VRINDAVAN, INDIA BY SEAN GABRIEL
Growing up in a developed country of Singapore, everything is very fast paced. When you compare to countries like France, England or Turkey, where the Heritage History is strong, we lack heavily in that area. That could also be triggered by the idea that we are a relatively young Nation. That being said, travelling has proved to be not only an escape from the Urban Jungle but also a chance to be educated of the History that surrounds us throughout the world. Getting to understand cultural diversities that we do not face locally, being able to be exposed and stand along side Architectural wonders that have stood throughout the early renaissance era, having the chance to touch the walls of one of the earliest monasteries; all these have provided invaluable knowledge that cannot be learned in schools; all of which have somehow molded the current day that we live in.
Our purpose of visiting Vrindavan, India, was for pilgrimage purposes. As my girlfriend's family are Hare Krsna, we normally would try to visit this Sacred Village whenever the given chance arise. Most importantly, the village is said to be where Lord Krishna spent time during his childhood.
Each temple represented different deities; and each deity represented different ideals - such as: Lord Ganesha represents Obstacles, Intellect and Wisdom & Lord Krishna represents Devotion. Did I mention that the entire village is Vegetarian Friendly? As cows are known to be sacred, many are seen roaming around the streets with the occasional pet by a passerby, seeking blessings from the animal. If you are looking for the nearest McDonalds, you may have to head down a 4 hours drive to Delhi! These areas gave us the opportunity to capture portraits at places that had rich religious values with Hare Krsna (Religion). Most of these captures are purely by chance as we were temple hopping around via river or by land.
Firstly, I accomplished eating Indian Food for 10 days straight (it's not an easy fit when Singapore has just as many Indian restaurants around and the last thing anyone wants to do is to have the same food for that duration!) I'm proud to say that i've allowed myself to absorb entirely, with an open mind, the culture, the people and the surroundings. Albeit the hygiene may have remained doubtful, what was prominent was the clarity of pure spirited people that made my experience there extremely enriching. Being a Catholic and a meat lover, i've always been intrigued by different religions; leading up to readings on the History of different religions. This trip has provided me the ability to withstand temptations such as eating meat. I've since become a vegetarian and with the correct mindset, i'm able to achieve goals out of my comfort zone. One should visit Vrindavan, India to indulge in endless beauty and splendour that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. My girlfriend and I are looking forward to conquer Vietnam this Soon, followed by France this coming September!
If you think you've seen it all, you haven't. If you think you've understood it all, it's clearly you haven't. So travel and live!
Follow Sean's Journey HERE