I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
For those of you who love adventure travel and discovering other cultures, photographer Matthieu Paley is your guy. Reading his blog, I am entranced. (The photos in the text of this post are mine. Please follow the link below to Matthieu Paley’s work–he is world class).
Matthieu Paley’s photography is a portal into another world. Last night on his blog, I discovered “We Are The Anti-Taliban” (copyright, Matthieu Paley), a film he and his wife, Mareile, made in 2008, of the world’s biggest Sufi festival. Singing, dancing, and love, a yearly celebration held in Sehwan Sharif, a town on the banks of the Indus River, Sindh Province, Pakistan.
The people of Pakistan are so much more than the fundamentalists and terrorists, the difficult, untrustworthy government.
Below is the link to Matthieu’s blog. Once you reach his blog, scroll down the site to find Matthieu’s video, “We are the Anti-Taliban”, on the right hand column, towards the bottom on the screen, and enjoy:
I so wanted to experience Sufi celebration and dancing when I visited Pakistan, but my timing was off. However, I was able to spend a morning in the Data Durbar Shrine in Lahore. The remains of the 11th Century Sufi Saint Abul Hassan Ali Havjery, also known as Data Gani Baksh, are enshrined Data Durbar, which was built in the 11th Century.
Data Durbar welcomes people of all faiths to worship, be they Christian, Hindu, Sikh, or Jains.
I felt welcomed and comfortable at Data Durbar. The holy men and worshipers radiated kindness and compassion. My time in this beautiful shrine was the high point of my stay in Lahore.
Sufism is a path to uncovering Divine Love within one’s own heart.
Sufism is the Islam of Rumi, the beloved poet.
Sufism is a voice of moderation in Pakistan.
Tragically, July 2010, there were three explosions in the Data Durbar Complex, the work of suicide bombers.
Three thousand people were present, 42 were killed, and 175 wounded.
Sufism in Pakistan is threatened by fundamentalism.
Related Articles, including more about Sufism in Pakistan and the festival at Sehwan Sharif:
- The Smithsonian, Sufism in Pakistan, Sehwan Sharif
- The Guardian, Declan Walsh, The World’s Greatest Party?
- The Guardian, slide show of Sehwan Sharif
- German Anthropologist Jurgen Wasim Frembgen on Sehwan Sharif
- What is Sufism? by Yilmaz Alimoglu (yilmazalimoglu.com)
- Can Sufism Defuse Terrorism? (time.com)
- Rumi and Sufism Part 1 (caravanofdreams.wordpress.com)
- Jahan e Khusrau’s magic Sufi music (guardian.co.uk)