Author Archives: Frank Cornfield


In the streets of Madurai in Tamil Nadu I came across these guys taking part in Thaipusam, a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon days in January and February.

On the day of the festival, devotees will shave their heads and undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens).

At its simplest this may entail carrying a pot of milk, but mortification of the flesh by piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with skewers is also common.

Bull Fighting in India, Jallikattu

Although cows and bulls are sacred animals in India there is a two day bull fighting event during the Hindu Festival of Pongal.  The event takes place in a small village outside Madauri in Tamil Nadu.

Indian bull fighting should really be called bull wrestling as the objective is for young men to attempt to wrestle the bulls to the ground after they have been released from a narrow doorway at the end of a road.  Huge crowds and media gather to view this event which is run among amidst a frantic atmosphere where the competitors are being cheered on to tackle the bull.  There is no doubt most of the spectators are on the side of the bulls.

On the first day of Jallikattu the bulls won by a score around 80-0.  80 human casualties (15 serious) and all the bulls survived.

Metropol Parasol Seville

Metropol Parasol building in Seville, Spain- Desiged by J. Mayer Architects.

The Metropol Parasol scheme with its impressive timber structures offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Continue reading