Cattle Fairs (7/95)

We left Jaipur shortly after breakfast for what turned out to be close to a seven hour bus ride.

There is really no other way to sensibly get to this rural area. Although it seemed to bother a few others, most were more than happy to relax and nap, read. The rest of the group had gone on home visits last night (in groups of five to three separate residences) and gave an accounting of their experience. The following discussion of the methods, functions and customs of arranged marriages left me still with the distinct feeling that it is the largest legitimized human trafficking custom in the world. But that ascribes good motives to everyone (parents on both sides, cast elders who play a huge role in rural areas) and a willingness on the part of the participants.

And the stars align properly each and overnight, right? That is why the Hindu religion recommends not doing or contracting anything significant during that leap month.

Sights along the way

Anyway – the bus ride ended out at what anyone who grew up in rural America would recognize as a fairground. No particular parking area, no rides and a few stands selling goods, but strings of animals on open stretches of grounds organized by type with milling groups looking over the animals going from one vendor to the others.  I am also reminded of the descriptions of the spring & fall fairs that historically were common in Europe where trading, buying, job finding and spouse finding for offspring also rated high on the list. 

This fair is mostly men except for the nomadic families who seem to be traveling with everything they own. There you see masses of small, grubby, skinny barefoot children with ready smiles and a hand out. They start them begging as soon as they walk.

Given this is supposed to be an adventure – we took a camel ride through the entire fair before coming back to evening entertainment and dinner.

camel with its own opinion

camel with its own opinion

One of the groups of – lets just call them gypsies – provided music and dance.  Our accommodations were in individual tents with a open area in the middle. This is a temporary camp. Besides OAT I think they probably provide the same to other tourist groups during this twice a year fair.

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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