Videos from the Field: Part II

Videos from the Field: Part II

Videos and written descriptions by Heid Jerstad

In the north Indian town of Dehradun, Uttarakhand state, the crowded Paltan Bazaar is where everyone used to go to shop. Nowadays there are shiny malls and Fabindia which have taken some shoppers, but many people still buy fabric to be made into clothes and countless other items in Paltan Bazaar. My lovely hostess is explaining the different parts of a piece of brilliant orange cloth and how it is intended to be used.

The different parts of Paltan Bazaar have different specialities. There is for instance the firework alley, which is a dangerous part to venture down due to the vagaries of explosives, and then there is the silver- and goldsmiths where you go to get jewellery for marriage. Further out is where you find the wholesalers, like this cooking oil shop. All kinds of traffic is constantly navigating the fairly narrow streets, and the noise levels reflect this.

A wonderful gurudwara(Sikh holy building) in central Dehradun. The sage is buried in the central dome, while his four wives are buried in the four shrines surrounding it. Though in the middle of a bustling bazaar, it is very peaceful there in the heat of the day, and monkeys languidly wander past.

Cushion-cover shopping in Paltan Bazaar. I was particularly taken with the surprising pink one covered in layers of gauze to look like a rose.

Videos from the Field: Part I

Videos from the Field: Part I

Videos and written descriptions by Heid Jerstad

Krishna parade in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India. This hill station, normally reasonably quiet other than the Punjabi tourists who crowd the Mall came to life with a parade celebrating the birth of Krishna in early August 2012. This float was apparently Shiva, spraying water on the crowd through a topknot.

Crowds of young children would concentrate on particular performances. The floats moved slowly through town, and whole families were hanging out of the windows on either side while sweetmeat vendors and chaiwallas alike served the performers and ritual specialists as they went past.

The crowded streets near Picture Palace were busier even than usual. The hill inclines and hairpin bends just don’t lend themselves to ease of access for these inflexible vehicles. Everyone seems to manage somehow though, wending their way patiently through the crowd.