Showing posts from June, 2018

Season of Khajur (Dates)

Wanna eat this?

Is this…acorn???
A young nice guy Anand from Sujata village  offered me this and I tried cautiously.
Oh, it’s sweet!
And it’s similar to dried fruit dates which I love.
It was not acorn.
Then, shall we go, Meera-san?
To where?
He pointed a palm tree  in the backyard of a guest house in Sujata village, "SACHI HOME-Sujata Yoga Resort".
I and other two young Indians followed him.
One of them climbed the palm tree with a long stick.

Two of them opened a wide cloth and we were ready.

The man on the tree drops fruit of the tree  by the stick and others collect them under the tree.
They pick the fruit  which dropped on the ground  by hand and eat directly also.

The fruit is called “khajur” in Hindi  and actually, it is dates.

On the other hand,  fruit of toddy palm is called koa.
Few weeks ago,  you could see village people  climbing the toddy palms  to take koa and eating under the trees.

Jelly like koa was also nice,  but the season is already passed.

The shell of koa is very hard  …

Ramadan is finished

Ramadan is finished 16th June 2018 in India.
During Ramadan,  Muslims refrain from eating, drinking  and smoking from dawn to sunset.
This fasting is intended to bring  the faithful closer to God and to remind them  of the suffering of those less fortunate.
Muslims celebrate the last date of Ramadan called Eid.  They prepare feast and invite relatives and friends.
Amjad -ji, the manager of the guest house in Sujata village, "SACHI HOME-Sujata Yoga Resort" invited us to Eid at his house.
Whole family is in new dresses to celebrate the Eid.

And these are the dishes of Eid!
Having meat is not allowed during Ramadan,  but chicken is served today  for the first time in a month.

Chicken tikka(chicken saute) Chicken biryani(Chicken rice dish) Curry of chick pea Salad…
I forgot to take a picture,  but sweet milk rice was also served.  For me, it was the best milk rice I had ever eaten.
The dishes were all very nice and tasty. Thank you very much!

The next day of Eid,  a festival…

Cowherd/Cowhand (Jobs of the village)

From Sujata village, Bihar, India.
This is quite sudden,  but have you ever seen a man  herding cows or buffalos?
For the people living in developed countries like Japan,  cowherd only remind old tales…
You never see them  on the street or your neighborhood.
But here in Sujata village,  you can see men  who are accompanied by
cows or buffs anywhere.

One of their jobs is to lead  cows or buffs to the asked field  and make them eat only weed. 
They keep away cows from crops. Cows and buffs are used as weeding machine here.
I saw one of them on the field  next to the guest house,  “SACHI HOME -Sujata Yoga Resort".

He watches buffs with a stick on his hand.
For the next crops, buffs are here for weeding.
But the field is surrounded by  the mung bean field which are going to be harvested.
That’s why the cowherd is here  not to make buffs eat mung bean.
When a buff tries to eat mung bean,  he stops the buff with a stick and whistling sound.

When moving field to field,  they handle cow…

Invitation during Ramadan

Amjad -ji, the manager of the guest house  in Sujata village,  "SACHI HOME-Sujata Yoga Resort"  invited us to his house.
His house is on one of an alley in Bodhgaya,  across the river from the village.

He is welcoming us at the entrance!
You live here!

Amjad-ji is a Muslim living in India  and this is a month of Ramadan for Muslims.
(Last article about him click here)
During Ramadan,  Muslims don’t eat nor drink in the day time  but after sunset at certain time,  they enjoy their meal.
He invited us to such special meal.
Many plates were already prepared  when we entered the room.

Looks so nice!
It was about 6:30 PM  when we arrived his house.
Amjad-ji said,
“Please wait. Today’s meal starts at 6:45 PM”.
It is amazing that  all the Muslims start eating  at same time after one day fasting.
Watch is a must for Muslims, isn’t it?
One of the nephew of Amjad-ji  brought pink colored drinks  just at 6:45 and we started eating.

The drink is made by milk and rosewater and tastes like sweet milkshake…

Hindu Wedding Ceremony

It seems like  Hindu wedding ceremony is awesome.

In Japan, in the not so distant past  during the period of high economic growth,  wedding ceremony was also luxurious.
But there's a world of difference in between.
It is said that even Maharaja would go bankrupt  if he had three daughters.
Ceremony takes one week at least.
If you carry out full ceremony,  it takes one month or more.
I’ve heared villagers saying with a sigh, 
“There’s no other choice.  It’s an Indian tradition.”

Today, a family group of one bride  from Gaya city gathered to a house  of the bridegroom in Sujata village. 
Gaya is about 13km from the village  and the group consists of  only male relatives of the bride.
The purpose of the visit is  to bring gifts and cash as a dowry.
Although Indian laws against dowries  have been in effect for decades, 
this tradition still widely exists  and accepted in all over India.
The total amount of dowry  can be double or triple  of the annual income of the groom.
Though the practice of dowry abuse  …

“Buddha & Sujata”, Story of Sujata village

Ex-mayor of Sujata village retired  few years ago after his 15-year governance.
His son,  Mr. Devendra Pathak is the principal of  Niranjana Public Welfare School in the village.

Both of them are still respected from villagers.
Mr. Devendra Pathak is  very proud of historical Sujata village  and shared us the legend of the village.

It was about 2,500 years ago. Senani village,  later called Sujuata village  was in a thick forest.
Gautama Siddhartha,  who would one day become known as Buddha  appeared in the village.

He was 29 years old  when he gave up status of prince  and left his kingdom,  wife and son to lead an ascetic life.
“Why was I born in this world?”
“Why do I suffer?”

He was to determine a way  to relieve the universal suffering of humanity.

For the next six years,  Siddhartha lived in incredibly hard ascetic life  at a cave of Mahakala mountain,  few km away from Sujata village.

Because answers to his questions  did not appear,  he redoubled his efforts,  enduring pain, fa…

Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, Holy Site of Buddhism

World Heritage “Mahabodhi Temple” is  in Bodhgaya, India,  just across Nyranjana river  from healing Sujata village.

You can cross the river by walk  except rainy season and  it’s only 15-minute-walk from the village. (5 minutes by autorickshaw)
Mahabodhi Temple is circled in yellow  in the picture below  taken from Sujata village.
It is more like desert than river  at this moment…

Buddha also walked this Nyranjana river  from Sujata village to Bodhgaya,  aftera daughter of the landlord Sujata offered him milk rice. 
And he got enlightened  under the banyan tree of Bodhgaya.

As one of the holy sites  related to Lord Buddha,  Buddhists from all over the world  come here to worship.

Tibetan monks are repeating  placing knees, hands and forehead  on the ground to show utmost respect.

Vietnamese monks and nuns  are walking around small shrine  chanting sutra/mantra.

Sri Lanka, Thailand,  Cambodia, China and Korea…

Many Hindus also come to worship.

Meditating alone or altogether  with many people…