Phoenix Arts

A student and friend of mine pointed me in the direction of an interesting article today.  The gist of it centered around the “last master” of a traditional Sikh Martial Art called Shastar Vidya.  It’s a weapon art, that was all but stamped out by British occupation in the 19th Century.  Nidar Singh now seeks students to pass on this dwindling style of weapon play.  Sadly, his story is not unique.  One of the first things a conquering nation often does is take the weapons away from the natives.  We have seen this numerous times throughout history.  Rather than focus on this aspect of time I want to examine what arose from the ashes of imperialist oppression. Continue reading

Bread Around the World: Injera

To most, the cuisine in the so called “Dark Continent” is something of a mystery.  I fondly remember my first true foray into African food in a little cafe off main street.  Sadly it’s gone now, partially because I think Vancouverites are a little lost in this region.  I know I was at first.  I had a leg up, though, in the form of a boisterous and jovial fellow at the next table over who was all to happy to show me how best to enjoy my experience.  The key was Injera, an Ethiopian flat bread that served as the edible utensil.  The man showed me how to use it to eat the strange (but tasty) cassava paste and delicious goat stew. Continue reading