In a cave with Werner Herzog

In a cave with Werner HerzogDuring two brief periods a year, a few select paleontologists, geologists and other specialists receive special permission from the French government to pass through a vault-like door on a cliff above the Ardeche River in southwestern France. Once inside the Chauvet cave, they become members of an exclusive group ó those who have witnessed, in three dimensions, the oldest known art in the world.

South African woman tells of spiritual healing temptation

South African woman tells of spiritual healing temptationShe is being initiated as a "sangoma" - one of South Africa's traditional spiritual healers, who still occupy a powerful position in society.
An estimated 70% of South Africans will visit a spiritual healer before seeking conventional medical help.
Lesego Mangwanyane is watching the ceremony. She is a young journalist from SAFM radio and is sceptical of the sangoma, but as the drum beats she begins to feel uneasy.

Vietnam: Between tradition and modernity

Vietnam: Between tradition and modernityBack in the mid-1990s I was on a gap year before university and had somehow ended up in mid-West America. Wandering through a neighbourhood in La Crosse, Wisconsin, I saw groups of women in brightly-coloured dresses tending to corn crops in their front gardens and washing their clothes in large buckets on their porches.

A simple wedding Jeju's traditional wedding ceremony

A simple wedding JejuItís spring, as gloriously evidenced by cherry blossoms swirling through the air like so much fragrant pink snow. Naturally, our thoughts turn to weddings.
Jejuís traditional wedding ceremony, like so many of its indigenous customs, disappeared during the Japanese colonial period. And with the subsequent 1948 massacre and Korean War, this and many other cultural traditions were not to be recovered.

Praying for rain

Praying for rainMany believers here in Lubbock and the surrounding area will gather in their churches Sunday (or before) to ask God for rain. The earth is parched and it is time for rain, according to those of us who live here. Ministers will speak and pray for and with their congregations.