Friday, March 2, 2012

Manali Magic

One of the best things about being a solo woman traveler in India is the contact you can make with the women. Even without a common language, women will make an effort to communicate. Language deepens the connection, and laughter seals it!
I spent a season or two living in a village house with a family in Manali area. The three women of the house are my dearest friends and the community women ended up accepting me when they saw I was willing to work alongside them in the fields, picking apples and doing farm stuff.
All women in Himachal Pradesh can weave, and every house has a loom. They are the most accomplished women I have ever met. They love to work in the fields, take pride in their work and are paid for it. They also knit and weave and spin their own wool, dance like birds and are incredibly gracious and shy all at once.
So Manali women hold a special place in my heart. The resident goddess of this place is Hidemba, a powerful protector of the women there, they claim.  Here are a few pictures of one of the families in a nearby village I also hung out with for a while.

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