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Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Nobody smokes more beautifully than this Intha Tribesman from Lake Inle, Myanmar: Cheroot
It was in the midst of the annual Phaung-Daw-Oo festival celebrations when I saw him inside a Buddhist temple with his fellow male elders. They were all sitting on a rug, enjoying a big pile of cheroots (local cigars) while the women prayed to Buddha. I sauntered up to him, and when I raised my camera to take his headshot, he seemed to know the portrait that I had in mind. The man exhaled slowly, a rich cloud of smoke oozing from his mouth. This is one of my favorite headshots ever. And man, that cigar really tasted good. I bought a US$1's worth - that's about 2 dozen cheroots!

 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
The evening of the 23rd saw Singapore's Indian population celebrating Maha Shivaratri, the night when the Hindu god Shiva performed the primordial dance of creation: 9983
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In contrast to other Hindu festivals I've seen, this one was awash in a constant solemnity that strangely reminded me of Good Friday in Roman Catholic Philippines. Like Biyernes Santo back home, the Maha Shivaratri was characterized by fasting, constant praying, and an onrush of devotees eager to pay their respects to the celebrant god. But whereas devout Catholics would partake of wine as part of their holy communion, Hindu ascetics would help themselves to a cup of thandal, made from almonds, milk, and bhang - cannabis - said to be a favorite drink of Shiva. But don't get me wrong, lest you think this was a religious weed-fest - the use of bhang is NOT legal in Singapore!
 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma
In the world's only airconditioned state, even flower boxes are cooled: Flower Box

 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

A practicioner of Chinese puppetry, known in Singapore as "mu-o" shows off her tools for the camera:

 

Puppet Master


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

 

An Indian devotee prepares to have his tongue ritually pierced during last year's Thaipusam festival, held on the streets of Singapore:

 

stick it


The white stuff on the hands and face is ash, which is supposed to cleanse the resulting wound.

 

 

 
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Singapore

 
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