#1Pic1Day: Tibetan Muslim (China, 2010)

Tibetan Muslim (China, 2010) Tibetan Muslim women pass through Niujie Street in Beijing. Niujie (the “Ox Road”) is the biggest and oldest Muslim quarter in Beijing. China has dozens of Muslim ethnic groups, but the number of Muslims among Tibetans is actually very low. They inhabit some little villages in northern part of Tibet. Their costumes combine Tibetan dress with Islamic veil. These women came to Beijing as they are preparing to fly to Saudi Arabia for the annual holy pilgrimage. Muslim Tibet (China, 2010) Para perempuan Muslim Tibet sedang melintas di jalan Niujie, Beijing. Niujie (“Jalan Sapi”) merupakan daerah komunitas Muslim terbesar dan tertua di kota Beijing. China memiliki puluhan etnis minoritas yang menganut agama Islam, namun jumlah umat Muslim di kalangan etnis Tibet sangatlah minim. Mereka mendiami beberapa dusun kecil dan terpencil di bagian utara Tibet. Dalam hal berpakaian, mereka pun memadukan baju tradisi Tibet dengan kerudung. Para perempuan ini datang ke Beijing karena mereka bersiap terbang ke Mekkah untuk naik haji.     [...]

January 28, 2014 // 5 Comments

#1Pic1Day: Masjid Gaya China | Mosque in Chinese Style (2010)

Mosque in Chinese Style (2010) Niujie Mosque is the oldest mosque in Beijing, built in 996 during the Liao Dinasty, but most of the buildings we see today are from the Qing Dinasty (17th century). The architecture is a mixture of Islamic and Han Chinese tradition. Niujie, which literally means “Ox Road”, is the biggest and oldest Muslim quarter in Beijing (mostly the Hui Muslims), with numerous shops and restaurants offering halal food. Masjid Gaya China (2010) Masjid Niujie adalah masjid tertua di kota Beijing, didirikan pada tahun 996 M, namun bentuknya yang sekarang utamanya adalah peninggalan dari Dinasti Qing (abad ke-17). Bangunan ini merupakan perpaduan antara seni arsitektur Muslim dan Han China. Niujie sendiri berarti “Jalan Sapi”, merupakan daerah komunitas Muslim tertua dan terbesar di Beijing (mayoritas penghuninya adalah etnis Muslim Hui), dengan barisan toko dan restoran yang menjual produk makanan halal.     [...]

January 27, 2014 // 3 Comments

Istraravshan – The 2500 Years of History

The 2500 years of history, Istaravshan Tajikistan has to dig up very deep into its glorious past to emphasize its identity. Tajikistan had to leave behind its historical luggages, as the Persian Tajik civilization centres, Samarkand and Bukhara, were handed to Uzbekistan by the Soviet government. Among what was left now, it was Istaravshan to testify to glory of this tiny country’s past. Istaravshan is located about 280 km north of Dushanbe, after passing two high passes of Anzob and Ainy (Shakhristan), both are higher than 3700 m. The passes are covered by snow in winter, making it’s impossible during the period to travel overland from Dushanbe to Khojand – the second city of the country. The only possible transport by that time is by flying. Along the way there were many Chinese workers on road and tunnel construction projects. They navigated the tractors, measured the parameters, and broke the stones. I did really wonder why it was so necessary to have all Chinese workers to do the projects. “Tajikistan doesn’t have sufficient technology,” said fellow passenger in my taxi. But is that essential to have international workers just to break the stones with hammers? Maybe the Chinese contractors didn’t [...]

October 14, 2006 // 0 Comments

Islamabad – Friday Prayers

June 2, 2006 Most mosques are not for women I am staying in a friend’s house, whose father is quite a renowned religious leader in the country. Syed Asmat Gilani had been in Danmark and other parts of Europe in last few years, and his modern teaching of the religion had converted thousands of people to grab Islam. Today is Friday, the most important day in the week for the Muslims. Mr Asmat was invited to give speech in a mosque nearby, and he also invited me to attend the prayers. The speech was delivered in Urdu. Even not all parts of the speech that I understood, I could grab little bit of the teaching. The speech was about the soul of religion (mazhab ki ruh), that is feeling the existance of God in your heart. Religion should be from the heart. There are three phases of the religion, that are shariat (religion), tarekat (spiritual), and hakikat (truth). Somehow the teaching resembles what we learnt in Taoism, that the Truth, what they call here as Hakikat, is to be found in your inner heart. The scene of friday prayers, where hundreds of people inside the mosque, and hundreds more outside, [...]

June 2, 2006 // 0 Comments

Lahore – Do You Know that ….?

April 26, 2006 Watch out! Some interesting things that make Pakistan differ from Indonesia. Do you know that: 1. It’s better not to plan your shopping day in Pakistan on Sundays Because all shops, hmm, maybe not all, but most, closed on Sundays. It’s bizzare that Sunday is the only holiday in the week, and it’s the chance for office workers to shop. But, eh, all of the shops are closed. Only food maybe is easy to find on Sundays, but not any other things. I am still thinking that the habit of people sleeping and staying at homes on Sundays was made by the closing shops, or it is the other way round. Once I asked a friend, whether it was only on Sundays that people can go shopping, as in other days they busy for works. He answered, “they are not busy at all any other days, hmm…, you know how we Pakistanis work” Sundays are also not good time for shopping in Indonesia, but for contrary reason: the bazaars and malls are too crowded on weekends. 2. Pakistan has six working days Yes, and the only holiday is Sunday. But it was not always like this. Once, [...]

April 26, 2006 // 0 Comments

Islamabad – The Capital of Pakistan

The modern Faisal Mosque, named after the king of Saudi Arabia February 3, 2006 The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad- the name means the city of Islam, is a new city created just few decades ago. The designer of the city was a European, and it was designated to be a modern city. The roads are long, straight, with blocks of commercial regions, residential regions, and government offices. The names of the blocks and the roads are even in number, like F-7 for ths Jinnah Supermarket, or G-7 for the block opossite F-7 separated by the main road called ‘blue area’. The using of letter and number is not quite user-friendly. But it seems how it also goes in the West. Nevertheless Islamabad is a new city, the roads are wide, but the population is not that much. The buildings looks more modern and clean than the nearby Rawalpindi, with obvious reason that the strata and level status of the inhabitants are higher, but the feeling of the city is totally empty. Not so much live, vibration, smell, and noise like in Rawalpindi, thus, it’s not the place where most visitors linger about. The reason I go to Islamabad is usually [...]

February 3, 2006 // 0 Comments