Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hemis Festival. Lunch Break!

Clockwise from the woman with the scarf on her head.  That's Dorje's sister, her son, Dorje and Dorje's mom.

The morning dance performances took up about 2.5 hours. To me, it felt like maybe an hour of time had elapsed. I guess I was so focused on watching the dances and taking photos that I didn't even notice how quickly time had flown by.

My sore butt cheeks were definitely feeling the effects of sitting on hard stone for all that time.  None of the three of us had really spoken in all that time either so once the break began, we all got back together to share our impressions of what we had just seen.  To say the dances were nothing like we had ever seen before was truly an understatement.  For all of us but especially Ayşe, we had been transported to an exotic world that none of us recognized.  Wow!

As the crowd started to thin out, we easily spotted Dorje's mom.  His sister and her son had also arrived to take in the festivities.  They've been to the festival before but it's been a very long time so it looked like they were enjoying themselves.  Even though we can't exchange a single word with them, you can tell, just from the friendly look on their faces, that they are just very nice people.

I asked if I could take some photos of them and they graciously obliged, pulling in some of their friends as well.

Ayşe went off to the vendor area to get some food and water.  In the meantime, Dorje appeared with food.  I had packed up some egg sandwiches (fried egg stuffed inside naan) from breakfast this morning and since I wasn't all that hungry, I decided to just go ahead and share them with Dorje's family.  He had also bought some momos and graciously passed the bag around.  I only took one as I knew Ayşe would be returning with more.

A family picnic at Hemis Festival!

Soon enough, she was back with momos.  Mind you, she's gluten intolerant so she can't eat all that many momos herself.  I had a couple.  I don't think Chantale, who eats as much as a baby bird, even had one.  Whatever left over went to Dorje's family.

It was a beautiful day for an al fresco meal.  If I can pass along another bit of advice to anyone who wants to come to the festival is to bring a hat.  Sadly, I stupidly left mine in the hotel where it's doing me absolutely no good!

What was really interesting though was just how much of the audience had left at lunchtime.  In fact,
I think that pretty much the vast majority of the tourists only stayed for the morning program.  Before the afternoon program resumed, I walked around to see if perhaps there was another spot that I wanted to be at to take in the afternoon program but in the end, I decided that where I was all morning long was the perfect place for me.

By the time the horn sounded to resume the performances, I think the local crowd far outnumbered the tourists.  Locals get in for free so they literally sit wherever they can - be it on the ground or on the roof ledge!

We got about an hour for lunch and then it was more of that out of the world music and dancing!