Terranigma

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Welcome to our mysterious home – I would like to introduce all of you to a project of mine. This is an introduction, but also an attempt to raise funds, so if you are allergic to such requests, stop reading right now 😉

Terranigma (terra = earth, enigma = riddle, terranigma – the earth as an eternal riddle) is a project that I conceived of in 2013, inspired by a preceding visit to the Himalaya region of Spiti in Northwestern India and by conversations and work with fellow travellers, photographers and filmmakers. My goal is to create a platform to preserve and document some of the most remote, strange and culturally valuable places and traditions on our planet through photography and writing.

After seeing ancient monasteries and thousand year old traditions in the valleys of the High Himalaya I came to realize that much of this wealth might be – and probably will be gone from the face of the earth forever in five to ten years time.

The world changes at a breakneck pace. Change, as a matter of fact, is the only thing that is constant in our existence. I want to record and show the world in the way I percieve it while I am travelling: as a deeply fascinating, fragile place full of mysteries and riddles, full of life, of traditions and also of change.

Do you consider such a project worthwhile? If you do, I am asking you to seriously consider supporting it. I aim to create a platform for various photographers and independent documentary filmmakers to collect knowledge of disappearing things. This must – out of necessity – start with my own photography.

This is what I am asking you: If you think it worthwhile, go to my website (http://www.sebastianbuchner.weebly.com/terranigma.html) and have a look at the PDF file. I am offering all of these images for sale in various formats, from very large to very small, from expensive to really cheap.

All money raised this way goes directly into funding further travels and to help create an online platform for photography, documentary film and independent cultural or anthropological reporting. I don’t expect this will be easy or that anything at all will happen without a serious amount of work – I am thankful for anyone who takes enough time to look at it and perhaps is willing to share it as well.

Thank you,
Sebastian Buchner.

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The Subtleties of Mullah Nasruddin

A neighbor went to Nasruddin to ask him to borrow his donkey. “It is out on loan,” said the Mullah.

At that moment a loud braying was heard from the stables.

“But I can hear it bray, over there.”

“Whom do you believe,” said Nasruddin; “Me or a donkey?”

Mullah Nasruddin is plainly one of the greatest figures of Muslim folklore. Spiritual fool, wise clown, mirror of humanity or deep pool of knowledge – the Mullah features in jokes that transcend all barriers and reappear in different versions in places as diverse as Mongolian drinking tales and the Simpsons.

“Mullah! Why in God’s name are you throwing white stones in our garden?”

“To keep the tigers away,” answered Nasrudding unperturbed.

“But there are no tigers!”

Exactly.”

An everyman and a fool, but if you are patient and perceptive enough you can see the subtle layer of philosophy underneath the joke and the surreality. Sometimes he is awfully sly, though.

Nasruddin was walking with a friend along the dusty road, when they realized that a terrible thirst had taken hold of them. They stopped at a teahouse and found that between the two of them they had only enough money for a single glass of milk. The friend said: “Drink your half first. I have a twist of sugar here which I will add to my half to sweeten it.”

“Add it now, brother, and we shall both partake,” said the Mullah.

“No, there is not enough to sweeten a whole glass.”

Nasruddin went into the kitchen and came back with a palmful of salt. “Good news my friend – I am having my half with salt – and there is enough for the whole glass!”

In some stories (when they reappear in a different setting) the Mullah is transformed into a dignitary or a saintly person – he has been turned into Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, trickster figures from fairy tales and what have you. Of course one might argue that the Mullah is quite inimitable and he would have his own say if someone accused him of shapeshifting…

Mullah Nasruddin walked into a shop one day.

The shopkeeper came forward to serve him.

“First things first,” said the Mullah. “Did you see me walk into your shop just now?”

“Of course.”

“Have you ever seen me before?”

“Never in my life.”

“Then how do you know it is me?”

The stories are taken from Idries Shah’s collection.