Monday, 23 January 2012

Happy New Year

Yesterday a few of us headed to the Nahua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
On the website it stated that no shorts, skirts or tank tops were allowed, so we had to readjust our outfits slightly, but upon arriving there many people were dressed in shorts and skirts and tank tops, and even less. There were quite a number of bikers and biker-chicks who had more ink than clothes. We also saw a bodybuilder whose ski-pants barely covered his butt. I wonder if the monks and believers where offended by so much skin being shown, or if they ignored it and rather welcomed the large amount of South Africans who came to the celebrations and who came to get a glimpse into the culture.

The amount of DSLRs on site was shocking. I have noticed more and more young people carrying around big cameras, which is great, but maybe the digital age has also made us focus more on capturing a good photograph than on actually looking at the reality and simply experiencing the moment. I also like taking photos and with large cameras the images always look a lot better. But photographers can be so intrusive and disrespectful that I feel that hobby photographers need to also look around them and not simply through their viewfinders. For instance, yesterday people kept moving in front of others and blocking non-photographers' view simply to capture the 1000 photo of the dragon in the opening ceremony. Also, there were often little signs to indicate that no cameras were allowed in the temple, but people just kept snapping away. It is as though the religiousness of the site is not respected simply because it is not one's own system of belief. But the same thing kept happening in the Sacre Coeur in Paris, where tourists take photographs of the interior and ignore the priests and Christians sitting there in prayer.

People should take photos of whatever they feel like, as long as it is not illegal and as long as they respect it if photography is forbidden in certain sites.

Here are some images of the day to end on a less criticising note :)

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