Humanity Too: A Continuing Global Journey by Jim Foster

If you have subscribed to National Geographic magazine–or glanced through it in a doctor’s office while waiting for an appointment–then you’ve seen pictures of the seemingly infinite variety of human beings around our planet:  from Masai herders on the plains of Kenya to dancers at the temples in Angkor Wat and from Russian peasants celebrating a wedding in traditional clothing to novitiate monks at prayer in Myanmar.  Such photos remind us of the majestic, multicultural world we inhabit and of the fascinating differences that define us as well as the common humanity we share.  But what many of us glimpsed in National Geographic, Durangoan Jim Foster has experienced.  He has been an avid world traveler for much of his life and has captured life on Earth through his lens.  This photo journey, the second of two parts, presents more of his photos of people around the world.

Photo of a Chinese woman with an umbrella

A Chinese performer on a Yangtze riverboat



A beautiful Chinese performer twirls her umbrella as part of a show on a Yangtze River riverboat.  She reflects a rich cultural tradition where politics fades behind grace, beauty, charm, and the elegance of movement.





Photo of a horse-drawn taxi in Poland

A horse-drawn carriage taxi in Krakow, Poland



In a market square in Krakow, Poland, the driver of a horse-drawn carriage waits for passengers.  This taxi’s journey is not only through space but also through time.





Photo of a Tanzanian house made of mud

A naturally air-conditioned house in rural Tanzania



A mud house in rural Tanzania with its many small openings serving as vents and windows.






Photo of five red-robed monks with a soccer ball

Five young monks returning to the monastery in Bagan, Myanmar



Five young monks in saffron robes return to their monastery, their leader hefting a soccer ball.  They can’t devote all their times to meditation and prayer.






Photo of young men surfing on a river in Munich

Young men surfing on a river in Munich, Germany



A young man catches a wave in one of Munich’s favorite parks.  River wave surfing is an option when you live so far from an ocean.






Photo of people in traditional Russian peasant dress

Traditional Russian greeting with bread and salt


Young Russians in traditional dress greet visitors with a loaf of bread topped with salt.  Their greeting, “Khleb da sol,” symbolizes prosperity and health.  In old Russia, members of a household would wear their best clothing and lay a feast for important visitors.





Photo of ox-drawn wagons returning from the marketplace in Myanmar

Villagers return from a market in rural Myanmar


A parade of ox-drawn carts in rural Myanmar.  Villagers are returning from the marketplace having tried to sell their wares and make enough money to provide for their families.






Photo of a Myanmar mother balancing a child and firewood

A young mother in Myanmar carrying her child and firewood




This young mother in Myanmar has figured out how to manage child care while bringing firewood home from the market.






Photo of a thriving produce market in Bagan, Myanmar

A colorful produce market in Bagan, Myanmar


This produce market in Bagan, Myanmar, is like  farmers market in America except that this is a daily chore for these Burmese farmers–and for their customers, who, living in homes with no refrigeration, must shop for fresh food every day.







Photo of a Chinese shaman doing calligraphy

Another of Shaman With Calligraphy at Dongba Museum


A Chinese shaman wearing a traditional headdress practices calligraphy at the Dongba Museum in western China.  His art requires patience, steady hands, and decades of practice.








Photo of a fisherman bathing in a river in Myanmar

A fisherman baths in the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar



A fisherman on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar takes time out for a bath.








Photo of traditional house building in Havana, Cuba

Traditional house building in Havana, Cuba




Horse-drawn carts bring raw materials and supplies to traditional house builders in a residential section of Havana, Cuba.






Photo of a Sumatran warrior hurdling atop a stone pedestal

A Sumatran man leaps atop a stone pillar to achieve warrior status



While villagers look on, a Sumatran man leaps onto a stone pillar to become a warrior.  In yesteryear, warriors stole women from other tribes.  Now they steal pigs.








Photo of a mother bathing her child in a river

Mother bathing her child in the Irrawaddy R



A mother baths her child in the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.








Photo of Chinese girl wearing a mask

Celebrating Labor Day



A girl in Tiananmen Square in Beijing wears a colorful mask in celebration of Chinese Labor Day.








Photo of a girl with face paint in Myanmar

Myanmar girl with Thanaka face paint




Thanaka is the traditional Burmese way of beauty.  A white-yellowish paint made from the bark of the Murraya tree is applied to the face (and sometimes arms and legs).  Along with its cosmetic function, Thanaka acts as a sunscreen, and it smells like sandalwood.





All photographs are courtesy of James H. Foster, Copyright 2020.   All rights reserved.









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Terry Bacon