Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 19

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chinese guardian figure beside a gate in Wat Pho

“The temple grounds contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum. Architecturally the chedis and buildings in the complex are different in style and sizes.[19] A number of large Chinese statues, some of which depict Europeans, are also found within the complex guarding the gates of the perimeter walls as well as other gates within the compound. These stone statues were originally imported as ballast on ships trading with China.[19]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho was also intended to serve as a place of education for the general public. To this end a pictorial encyclopedia was engraved on granite slabs covering eight subject areas, namely history, medicine, health, custom, literature, proverbs, lexicography, and the Buddhist religion.[20][24]

“These plaques, inscribed with texts and illustration on medicine, Thai traditional massage, and other subjects, are placed around the temple,[25] for example, within the Sala Rai or satellite open pavilions. Dotted around the complex are 24 small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand, and one, called the Contorting Hermit Hill, contains some statues showing methods of massage and yoga positions.[19][24]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

 Fish pond in small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

Chinese guardian figure beside a gate in Wat Pho

 

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

Fish pond in small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“One of the most famous and impressive temples in Bangkok is Wat Pho. Also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha for the 46-meter long Buddha image it houses, it’s a must-see attraction when visiting the Thai capital.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://blogs.transparent.com/thai/wat-pho-temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

 

The Reclining Buddha, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan, more commonly referred to as Wat Pho, is one of the six temples in Thailand that are of the highest grade of first class Royal temples. Wat Pho serves as home to the massive 46-meter long reclining Buddha image, the size of which must be experienced in person as it is simply breathtaking. The amazing feeling of taking in the sight of the enormous golden figure of the ‘enlightened one’ cannot be explained with words, and even more rarely captured in photos due to its massive size. You have to visit this amazing site to see it for yourself.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://yourthaiguide.com/temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

 “The Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Reclining Buddha standing at 15 meters tall and stretching 46 meters in length, it barely fits in the building.

The Buddha’s feet are 3 x 4.5 meters and are decorated in shiny mother-of-pearl. They also display the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://blogs.transparent.com/thai/wat-pho-temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

The Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

 

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wat Pho , also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace.[2] Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn[1]Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimonmangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan;  The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction of its older name Wat Photaram .[4]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Phra Mondop or the ho trai is the Scripture Hall containing a small library of Buddhist scriptures. The building is not generally open to the public as the scriptures, which are inscribed on palm leaves, need to be kept in a controlled environment for preservation.[36] The library was built by King Rama III. Guarding its entrance are figures called Yak Wat Pho (Wat Pho’s Giants) placed in niches beside the gates.[37] Around Phra Mondop are three pavilions with mural paintings of the beginning of Ramayana.

 

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.[5][6] It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined.[7] The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple is considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions has been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. It houses a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.[8]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Mural at The Reclining Buddha Temple, Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho is open every day from 8am until 6:30pm.

Admission Price: 100 Baht per person (free entry for children under 120 centimeters).

Things you should be aware of when visiting the Wat Pho:

  • Respectful attire is required. Wat Pho is a functioning Thai Buddhist temple, and a such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner. This means that men must wear long pants and short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts (no tank tops or sleeveless shirts). Women must wear skirts or pants extending at least to the knee, and also should not wear a top that reveals bare shoulders.
  • Visitors are allowed to take photographs in any area of the complex.
  • It is recommended that you wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.”

For more information please visit the following link:
https://yourthaiguide.com/temple-of-the-reclining-buddha/

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 18

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

 

“Wat Pho, also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace.[2] Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn[1] Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimonmangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan; IPA: The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction of its older name Wat Photaram (Wat Photharam).[4]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

“Wat Pho: The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.[5][6] It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined.[7] The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple is considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and the marble illustrations and inscriptions placed in the temple for public instructions has been recognised by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme. It houses a school of Thai medicine, and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.[8]

“Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples. It existed before Bangkok was established as the capital by King Rama I. It was originally named Wat Photaram or Podharam, from which the name Wat Pho is derived.[4][9] The name refers the monastery of the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.[6][10] The older temple is thought to have been built or expanded during the reign of King Phetracha (1688–1703), but date and founder unknown.[6][11] The southern section of Wat Pho used to be occupied by part of a French Star fort that was demolished by King Phetracha after the 1688 Siege of Bangkok.[12]

 

“After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese, King Taksin moved the capital to Thonburi where he located his palace beside Wat Arun on the opposite side of the river from Wat Pho. The proximity of Wat Pho to this royal palace elevated it to the status of a wat luang (royal monastery).[6]

 

“In 1782, King Rama I moved the capital from Thonburi across the river to Bangkok and built the Grand Palace adjacent to Wat Pho. In 1788, he ordered the construction and renovation at the old temple site of Wat Pho, which had by then become dilapidated.[1] The site, which was marshy and uneven, was drained and filled in before construction began.”

 

 “Wat Pho: During its construction Rama I also initiated a project to remove Buddha images from abandoned temples in Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, as well other sites in Thailand, and many of these Buddha images were kept at Wat Pho.[13] These include the remnants of an enormous Buddha image from Ayuthaya‘s Wat Phra Si Sanphet destroyed by the Burmese in 1767, and these were incorporated into a chedi in the complex.[14] The rebuilding took over seven years to complete. In 1801, twelve years after work began, the new temple complex was renamed Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklavas in reference to the vihara of Jetavana, and it became the main temple for Rama I.[15][16]

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“The complex underwent significant changes in the next 260 years, particularly during the reign of Rama III (1824-1851 CE). In 1832, King Rama III began renovating and enlarging the temple complex, a process that took 16 years and seven months to complete. The ground of the temple complex was expanded to 22 acres, and most of the structures now present in Wat Pho were either built or rebuilt in this period, including the chapel of the reclining Buddha. He also turned the temple complex into a public center of learning by decorating the walls of the buildings with diagrams and inscriptions on various subjects.[9]:90 ] On 21 February 2008, these marble illustrations and inscriptions was registered in the Memory of the World Programme launched by UNESCO to promote, preserve and propagate the wisdom of the world heritage.[17][18]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

 

“Wat Pho is regarded as Thailand’s first university and a center for traditional Thai massage. It served as a medical teaching center in the mid-19th century before the advent of modern medicine, and the temple remains a center for traditional medicine today where a private school for Thai medicine founded in 1957 still operates.[19][20]

 

“The name of the complex was changed again to Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm during the reign of King Rama IV.[1] Apart from the construction of a fourth great chedi and minor modifications by Rama IV, there had been no significant changes to Wat Pho since. Repair work, however, is a continuing process, often funded by devotees of the temple. The temple was restored again in 1982 before the Bangkok Bicentennial Celebration.[21]

 

“The Temple complex

Phra Mondop of Wat Pho. Beside its entrances are statues of Yak Wat Pho.

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres,[22] and is home to more than one thousand Buddha images, as well as one of the largest single Buddha images at 150 feet (46 m) in length.[23]

 

“The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds bisected by Chetuphon Road running in the east–west direction. The larger northern walled compound, the phutthawat, is the part open to visitors and contains the finest buildings dedicated to the Buddha, including the bot with its four directional viharn, and the temple housing the reclining Buddha.[15] The southern compound, the sankhawat, contains the residential quarters of the monks and a school. The perimeter wall of the main temple complex has sixteen gates, two of which serve as entrances for the public (one on Chetuphon Road, the other near the northwest corner).[10]

 

“The temple grounds contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum. Architecturally the chedis and buildings in the complex are different in style and sizes.[19] A number of large Chinese statues, some of which depict Europeans, are also found within the complex guarding the gates of the perimeter walls as well as other gates within the compound. These stone statues were originally imported as ballast on ships trading with China.[19]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Wat Pho was also intended to serve as a place of education for the general public. To this end a pictorial encyclopedia was engraved on granite slabs covering eight subject areas, namely history, medicine, health, custom, literature, proverbs, lexicography, and the Buddhist religion.[20][24]

“These plaques, inscribed with texts and illustration on medicine, Thai traditional massage, and other subjects, are placed around the temple,[25] for example, within the Sala Rai or satellite open pavilions. Dotted around the complex are 24 small rock gardens (Khao Mor) illustrating rock formations of Thailand, and one, called the Contorting Hermit Hill, contains some statues showing methods of massage and yoga positions.[19][24]

 

“There are also drawings of constellations on the wall of the library, inscriptions on local administration, as well as paintings of folk tales and animal husbandry.[20]

 

“Phra Ubosot (Phra Uposatha) or bot is the ordination hall, the main hall used for performing Buddhist rituals, and the most sacred building of the complex. It was constructed by King Rama I in the Ayuthaya style, and later enlarged and reconstructed in the Rattanakosin style by Rama III. The bot was dedicated in 1791, before the rebuilding of Wat Pho was completed.[26] This building is raised on a marble platform, and the ubosot lies in the center of courtyard enclosed by a double cloister (Phra Rabiang).”

“Inside the ubosot is a gold and crystal three-tiered pedestal topped with a gilded Buddha made of a gold-copper alloy, and over the statue is a nine-tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand.[19] The Buddha image, known as Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn and thought to be from the Ayutthaya period, was moved here by Rama I from Wat Sala Si Na (now called Wat Khuhasawan) in Thonburi.[27][28]

 

“Rama IV later placed some ashes of Rama I under the pedestal of the Buddha image so that the public may pay homage to both Rama I and the Buddha at the same time. There are also ten images of Buddha’s disciples in the hall; Moggalana is located to the left of Buddha and Sariputta to the right, with eight Arahants below.[1][29]

 

“The exterior balustrade surrounding the main hall has around 150 depictions in stone of the epic, Ramakien, the ultimate message of which is transcendence from secular to spiritual dimensions.[10]

“The stone panels were recovered from a temple in Ayuthaya. The ubosot is enclosed by a low wall called kamphaeng kaew,[30] which is punctuated by gateways guarded by mythological lions, as well as eight structures that house the bai sema stone markers that delineate the sacred space of the bot.”

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Phra Rabiang – This double cloister contains around 400 images of Buddha from northern Thailand selected out of the 1,200 originally brought by King Rama I.[10] Of these Buddha images, 150 are located on the inner side of the double cloister, another 244 images are on the outer side.[29] These Buddha figures, some standing and some seated, are evenly mounted on matching gilded pedestals. These images are from different periods in Thai history, such as the Chiangsaen, Sukhothai, U-Thong, and Ayutthaya eras, but they were renovated by Rama I and covered with stucco and gold leaves to make them look similar.[29]

 

“The Phra Rabiang is intersected by four viharns. The viharn in the east contains an 8 metre tall standing Buddha, the Buddha Lokanatha, originally from Ayutthaya. In its antechamber is Buddha Maravichai, sitting under a bodhi tree, originally from Sawankhalok of the late Sukhothai period.”

 

“The one on the west has a seated Buddha sheltered by a naga, the Buddha Chinnasri, while the Buddha on the south, the Buddha Chinnaraja, has five disciples seated in front listening to his first sermon. Both Buddhas were brought from Sukhothai by Rama I. The Buddha in the north viharn called Buddha Palilai was cast in the reign of Rama I.[29] The viharn on the west also contains a small museum.[31]

“Phra Prang – There are four towers, or phra prang, at each corner of the courtyard around the bot. Each of the towers is tiled with marbles and contains four Khmer-style statues which are the guardian divinities of the Four Cardinal Points.[32]

“Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn

This is a group of four large stupas, each 42 metres high. These four chedis are dedicated to the first four Chakri kings.[8] The first, in green mosaic tiles, was constructed by Rama I to house the remnants of the great Buddha from Ayuthaya, which was scorched to remove its gold covering by the Burmese. Two more were built by Rama III, one in white tiles to hold the ashes of his father Rama II, another in yellow for himself. A fourth in blue was built by Rama IV who then enclosed the four chedis leaving no space for more to be built.[33]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Viharn Phranorn

The viharn or wihan contains the reclining Buddha and was constructed in the reign of Rama III emulating the Ayutthaya-style. The interior is decorated with panels of mural.[34]

Adjacent to this building is a small raised garden (Missakawan Park) with a Chinese-style pavilion; the centrepiece of the garden is a bodhi tree which was propagated from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka that is believed to have originally came from a tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment.[35]

 

Phra Mondop

“Phra Mondop or the ho trai is the Scripture Hall containing a small library of Buddhist scriptures. The building is not generally open to the public as the scriptures, which are inscribed on palm leaves, need to be kept in a controlled environment for preservation.[36] The library was built by King Rama III. Guarding its entrance are figures called Yak Wat Pho (Wat Pho’s Giants) placed in niches beside the gates.[37] Around Phra Mondop are three pavilions with mural paintings of the beginning of Ramayana.”

“Phra Chedi Rai – Outside the Phra Rabiang cloisters are dotted many smaller chedis, called Phra Chedi Rai. Seventy-one of these small chedis were built by Rama III, each five metres in height. There are also four groups of five chedis that shared a single base built by Rama I, one on each corner outside the cloister.[38] The 71 chedis of smaller size contain the ashes of the royal family, and 20 slightly larger ones clustered in groups of five contain the relics of Buddha.[19]

 

“Sala Karn Parien – This hall is next to the Phra Mondop at the southwest corner of the compound, and is thought to date from the Ayutthaya period. It serves as a learning and meditation hall.[39] The building contains the original Buddha image from the bot which was moved to make way for the Buddha image currently in the bot.[26] Next to it is a garden called The Crocodile Pond.”

 

“Sala Rai – There are 16 satellite pavilions, most of them placed around the edge of the compound, and murals depicting the life of Buddha may be found in some of these. Two of these are the medical pavilions between Phra Maha Chedi Si Ratchakarn and the main chapel. The north medicine pavilion contains Thai traditional massage inscriptions with 32 drawings of massage positions on the walls while the one to the south has a collection of inscriptions on guardian angel that protects the newborn.[40]

 

“Phra Viharn Kod – This is the gallery which consists of four viharas, one on each corner outside the Phra Rabiang.[41][42]

Tamnak Wasukri – Also called the poet’s house, this is the former residence of Prince Patriarch Paramanujita Jinorasa, a Thai poet.[43] This building is in the living quarters of the monks in the southern compound and is open once a year on his birthday.”

“Tamnak Wasukri – Also called the poet’s house, this is the former residence of Prince Patriarch Paramanujita Jinorasa, a Thai poet.[43] This building is in the living quarters of the monks in the southern compound and is open once a year on his birthday.”

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Wat Po, Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday, July 13, 2017

“Thai massage

The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science, and literature through murals and sculptures.[8] A school for traditional medicine and massage was established at the temple in 1955, and now offers four courses in Thai medicine: Thai pharmacy, Thai medical practice, Thai midwifery, and Thai massage.[47]

 

“This, the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, is the first school of Thai medicine approved by the Thai Ministry of Education, and one of the earliest massage schools. It remains the national headquarters and the center of education of traditional Thai medicine and massage to this day.”

“Courses on Thai massage are held in Wat Pho, and these may last a few weeks to a year.[19] Two pavilions at the eastern edge of the Wat Pho compound are used as classrooms for practising Thai traditional massage and herbal massage, and visitors can received massage treatment here for a fee.[48][49] Foreigners from 135 countries have studied Thai massage at Wat Po.[50]

There are many medical inscriptions and illustrations placed in various buildings around the temple complex, some of which serve as instructions for Thai massage therapists, particularly those in the north medical pavilion.[51]

 

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Among these are 60 inscribed plaques, 30 each for the front and back of human body, showing pressure points used in traditional Thai massage. These therapeutic points and energy pathways, known as sen, are engraved on the human figures, with explanations given on the walls next to the plaques.[52] They are based on the principle of energy flow similar to that of Chinese acupuncture. The understanding so far is that the figures represent relationships between anatomical locations and effects produced by massage treatment at those locations, but full research on the diagrams has yet to be completed.[53]

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho

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The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil & crayon & Ing’s Poem

The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil & crayon & Ing’s Poem

By Soutik Biswas BBC News, Srinagar

May 29, 2017, BBC News from the section India

 

These are pictures of loss of childhood and innocence. They speak about a violent world outside shuttered homes. They reveal the terrors of the present and the fears for the future.

The colours are vivid. Red dominates, in blood and fire. Black is an ascendant colour, clouding the skies and scorching the earth. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

The artwork is by schoolchildren in Indian-administered Kashmir, home to one of the world’s most protracted conflicts. These days, they mostly depict childhoods ruined by the violence of adults.

The meadows, streams, orchards and mountains that make their home “heaven on earth”, as a Mughal emperor once exulted, is missing in much of their work. Stone-throwing protesters, gun-toting troops, burning schools, rubble-littered streets, gunfights and killings are some of the anxious, recurring themes on the canvas.

Last summer was one of the bloodiest in the region for years. Following the killing of influential militant Burhan Wani by Indian forces in July, more than 100 civilians died in clashes with security forces during a four-month-long lockdown in the Muslim dominated-valley.

Security forces fired metal pellets from shotguns into protesting crowds, leaving many blinded. More than 1,200 children below the age of 15 were among some 9,000 people injured in the protests. Most of them, according to reports, were “young, [and] were either blinded completely or lost their vision in one eye”.

As violence spread on the street, schools shut. Children stayed indoors for months, drowning in the noise of TV news. At other times, they read and drew. They missed their friends and cricket games. Teachers gave lessons at home, and parents invigilated during home exams. One school even held an exam in a small indoor stadium.

“I would hide in a corner of my house’ (Video production: Shalu Yadav and Neha Sharma)

 When the schools reopened in the winter, teachers found many of the students irate, nervous and uncertain. They were children of government workers, businessmen, doctors, engineers, bankers and farmers.

They came looking “pale, like zombies”, the principal of a leading school told me.

They cried and hugged each other. Having spent months cooped up in their homes in near-captivity, they asked their teachers why they had closed the school. Some of them behaved strangely. They screamed without any reason, banged the tables and broke furniture. Counsellors were called in to calm them down.

“There was anger, a lot of anger,” the principal said.

Then, some 300 of them went to a school hall and sat down with paper and pastels. And they drew furiously.

“That’s all they did on the first day. They drew what they wanted. They didn’t utter a word. It was all very cathartic.”

‘I cannot see the world again’

The children drew mostly in pastel and pencil. Many wrote over their pictures, using speech bubbles, headlines and sentences.

In many of their pictures, the valley is on fire, and streets are littered with the black detritus of rioting against an incongruent backdrop of a blazing sun and birds in the skies.

Then there are young faces scarred and eyes blinded by pellets. It is a recurring, heart-wrenching theme.

“I cannot see the world again and cannot see my friends again. I am blind,” says the subject of one such haunting image.

Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies, as a poet wrote, but in Kashmir, children have lived in the shadow of death for as long as one can remember. There are bodies lying on the street, and there are people on fire in the paintings.

“These are the mountains of Kashmir. And here’s a school for kids. On the left are army men and opposite them are stone-throwing protesters who are demanding freedom,” said a schoolboy in Anantnag, explaining his drawing.

“When protesters throw stones at the army, the army opens fire at them. In the crossfire, a school kid dies and his friend is left alone.”

The other recurring theme – and nightmare – is the burning down of schools. There’s a powerful picture of children trapped in a school on fire, screaming, “help us, help us. Save our school, save us, save our future”.

Others are angrier and more political.

There are drawings with pro-freedom graffiti, and signposts which say Save our Kashmir in pastels. Others extol Burhan Wani, and resonate with anti-India slogans. There are maps of Kashmir oozing red.

In another village in southern Kashmir, a prominent artist found children drawing Indian flags fluttering on top of their houses.

Rival neighbours

A scowling face of a man split into two is a metaphor for the bitter and festering rivalry between India and Pakistan, and the tragedy of a land sandwiched between the rival neighbours.

There’s a heart-breaking pencil drawing of a mother waiting for her son. The children also vent their frustration over the shutdown of internet and mobile phone services during the protests.

Five years ago, Australian art therapist Dena Lawrence conducted some art lessons with young people in the valley. She found black was the predominant colour in their paintings, and most of them reflected “anger, rage and depression”.

Kashmiri artist Masood Hussain, who has been judging art competitions for children aged four to 16 for the past four decades, says their subjects have changed.

“They have gone from the serene to the violent,” he tells me. “They draw red skies, red mountains, lakes, flowers and houses on fire. They draw guns and tanks, fire-fights and people dying on the street.”

Arshad Husain, a Srinagar-based psychiatrist, says the artwork of the children in the valley betrays their collective trauma.

“We think children are too young to understand. That’s not true. They absorb and assimilate everything around them. They express it in their own way,” he says.

“Mind you, most of this artwork is coming from children who stayed at home. Imagine the children on the streets who are closer to the violence.”

It is all reminiscent of children’s art inspired by 9/11: weeping children, the twin towers on fire and being yanked off the ground by Osama Bin Laden against a blood-red skyline, a scarred girl wearing an I Love New York T-shirt.

In Kashmir, where fairy tales quickly turn into nightmares, hope is not extinguished yet.

Let our future be bright, make us educated, don’t make this crisis a reason for darkness, pleads a girl in a drawing. It’s never too late.

Illustrations gathered from children in Indian-administered Kashmir

For more information please visit the following link:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-39801538

 

Ing’s Peace Project and Far Brook School & ST. Philips Academy in Newark, Ben’s 2nd grade and two 4th grade classes also, the adults Comments and artworks during 05.10-15.2012, organized by Joanne Leone and Rebecca Champbell.  Finished artwork, after the written comments by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts 

The following are Far Brook School and ST. Phillips Academy in Newark, NJ, Ben’s 2nd grade and two 4th grade classes also, the adults Comments and artwork on “What does Peace mean to you?” Shadow of Peace poster 5:

Singing, drawing

Running, Jumping, Flying

Planting as a community

The Beach

Notes

Kissing my Mom

School makes me peaceful

Sitting

Link to Far Brook School and St. Phillips Academy in Newark, NJ page:

http://ingpeaceproject.com/1-academy-street-firehouse-youth/3-far-brook-school-and-st-phillips-in-newark-nj/

I included “Ing’s Peace Project and Far Brook School & ST. Philips Academy in Newark, Ben’s 2nd grade and two 4th grade classes also, the adults Comments and artworks”, into this project because I would like to show how the children in a country without war expressed in writing and artwork.  Their comments and artwork are opposite. When adults make decisions to do something, they have to keep in mind how it is going to affect little children.  This can apply to families that have no war experience, but when parents fight or neglect children then the result will be as bad as affects on children in the war torn countries, such as is expressed in the following news on, “Texas toddlers die ‘after left intentionally in car for 15 hours’”.

 

Texas toddlers die ‘after left intentionally in car for 15 hours’

June 10, 2017,  BBC News from the section US & Canada

Two young sisters have died in Texas after their mother allegedly left them in a car for 15 hours in temperatures of up to 32C (90F).

Amanda Hawkins, 19, left the girls, aged one and two, in the car at 21:00 on Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday) to visit friends nearby, police said.

Her daughters cried during the night but she ignored them, a sheriff said, and returned only at noon the next day.

Ms Hawkins has been charged with two counts of child endangerment.

Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said it was the worst such case he had seen in 37 years on the force.

Hot car deaths: The children left behind

Ms Hawkins left one-year-old Brynn Hawkins and two-year-old Addyson Overgard-Eddy in the car to visit a 16-year-old male friend and others at a house in the town of Kerrville, 65 miles (105 km) north-west of San Antonio.

The sheriff said the male friend had at some point slept in the car alongside the children but they were not let out.

Ms Hawkins finally took the children out at noon the next day and found them unconscious.

She tried the bathe them, the sheriff said, but fearing she would get into trouble did not seek medical help immediately.

‘Smelling flowers’

Only after a friend suggested it did she take them to the nearby Peterson Regional Medical Center.

She reportedly told staff that she, the teenage male and the children had been at a nearby lake and the girls had “collapsed after smelling flowers”.

“They thought maybe they’d gotten into something poisonous – that’s what the story was,” Sheriff Hierholzer told the CNN affiliate station KABB.

“She left them in the car – intentionally in the car – while her and the 16-year-old male friend were in the house,” he said.

The girls were quickly taken to the University Hospital in San Antonio but died at about 17:00 on Thursday.

Police say the charges may now be upgraded.

Ms Hawkins’ husband was reportedly not present during the incident.

For more information please visit the following link:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40234401

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts’s Commment:

I was preparing the project about article, “The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil and crayon”.  I feel very bad and sad for the children in Kashmir.  This morning I went to the BBC News website to check on the current news; I found the news article, “Texas toddlers die ‘after left intentionally in car for15 hours”.  This news provoked my thoughts about human behavior in all parts of the world.  One has to be educated and conscious in everything everywhere.  An accident can happen anytime and anywhere but if the result of the accident came for ignorant or selfishness people then we have to exam the way that society behaves.  It is so sad when bad things happen to anyone but it is worse when that accident causes innocent children to suffer or lose their lives from the adult’s action.

 

 Face to the Sun with Three Generations

Grandpa helping with the baby carriage

Mother walks close to her son

In the parameter of the sun rays

Their shadows shine upon the ground

Older generation passing all

To the next generation

Forming a link of chain

Continuing to nurture and progress

When war comes

Just like an axe

Cutting the link

With separation and despair

The end of the link become weak

Facing the world alone

No one care

For all the adults and the leaders of countries at war

Remember that your children are going to suffer

From the action that you created

Wise men and women will want

To see their children grow and glow

Then peace will come

When you are closing your eyes

And taking your last breath on earth

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Monday, June 1, 2017, 9:14 pm

On Friday, May 31, 2017 about 5 pm I was walking our grandson home from the play ground at the Military Park.  Just before we reached to the intersection of Halsey Street and New Street I met my husband and our daughter wanting to see me and our grandson in the park.  We decided to walk home.  I saw the evening sun rays shining on my husband, daughter and grandson, and the three shadows cast upon the ground.  I took some photos of this image with my camcorder.  When I saw the pictures I decided to write a poem about this beautiful moment.

I saw the article from the BBC News on “The stolen childhoods of Kashmir in pencil and crayon”.  I thought about my poem, in which I talked about the war torn countries causing so much trouble to all their citizens, especially the children, who will suffer the most.

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