Monday, 6 December 2010

Sunday Blessings - Camels or Elephants?

Last months when Sonia was here for the Diwali holidays we went shopping in the old city market. It was Diwali night . The shops were brightly decorated with strings of fairy lights and dazzling ornaments. and the traditional earthen lamps called diyas.. People were setting of fire crackers painting the shy with showers of color. And stunning us with noise.

In the middle of the crowded market came an elephant swaying majestically with its mahout on his back.Hindus revere the elephant as a kin of the elephant god Gamesh. Colonel Haati (Jungle Book elephant) extends his trunk towards you obligingly and you are expected to put a few coins into his cupped snout. He then gracefully hands over the loot to his master.Its fun. You can feed him peanuts etc too. As children we loved doing this at fairs , melas, zoos and circuses. Although the towering size of the pachyderm intimidated us a bit. They appeared like moving sky scrapers to us.
Last year the nearby Methodist church was having a Christmas Mela or Fair on its grounds on Christmas Day and elephants and camels were giving rides to kids in the company of clowns and good old Saint Nick. I offered to buy rides for our church children but they were too shy to try them.


I had my camera with me for an opportune photo. So I jumped down from the rickshaw and took some photos. Mr Haati extended his trunk towards me for money as he was trained to do. By the time I got the money out , he had moved on because we were causing a mini traffic jam in the narrow street. Both of us were disappointed.





(The camel photos are from Rajasthan Tourism (India)websites
I like to listen to online Christmas music while working . "We Three Kings of Orient Are" made me wonder what method of transport did the wise men/magi/ or Kings actually take. As depicted on the Christmas cards and illustrations the Bible does not mention camels. Camels were the mode of transport used by important people (today' s private jets) That 's why I suppose camels are associated with the wise men.
I researched some popular misconceptions around Christmas and came up with the following.

Did three kings riding camels come to Jesus’ birth?


The Bible does not say that any kings or camels visited young Jesus.
It does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many. None of the early Church Fathers, suggested the magi were kings. Since the word “magi” used in the Bible is plural, there were apparently at least two, and there could have been more—even several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts they presented—gold, frankincense and myrrh, but this does not necessarily indicate the number of magi. There is also no proof of what country these men came from.

Before the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem, Jesus traveled to and from Jerusalem for presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:21-22).Also, the wise men clearly did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as is commonly shown on greeting cards and in plays. The magi did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-39).
At this time, Scripture calls Jesus a “child,” not a “baby.” It is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could been two years old or under. [Learn more: About the “wise men” (magi)]Is th

Is this real???

Never seen a camel ride like this. Looks dangerous to me too. It could be a remixed photo. I wonder how far can the camel walk with all these people on its back. And camels move very oddly . In an undulating movement, the chairs can't stay steady for long. What is th e poor beast 's last straw?


UPDATE on Home Improvement

The painting of the walls is over and from tomorrow we will begin the wood and iron work,. I asked Mama to pick out the colors and she choose Aquamarine for the iron grille and Royal Ivory and Brown for the wood.

Thank you for your prayer s and good wishes. I am healing well.

11 Fertilize my soul:

Zimbabwe said...

I'm sure that last photo is something made by Photoshop or Gimp. In tradition Three Kings (Magis) are shown with camels - it is possible, but it would have been also horses. I read, that they could be believers of Persian religion in the 1st century - Zoroastrianism. In some Old Polish pictures or churches You can see, that one of these Three Kings is black man - like African. On the lesson from ethnology my professor said, that it was the sign of fascination of African culture by Medieval and 16th - 17th century Polish people.

Gerry said...

What fun that would be for the children to go for a ride either on an elephant or a camel. I paid for my grandson Dante to ride on a camel once at the zoo. I think I was as thrilled as he was and never forgot it. One of my favorite stories as a child was called "The Elephant Remembers" about a young mahout and his relationship to the elephant he took care of and rode to do the work elephants are trained to do. I forget all the details now of the story but I have always been fascinated with documentaries showing these animals and work they have been trained to do. I guess because I was so interested in all our horses which served us with their work with cattle and were also used to farm with in those days. I rode many cow horses belonging to either my dad or my grandfather, some of which they acquired with ranches they bought. I drove the haywagon for my dad when I was 8 with a beloved swayback workhorse named Pet as part of team that my dad got from his brother when he took over the ranch.

Dani said...

Interesting post and I love the photos...elephants are such wonderful creatures...as far as the magi...lots of speculation, huh? but I always remember that wise men still seek Him....
how are you feeling after your fall?
I've been praying for you...
your mama's color combination choice sounds wonderful..tell her she has good taste...

monsoon dreams said...

Good to know the facts about three wise men.
Elephants are integral part of every temple festival in kerala.Been seeing them since childhood,but i'm scared of them beyond a distance.i always feel that the elephant is looking at me!i've touched the tail,coz my friends used to say that it drives away fear.what nonsense,right?

madison said...

So glad to know you are healing well after your fall.
Last month hubby and I went to a relatives house for Diwali. They were watching the celebration from a temple on tv.
I always assumed the wise men arrived either by foot or possibly by donkey, but either way Jesus wasn't a small baby by the time they got there.
Hope the painting on your house goes smoothly.

Amrita said...

That ' s right Zimb . I have also heard of these traditional beliefs.

Thanks fo r sharing Gerry. Another great illustrative story is about an elephant an the 5 blind men of India.

Thank you for your comment an d prayers Dani. It is so comforting to know we are being praye d for.
That 's right wise men still seek Him.

Thank you MD ,*Nina)
They say Jesus was about 3 years old by the time the magi arrived in Israel. Because Herod ordered all male children upto the age of 3 to be killed but Joseph wa s warned by an angel an d the family fled to Egypt .

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Wow! Elephant and Camel rides look like a lot of fun! I would give it a try but my wife would probably not :-)

Have a great week

~Ron

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Amrita,

Lovely photos especially the one through the legs of the elephant.

Your description of the elephants as towering,moving sky scraper etc.is really fascinating.

Now that you have mentioned that three kings or wise men did not visit Baby Jesus,I should check the Bible.This clearly shows how ignorant I am of the Bible.

I hope the painting will be over soon and you will be able to carry on your daily activities normally as before.

Best wishes to you and your mom,
Joseph

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

We walk around with the smallest of our cats on our shoulders. Hadji is our "mahout"!!! Go here, go there!

Love your photos and the glimpses of the fascinating city you live in.

Amrita said...

Dear Ron, I would have to be very adventurous to take camel an d elephant rides too.

Thank you Mr Joseph.
I wish the phot came out clearer. The elephant was moving and my Sony Cybershot is not too good withe moving objects. The painting is going on. I don' t want the men to hurry - thye might become carelass if I ask them to hurry.

Dear Holly, animals have ruled our roost. Our pets thinks they are the masters and we were created to serve them. LOL! My Jimmy used to tell us when to eat and when to go to bed.
Prince Hadji seems to be proud of you. LOL!

Trish said...

Amrita, I love your posts. They are so rich in history and learning of a new culture...opens up my horizon. I am so happy to see that you are feeling better!
Big hugs,
trish