Wisdom thoughts by dr.Peter Florjančič

Connecting generations

‘Never underestimate the influence you have on others.’

– Laurie Buchanan

Music has a very important role in my life. By the age of thirteen I was all ready singing in a young backup group with Mr.Vlado Kreslin.

Understanding the work and sweet behind the music industry, I do have a deep and great respect for every great musician artist.

Summer of 2019 was the summer colored in music festivals in my home country, Slovenia.

I got an offer from Slovenian blacksmith Mr. Lenart Perko to shoot a story and help with the performance he held on metal days. An offer I could not refuse.

“We are all dreamers playing with a variety of ideas, but only a true visionary brings the idea to life.”

– dr. Peter Florjančič

Through the years of experiences, time taught me how to cope and survive in the the unfamiliar environment with people yet unknown and land yet to be discovered, but photographing under a heavy metal vibrations while staying behind the stage in my travel mobile house for 24/7 all week, made my bones shaken.

photo: Tjaša Rozman

Sound of adventure? Yeah, coming back from Russia practically straight forward to metal days for the first time really pushed me out from my comfort zone.

I drown to Sotočje to Tolmin one day earlier to relax a beat and feel the environment. So far, so good. Everything looks clean and ready as well as Mr. Perko was all ready waiting with a perfect spot for me and my mobile home.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

– Albert Einstein

We went around to investigate what the festival can offer besides the music stages as well as discus about our performance. 

Just a few minutes of walk from the parking spot, the emerald Soča River appeared all shining in its glory. Its headwaters spring up in the heart of Triglav National Park, under the steep peaks of the Julian Alps. It truly is one of my favorite river in Slovenia. 

Food cords looked clean and were very well organized using a biodegradable materials trying to reduce plastics.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “What is your genius?”

– Albert Einstein

Staff felt welcoming and generous, hardworking and happy.

I was quite impressed by all the diversiyy of food in the offer. Mostly vegan based, using organic and eco products with a purpose to minimize the impact of transportation and pollution.

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Garbage deposit is the name itself says, it is a deposit, which means that the visitor gets the money back once they return full garbage bags to the garbage point.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

– Albert Einstein

I could get a clean and drinkable running water throughout the festival area, which allowed me to refill my bottles.

I was pleased to see Slovenian people aware of a major environmental issues and doing something about it.

I have traveled countries filled with plastics all around peoples houses in the deep forest or in dry areas. Plastic was there to show their status, not aiming to destroy the environment. The more plastics you have, the richer you are. “The more Coca Colla in your life.”

The problem is a lack of knowledge and quality information that is doing so. Bravo Metal days, way to go!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

– Albert Einstein

photo: Tjaša Rozman

““In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Wisdom thoughts by dr.Peter Florjančič

Connecting generations

‘Never underestimate the influence you have on others.’

– Laurie Buchanan

A few years ago my life introduced me to a very special man. An inventor who has traveled countries as I did, but his story was intertwined with different routes as mine was, till we met on crossroad. That was a ride of its one.

Shortly afterwards I met Peter, a beautiful young student Tjaša approached.

Eager to learn about mathematics behind the camera, hoping to hear the stories from across the seas. Her greatest wish was to meet dr. Peter Florjančič.

Peter on the other hand loves young people. “They are like a fresh air, a new idea”, he says.

“We are all dreamers playing with a variety of ideas, but only a true visionary brings the idea to life.”

– dr. Peter Florjančič

I have decided to connect young and old, “the energy” and “the experience” with a full respect between each other.

photo: Tjaša Rozman

I felt like a diode transmitting the energy in-between, wanted to squeeze Peter’s words through a tiny frame to memorise them.

Later on I took some time to process stories Peter shared among us.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

– Albert Einstein

“Everything you do is a creation, is an invention. From learning how to breathe without mom’s help, how to eat, how to talk, to walk, to listen, to love, to create, to accept, to learn, to exist…”

“Do not underestimate your ideas nor any of your experiences. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

“You do not know how to develop a patent, I can teach you that. I do not know how to communicate among nomads, you can teach me that.”

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “What is your genius?”

– Albert Einstein

We need to learn how to improve and grow. We all share the same world and yet have our own story to follow. That is a beauty of individuality and makes us unique.

“You are your greatest friend or your greatest enemy. If you do not believe in your ideas, nobody will.”

Mišmaš photography

“Everything is an invention, from your first steps to your first runn…

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

– Albert Einstein

…from inventing an airbag system to patenting photographic slide frame…

…from learning how to be a father to patenting a new perfume atomizer.”

“I was an inventor in my twenties, forties, sixties, eighties and still am an inventor in my hundreds, because I have chosen to believe in my ideas. I have chosen to believe in me.”

“I can assure you from my experiences, we are all born inventors. Life is an invention. If you learn how to listen and observe, you have the same power as others to develop your idea.”

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

– Albert Einstein

There is an infinite flame in us, but it needs a constant attention for to sustain, no matter the generation.

Elders need a purpose, need to feel somebody needs them and are happy to share positive and negative results of their past projects. 

photo: Tjaša Rozman

Youngsters need to hear stories about victories, adventures, even scrapes and are absorbing the knowledge they once need or will consider hearing.

““In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Life is a journey. One must involve young and old generations together and I do strongly believe it is mutually beneficial for a lifelong learning.

stories from Nepal- mustard oil company

the oil mill

Khokana is a traditional and tiny Newari village about 8 kilometers south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan).

Khokana is mainly known for the production of rich mustard oil since ancient time.

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Sign on the entrance door.

Jyaasha Oil Mill is one of remaining two mills in Khokana, producing the famed mustard oil.

The majority of mustard seeds used is no longer locally produced, but imported from the southern regions of the country or from India.

It was used through centuries in Rome, Greece and India as a culinary and therapeutic agent.

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We were invited in, there was story waiting.

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I couldn’t avoid the strong annoying smell while struggling with my camera in low light conditions.

Small windows filled with burning highlights didn’t help me at all, but they did challenge me.

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Mustard oil can replace the vegetable oil in almost all the Indian curries except maybe the ones in south, which are cooked in coconut oil.

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Regular customers used to collect mustard seeds in return of the oil.

Home- next door.

It is important for Nepali to have a special place to worship the Gods.

Interesting facts about the mustard oil

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It improves heart health and reduces cancer risks.

Being extracted from Mustard seeds, this oil carries a huge array of health benefits.

To avoid the smell, It needs to be heated until it starts smoking, because this will break down some of the compounds which are deemed not fit for consumption.

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Mustard oil is highly recommended for the reason that it is full of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Rich in MUFA, PUFA, Omega 3 & 6, Vitamin E, Minerals and anti-oxidants it demonstrates strong Anti-Microbial property.

As an antibacterial when used both externally and internally. Internally it fights with the bacterial infections in colon, intestines and other parts of digestive tract while externally fights both bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.

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It helps improves circulation, boosts metabolism, relieves sinus congestion and most importantly invigorates digestion.

The local production does not fulfill the demands of the mill.

A mill needs 10,000 kg mustard seeds every month for its full operation.

There’s no proper quality control for oils that are imported to Nepal. It can be mixed or not pure.

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Whether a small mill companies will be able to afford to continue the work, or whether the next generation will continue the family tradition, is up for question, the future is murky. 

stories from Nepal- happy street

orange balloon

‘You’re quiet and yet your words fill the room; you’re absent and yet your spirit is present everywhere.’
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She held a balloon in her hands. 

Her sparkly eyes and infectious energy made me want to run next to her.

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I caught a moment of freedom and happiness while she was playing with the orange balloon.

…her parents were dealing with major issues, reconstructing the environment after devastating earthquake Gorkha.

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I took a photo with my Canon EOS Mk4 and a portable printer Fuji Instax, both connected wirelessly, she was amazed about technology.

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I was grateful our moment bounced together and caused a wave of positive energy. She trusted my camera, therefore she trusted me.

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We’re now connected cross the countries and beyond.

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I printed the image for her and she was shining, glowing even more than before.

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When you travel with good intentions the world opens up for you.

Happiness is behind the corner, when she reaches- is up to you.

Every moment is important, every decision is essential.

 “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

STORIES OF NEPAL

open air cremations at Pashupatinath Temple

To receive a new information about the culture and expend my understanding about life, I was willing to embrace the discomforts of unfamiliar surrounding. I wanted to experience an open air cremations at Pashupatinath Temple.

Following the smoke and the inconvenient smell brought me to the secret holy Bagmati River bank, which is the ultimate place and wish for Hindu to be cremated.

The Bagmati River runs into the holy Ganges river in India making it a place of worship through Nepal.

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Either Hindus or Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that one’s actions in life will grant a passage to a higher rebirth, the soul is immortal and the body is only a shell to hold the spirit.

I set on the river bank, trying to look unseen, quietly observing an open air cremation process.

The family of a deceased noticed me, but going through such a sorrow, thankfully I haven’t been seriously acknowledged nor bothering the procession.

After washing the deceased, the body was wrapped in to a cotton cloth leaving only the head uncovered.

The white cloth is said to be a symbol of peace and the orange cloth a symbol of reincarnation.

Usually the family’s oldest son walks around the wooden funeral pyre three times, bow and kisses the deceased’s feet which is the ultimate sign of respect in Nepali culture.

They lighten the kindling near the head of the deceased as Hindu’s believe the person’s spirit is freed through the mouth.

After approximately four hours the remains are scattered into the river.

Relatives of the deceased also join in the funeral procession by bathing in the river or by sprinkling the holy water on their bodies after the cremation.

When the 11 day mourning period starts family is prohibited from eating certain vegetables and meat wearing pure white clothes.

Looking at the photos and reading texts about the Hindu cremations on the Holi river is one thing, while witnessing a ceremony of a deceased is a completely different chapter, challenging.

It forces you to step out of the bubble.

The real education and understanding the culture happens outside the classroom.

STORIES FROM NEPAL

Earthquake Gorkha

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia located mainly in the Himalayas. It borders with China, India and Bangladesh.

Country’s geographic location makes it extremely susceptible to seismic activity and highly vulnerable to a number of disasters as floods, landslides, windstorms, hailstorms, glacier lake outburst floods- and many more dangerous weather events.

Nepal straddles the fault line between Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates forced up against and under each other, at a rate of 5cm each year.

The heavily populated Kathmandu valley has a 300 meters deep layer of clay underneath which causes buildings and roads to be very easily destroyed as well as swallowed by the earth. Nevertheless, there are districts in rural western areas of Nepal with a higher earthquake risk.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world associated with increased population in urban areas, poor human development indicators, political conflicts and poor infrastructure which increases its vulnerability for disasters.

I was devastated to see the destruction earthquake Gorkha caused on 25 April 2015. After three years grounds were still shaking and during the day there are scheduled power cuts to help conserve the energy.

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The quake with the 7.8-magnitude was so powerful it injured 22.000 people, erased more than 9.000 citizens and destroyed or damaged almost one million houses while shifted Mount Everest almost for 3cm.

Billions of dollars committed by international donors haven’t reach the projects directly, which means it has had little impact on recovery of rebuilding and live in traumatic conditions.

Since many Nepalis man live and work abroad, Nepalis women began to assume new underappreciated roles relief effort often considered as man’s job.

With full responsibility they are handling the households, tending children, parents, and farms as well as repairing and reconstructing the houses and rebuilding cultural sites damaged by the earthquake.

Nepalese people were use to cope with hardship and have gone through unbelievable struggles in the past, which made them stronger and are continuing to cope.

Grounds are constantly shaking and during the day there are scheduled power cuts to help conserve energy.

High end hotels are supported with generators. Still, I would recommend you to avoid using the elevator. You never know!

Catastrophic events brings more balance and equanimity to community and among people worldwide.

If you want to survive, you need to learn to coexist, and to value not just the mundane but the important things that are intangible, which we ‘Westerns’ often forget.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller

STORIES FROM NEPAL

Fagu Purnima a Holi festival

I would like to still your attention from Indian stories and take you back to Nepal. To Bhaktapur, the city of light.

Festival of colors is celebrated for the victory of good over evil and the upcoming spring. This usually falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March, according to the Gregorian calendar.

There are many stories behind the Holi that involves a burning sacrifice for the sake of love. (The death of Holika in order to save Prahlad, story about Shiva and Kamadev…) Anyway, the main reason of this festival is about celebrating a victory of virtues.

People are chasing each other on streets armed with water guns, while playing drums and singing traditional songs, dancing…

…throwing dry powdered paint and water balloons to each other no matter the generation.

A legend narrates when witch Putana attempted to kill Lord Krishna by her poisoned milk, he didn’t die but his skin became blue. Complaining to his mother about the darkness of his skin, Krishna’s mother smeared colours on his face.

That explains why today Holi is celebrated by throwing colours on people.

Gulal powder has always had an important role in Hindu culture and has always been used for religious purposes.

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In earlier times Gulal powders were prepared from flowers coming from trees that had medicinal properties, beneficial to the skin.

Now days industrial dyes have been chemically manufactured containing chemicals like lead, which not only irritates the skin but can cause a serious eye and lung damages as well.

All versions are available in markets, but organic and home-made colors cost more.

I knew my gear is protected as much as it can possible be (duck-taped with plastic covers) I have loosen up. Why not, It is Holi! Live a little, right?!

Soon I was powdered from head to toe and was delighted to be able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime festival.

Not only I was enormously enjoying the Holi festival, but the whole town It self had a unique atmosphere and looked like a living colorful museum.

Earthquake Gorkha in 2015 caused a terrible devastation loss of lifes and destroyed temples, yet many gems remained.

Bhaktapur literally translates to Place of devotees is a car- free city centre is nothing like chaotic capital of Kathmandu. I could just imagin how the entire valley would have looked like during the medieval time.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain

I am not a selfie enthusiast therefore I would like to thank you Judith Placht for taking care of this problem for me.

MEETING THE TRIBAS

GUJARAT, INDIA

Sabarkantha district, Poshina

takes one back to the simple beauty of traditional village life, populated by a captivating mélange of colorful tribal communities. Poshina is home to a tribal shrine where you find the staggering scene of thousands of terracotta horses standing in rows as offerings to the local goddess.

 

 In Poshina you’ll find the most welcoming heritage hotel Darbargadh Heritage Hotel, owned by the descendants of the Chalukyas.

Darbargadh Heritage Hotel

Ansel Adams once said,

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

MAKING MY FIRST ARROWHEADS IN INDIA

MEETING THE BHILS

Poshina (Ratanpur) is a town in Sabarkantha state of Gujarat. This is a home of many tribal communities such as Rabaris, Bhils and Garsias.

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The Garasias are known for their colorful attire, the Rabaris for their silver ornaments and the Bhil tribe for arrow making. 

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to experience an Indian traditional archery in practise but I am glad I met a blacksmith just forging metal arrowheads and was keen enough to make a few for me.

Infotech

The Bhils are the third-largest Indo- Aryan speaking and most widely distributed tribal group in India. For Bhil man is mandatory to master handling bow and arrow since childbirth and even after death.

Their aim is quite accurate and it is believed they can claim a target from a kilometers distance.

Bow and arrow are made by a particular group of people in the tribe.

Blacksmith makes a metal arrowheads, when fabricate cane for the arrows painted with bright colors is accomplished by another master. Ends with the eagle feathers are very important for spiritual beliefs.

I had a plan of gathering an traditional Indian handcrafted metal arrowheads with Slovenian handcrafted wood ends and traditional goose feather.

My plan was perfect till entering the first airport on my way home in Vadodara- Baroda. Indian police was checking me from head to toe, investigating me for almost an hour. With the help of my dear Canon buddy who keep my files safe and explained my story of given gift from Poshina, I could finally proceed on my flight to New Delhi, where the real problems actually began.

Just when we were about to board on the rescheduled flight back to Munich a heavily armed policeman came searching for Mismas. Mikmak to be precise. 

I was taken to a small room filled with workers going through numerous of baggages, with mine on top. This was the first journey where I didn’t have any problems with my photo equipment, but was dealing with a bigger problem – a weapon-  according to the officers claims. What a mishmash!

After sighing all the papers (written in Indian language) and authorities believing my non conspiracy story, I could proceed with boarding. Quite embarrassing, must admit.

Like Groundhogs day same old story repeated on Munich airport. I just couldn’t step out of the endless circle. This time authorities wanted to take my Canon batteries as well.

I gave up this time, I was drained out. I did remind- teasing an officer where to look for my Canon batteries.

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Suddenly the coast was clear. After all the complications bulled on me, I have succeeded and brought my Indian arrowheads home.

Happy to achieve a part of my new unexpected project and yet I can’t reed of this thought… What was I thinking making the metal arrowheads in Gujarat (indeed a weapon) in a time of such crises?

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Pakistan closed its airspace in response to soaring tensions with India, with both states claiming to have shot down each other’s jets. Is there anything left to say?

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Gone through such an exhaustion and sweet, I will accomplish my international project, bonding the Indian and Slovenian handcraft. Already in process with a help of Mr. Robert Levstek- parkour archery Draga Velley, Slovenia.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.”

– Martin Buber