Pic’n’Post n° 17: What is the picture of?

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What is the picture of?

Two guesses last week, and for the first time, two winners. Rosa (who doesn’t blog, so no link to give you) said Afghanistan or somewhere close, and Thumbup at Live Love Laugh lived up to the name of her blog with the brilliant answer “on a bridge” 🙂 So both get winner’s badges, but Thumbup’s answer leads me to add another rule: The answer must include a geographical place name. (No getting away with that anymore, I’m afraid!) 

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The actual spot was the Hunza area of Northern Pakistan, specifically Gilgit, a small town on the Karakoram Highway. This was a road we travelled a few years back, and we would have liked to fly from Gilgit to Islamabad, but the weather prevented planes taking off so we had to take an overnight bus, stopping for breakfast in Abbattobad, where at the same moment, unknown to us (and presumably to everyone else on the bus) Bin Laden was tucking into breakfast too. Though the region is beautiful, Gilgit itself is not the prettiest of towns, and the total absence of women in the streets makes it unnaturally glum. But there’s a fascinating library with documents from the 19th Century chronicling some of the British attempts to control the area and spread further north to counter Russia’s expansionist dream of reaching India. A rivalry which lasted many decades and became known as the Great Game – a game which, with different actors, unfortunately continues to this day.

Congratulations, Rosa!

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Congratulations, Thumbup!

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This week it’s back to What? at the top of this page. Happy guessing!

Children are Children, aren’t they? #IndiawithPakistan

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Children from the Hunza Valley, north Pakistan.

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Indian boy, Chennai

This reblog Wednesday post is Damyanti’s discussion of children in India and Pakistan, following the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar last December. Because as an Indian, her condemnation and compassion are all the more noteworthy; because one thing follows another and barely have we heard about an atrocity than we forget it; because I have been to both countries, seen the children she talks about, and been enriched by their smiles.