Monday, October 31, 2011

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese

This quote is attributed to poet G. K. Chesterton. I'm neither a poet nor a famous novelist, but my love of all things Cheesy can be considered something of an obsession. Whether its goat, cow and even camel based cheese (yes I said Camel), original or flavored, I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When we were in Amsterdam 2 months ago, I decided to look for a cheese factory and ended up at  Amsterdams Kaashuis and what an awesome discovery it was. I think we managed to spend close to one hour inside the store, going around and snacking on everything on display. Wish we bought something for home, then again Canadian Custom doesn't appreciate anyone bringing in food from overseas regardless of the country. Here are some of the pictures I took around the store, just looking at it makes me wanna buy some more cheese.

 the owner and employees in this little cheese factory were warm and welcoming to everyone

Thursday, October 6, 2011

As a child I understood how to give, I have forgotten this grace since I have become "civilized"

As stated by Chief Luther Standing Bear, from South Dakota. Don't know when my fascination with Native culture and history began, but I vividly remember being curious about a nation/tribes within a nation and their painful history being told to us in grade 4. Fast forward few years later in high school and all I read in Canadian history and geography books was always so narrowed and gloomy. Like the history of black America/Canadians and many other minorities, we are often told the misery and pain of a proud people, but rarely do we learn a more holistic picture about their strength, achievements and rich contribution to their present countries. Its often been said, history belongs to the victorious, but I beg to disagree. History belongs to all of us, we own it and must seek to educate ourselves and preserve the many diverse and rich culture for present and future generation. And not just the sanitized PC tale of a massacre (in the case of millions disappeared Native tribes) and the struggle many to this day are apart of for their own economic and political freedom.

Last year, I was lucky enough to vacation in Manitoulin Island with few friends. The purpose of our trip was really to finally visit the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, only one of its kind in North America. In particular, the Wikwemikong Pow Wow 50th Anniversary celebration, where many Indian tribes were represented from Oklahoma to Quebec. It was beautiful to see an actual reserve that was not just functioning successfully, but having their own autonomous economic and political structure, raising their families in these beautiful Islands. The reserve belongs to the Ojibwa, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples, under the Council of Three Fires. Here are some of the pictures my friend and I took during the celebration:

 "One does not sell the land upon which people walk." -Tashanka Witko