continue reading

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Upholding the meaning of my first name

Swazi first names are drenched in meaning, telling a story about their family, birth, or hopes for the child. I have come to love this because American names sometimes come from relatives but usually come down to being liked by … Continue reading

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Wednesday photo: Umhlanga

The Reed Dance, Swaziland’s most famous cultural event, is a week-long celebration of young females, called flowers. This year there were 98,000 participants, about 1/12 of the country’s population. Any female up to the age of about 22 can participate … Continue reading

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Wednesday photo: Sangoma

Yesterday we visited the sangoma, a traditional health practitioner who works with herbs and consultations with the ancestors to provide advice and treatment to visitors. The sangoma danced for us to the tune of a single drum. His dance expressed … Continue reading

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Postcard arrival: Germany and Iowa

As I am trying to post more often, I’m going to start with an easy one: postcards from postcrossing. First up is one sent from Wiesbaden, Germany, and shows the Altstadt of Lüneburg in Lower Saxony. The sender says that … Continue reading

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Wednesday photo: Utah State Capitol Building

The Utah State Capitol Building sits high on a hill looking over downtown Salt Lake City and the southern Salt Lake Valley area. The beehive is the state symbol and appears frequently in logos across the state. The state highway … Continue reading

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“The Sound of Music” returns to Salzburg

Last night, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, “The Sound of Music” debuted on the Landestheater stage in Salzburg. This is the first time the musical has been produced live on stage in the town where the movie was filmed. Salzburg has … Continue reading

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Could you please spell Oktoberfest with a “K”?

I like reproductions of things to be true to the original. Books, movies, food, beer and even Oktoberfest. I have been there, which by no means makes me a foremost authority in any degree, but I know what it’s like … Continue reading

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