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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Humanity: A 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 first of two parts, presents a few of his photos of people around the world.

Two girls lighting candles at a church
Lighting candles at a church in Korsakov

 

 

Two Russian girls wearing scarves light candles at a church in Korsakov on Sakhalin Island.  This is a ritual repeated in churches of many denominations throughout the world.  We wonder what they are praying for.

 

 

 

 

 

A young indigenous Russian boy with a rope
A Russian boy demonstrates his skill with a rope

 

 

An indigenous Russian boy in Chukotka Province, opposite Alaska, shows his skill with a lasso-type rope.  He is aware of the camera but stays focused on his target.

 

 

 

Photo of a bartender at the Dung Beetle Bar in
The Dung Beetle Bar in Botswana

 

 

 

It’s happy hour at the Dung Beetle Bar in an Okovango Delta camp in Botswana.  Note the figurine of a dung beetle in the lower right.  Don’t be squeamish.  The drinks are dung-free.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of a Burmese woman smoking a fat cigar
A woman in Myanmar smokes a homemade cigar

 

 

 

A woman in Myanmar smokes a big, fat stoogie while balancing a bundle of sticks on her head.

 

 

 

 

Photo of newlyweds in Indonesia
Bride and Groom in Indonesia

 

 

These newlyweds are leading a march to their wedding feast on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of a Cambodian dancer at a temple
Dancer from the Royal Cambodian Ballet

 

 

A dancer from the Royal Cambodian Ballet poses in a temple ruin near Angkor Wat flanked by nearly identically garbed stone figures.

 

 

 

 

Photo of a neighborhood band in Havana
A neighborhood band playing in Havana

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood bands like this one are a common sight in Havana’s arts district.

 

 

 

 

Photo of a student sitting beneath a wall at Munich's modern art museum
A student at Munich’s modern art museum

 

 

 

A student catches up on studies while sunbathing along the colorful wall of Munich’s Museum of Modern Art

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of an Australian woman with a wombat
A young wombat nuzzles its keeper

 

 

In Australia, a young wombat nuzzles its keeper.  Wombats are burrowers with rodent-like teeth.  Full grown, they can be three feet long and weigh around sixty pounds.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of two Masai men wearing red robes
Masai herdsmen in Kenya

 

 

 

Two Masai herdsmen on the dusty plains of Kenya, friendly and perhaps amused by the photographer.  Note their beaded wrist and ankle bracelets.

 

 

 

Photo of two Tanzanian schoolboys
Tanzanian schoolboys mugging for the camera

 

 

 

With mischievous delight in their eyes, these two Tanzanian schoolboys take a break from class to clown for the photographer.

 

 

 

 

Photo of three bathers in an infinity pool in Singapore
An infinity pool in Singapore

 

 

 

This infinity pool atop a high-rise building in Singapore offers an unusual–and perhaps frightening–perspective on a modern, busy city.

 

 

 

 

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