Tag Archives: Multicultural Day

Gordon Webster, Once The Queen’s Piper, Of Late Of Concord (NH), Passed Away On March 29, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From my 1999 ‘NH Highland Games’ program. I got to know him around this time.


Crop of HIS Facebook picture.


The Facebook message.



I happened, by chance, to hear the sad news on WMUR (Channel 9) news this morning. It was quite a shock. I had no idea that he had been that sick — or for that long. Though we were at best but nodding acquaintances I would have gone and seen him. He was quite the man.

I first met him at the ‘NH Highland Games‘, in Loon, probably around 1999 (given that he emigrated to NH in 1998). I would invariably say ‘hello’ and a few words. A few years later he started playing — or bringing some of his students — to the LaconiaMulticultural Day‘, which I attended, assiduously. I would chat to him there. The Laconia event was less hectic in those days. I, like now, was very homesick and wanted, desperately, to go back. He would tell me that I was crazy and that life was better in the U.S.!

I remember the role he — and for that matter, Denis Carr, of ‘The Brigadoons’ — played at the obviously memorable 2011 Highland Games, which took place on the weekend of 9/11. It was a very ‘charged’ game. I wrote this, in a post here, in 2012. You should read it. It talks about the 2001 Games as well as Gordon playing for the Queen in a sinking rowing boat!

Click to ENLARGE and read here. The link to the original post is in the text above.


I also wrote about Gordon here — when I did a post about his son’s bagpipes getting confiscated by U.S. customs because of the ivory parts on the 1936 bagpipes.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. The link to the original post is in the text above.


Great shame. A great loss.

I read some of his Facebook timeline. Wow. It had not been fun for him over the last couple of years.

I could not, for the world of me, find out how old Gordon was. Doing some extrapolations from comments associated with posted pictures I have a sinking feeling that he is much younger than I — which makes him quite young.

Gordon Webster, R.I.P.


Related Posts:
Search ‘pipes’.


by Anura Guruge

2018 Chinese New Year Woodblock Exhibition At ‘Confucius Institute’, UNH (Durham, NH) — Part II.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







Please refer to ‘Part I‘ of this ‘post’ for details — especially about the 14-wood block, 14-step process required to create one of these full-color Chinese wood blocks.


Three of the four wood blocks used to create this 4-color print.




Enjoy.

Pictures in Part I were taken with my Google Pixel 2 phone. These were with my full frame Sony a7 II.


Related posts:
Search on ‘Chinese New Year‘.


by Anura Guruge

2018 Chinese New Year Woodblock Exhibition At ‘Confucius Institute’, UNH (Durham, NH) — Part I.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.







This extensive woodblock exhibition and workshop was the 2018 Chinese New Year event presented by my friends at the UNH ‘Confucius Institute‘.

UNH ‘Confucius Institute‘ always comes up with an original, EDUCATIONAL and entertaining event to celebrate the Chinese New Year and share their cultural treats and treasures with the rest of us.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was blown away by HOW MANY exquisite full-color (i.e., 14-color) woodblock prints they had.

I was lucky. I was given a number of personal, one-on-one tutorials in that these are indeed my friends and we collaborated, very successfully, for last year’s Concord Multicultural day. To produce a full-color print it takes 14 separate, delicately carved wood blocks. One for each color. Just think how long that takes.

The Chinese came up with such full-color printing way ahead of anybody else.

At the hands-on workshop they were doing 3- and 4-color prints. Still impressive.

It was GOOD. Very good. I enjoyed myself. Took a lot of pictures. These were with my Google Pixel 2. I have yet to download the pictures I took with full-frame Sony a7 II. That is next.

This woodblock show continues into tomorrow, Wednesday, February 14, 2018.


Related posts:
Search on ‘Chinese New Year‘.


by Anura Guruge

NHTI (Concord): 17th Annual Multicultural Day 2017 Will Be On April 4 — 12:00 to 2:30pm.

by Anura Guruge


nhti

Click to ENLARGE and read here.


Click here to access NHTI Events Calendar. 


I have never been. To be honest, I had never heard of it until this Thursday at the “Concord Multicultural Festival” Committee Meeting.

I am hoping to attend if I can. I will keep you posted.

It is FREE and I gather the food, which is also free, is very good. Just get there early.


Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

‘Revels North’ Kids Program On ‘Silk Road’ A Welcome Opportunity In The Northeast.

by Anura Guruge


RevelsNorthSilkRoad

Click to access the ‘Revels North’ Webpage for this program, with dates etc.


I was taken back and delighted when I saw this, in the form of an e-mail, this morning. Kids in the Northeast, particularly in NH, could do with ALL the EXPOSURE they can to the wide world beyond the borders of their state (or in some cases their town). This is why I am such a big advocate of the Laconia ‘Multicultural Day‘.

Learning about the ‘Silk Road‘ could sure inspire kids to explore their wonderlust. The ‘Silk Road’ has it all: adventure, history, culture, art, music, romance. Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart of the ‘Silk Road’ — other than the fact that the ‘Silk Road’ also traversed through Ceylon, by birthplace. In 1983 when UNESCO started its grand ‘Silk Road’ program, my adoptive father, by then a 15 year old and Director-level official with UNESCO, was part of the team. As it happened the Ceylon (by then Sri Lanka) part of the UNESCO kick-off was scheduled for August 1983. I happened to be in Sri Lanka at the time. So given that my adoptive father and mother were also there, from Paris, as was the Director General (who I had met many times in Paris), we attended many of the events. Somewhere in this house there is also a lavishly produced UNESCO book, published in 1983, for the ‘Silk Road’. So ..

This GRAND. I am happy. Bravo.


UNESCOsilkroad

UNESCO ‘Silk Road’ Home page with the ‘Sri Lanka’ flag highlighted. Click to access.


Related posts:
**** Search on ‘Revels North’  for many other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Laconia, N.H., Pumpkin Festival, 2015 — The Pictures & Report.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Laconia 2015: Map …
>> Laconia 2015!
>> Laconia — 
Déjà vu?


>>
Keene 2014: the riots!
>> Keene 2014 schedule.
>> Keene 2014 preview.
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Keene’ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALL the posts from 2012 festival >>>>


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be strictly enforced.

All taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.
Original 5472 x 3648, ~7Mb,
JPEGs reduced to 1024 x 683, 280Kb, for display here.
So v. low resolution. Sorry.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 







Keene’s loss was Laconia’s GAIN. And I am delighted. During the 10 years I lived in Gilford I had much dealings in Laconia and I like Laconia. Laconia has never been bad to me. So I am happy that Laconia has another attraction to add to the “Multicultural Day“.

Of course we went. We got there just before 5pm, found a free ‘handicap parking‘ (given that Deanna does have a permanent pass), and was ‘downtown’ by 5:10pm. That was the timing I was aiming for. Wanted to be there as it was getting dark.

Respectable number of people. Yes, it was busy. More people than for “Multicultural Day“, but less than what you would see at the Weirs for “Bikes”.

Well organized. Bravo Laconia. Lots of stalls and Deanna managed to spend a fair amount of time milling around.

It was COLD. Low 40s. Though we were dressed for it, it was still biting. And that was a detraction and distraction. The only time we had been to Keene for their festival, in 2013, it had been much warmer, even at 8pm at night.

There was only one thing missing. Pumpkins. Of course there were pumpkins BUT not that many. In 2013 in Keene, just one ‘block’, had more pumpkins than all of Laconia and there were a lot of blocks in Keene. So I doubt this even came close to a record.

C’est la vie. First year. Lets see how it goes. We were glad we went. I took 142 pictures with my Lumix FZ1000. Deanna and Devanee were also snapping away with their cameras. We went to dinner after that in Belmont. The ‘Hong Kong Buffet’. I was thinking. Two years ago in Keene we had one ‘point-and-shoot’ Panasonic between all of us. How things have changed. I even carried a Monopod with feet!


The 142 pictures I took with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.

pumpkin2015


The Pumpkins.


Local Color In Laconia.


I Get A Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 To Replace Sony a77 mk II! Sacre Bleu! Yikes?

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related posts:
>> Sony RX10 II
overpriced.
>>
Shy away from Samsung NX1.
>> 1-star review: 
Sony a77 II on Amazon.
>> Decide to DITCH Sony a77 Mk II.
>> ‘Unable to Display’ error!

>> 1st pics with Sony a77 II from Cameta
>>
Sony a77 II from Cameta Camera?

>> My review of Sony a77 II Bundle.

>> Search ‘Sony’ for other related posts >>>>


The winding road to the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.

Click to ENLARGE.


It is OK. I don’t need to be told. I fully (and painfully) appreciate that this was one HECK of a downgrade — and a case of backtracking!

Yes, after being adamant that I wanted a sensor that was at least APS-C size I have gone with a 1″. I know.

The Lumix FZ1000, at ~$780, was exactly half the price of what I paid for the Sony a77 mk II (before rebates). So it was one heck of a step-down. I am hoping against hope that I did not screw up too badly. But, though people find this near impossible to believe, there is method to my madness and I am not totally stupid (and never have been). I have always been just partly stupid.

After I lost the 989 images I was TOO RATTLED to ever again be comfortable taking pictures with a Sony a77 mk II. I have used digital cameras for 15 years and this was the FIRST time I lost ANY images. That is big.

The Lumix FZ1000 is very much a COMPROMISE.

I invested over 20 hours evaluating the Sony a77 mk II BEFORE I bought it. IF I think about it, I spent MORE time checking out the Sony than I did my wife — before I asked her to marry me!

I just don’t have the inclination or time to spend another 20 hours checking out another camera. That was why I decided to go with a compromise camera.

But it is NOT a really bad compromise. People do RAVE about the the FZ1000 and we are NOT strangers to Lumix cameras. The Lumix ZS19 (which replaced a ZS20) we had, before we started getting the sticking lens cover problem), was, by far, one of our favorite cameras. During 2012 – 2013 we had 3, possibly 4, Lumix cameras in this household. So I have some experience with Lumix cameras.

85%, possibly 90%, of the pictures I take, of late, are concerts (e.g.. “The Brigadoons” or Ronan Tynan for ‘Great Waters‘), events (e.g., Laconia Multicultural Day) or landscapes (e.g., Acadia). So the two mandatory things I need are good zoom and high ISO. The FZ1000 gives me these, at a reasonable price, and without the need to lug multiple lenses. That in the end was the deciding factor.

Yes, the FZ1000 is NOT a Sony a77 mk II. It doesn’t feel as rugged and the menus are a bit ‘hit or miss’. The documentation is AWFUL and I can’t find any books, in English, for the FZ1000.

OK. Deanna and the kids kind of already know. The FZ1000 is NOT for the long run. I am sure that there will be a CROP of new cameras between Christmas and Easter. Come June 2016 I probably will be in the market for another. I have ‘money in the bank’ so to speak given that I am getting a full refund for the Sony.

I took a few pictures with the Lumiz FZ1000. Not bad. Yes, a LOT I have to learn. But …


My first few pictures with the FZ1000.
Untouched. In JPEG as they came out of the cameras.
These really were from the first 12 pictures I took —
with the first 3 at the top.
(You can check the numbers. P1000001 onwards!)
iA+ setting. Taken Tuesday, September 29, 2015.
Enjoy.


‘Free The Female Nipple’, New Hampshire & Laconia Multicultural Festival.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
**
“Free the Nipple”, Hampton Beach — pictures.
** IF “Free the Nipple”, NH backfires …
** “Free the Nipple”, NH on Tumblr. 
** “Free the Nipple”, NH
‘Topless Turmoil’. 

++++ SEARCH ‘topless’ or ‘nipple’ for many, many other posts  >>>>


In “Live Free Or Die” New Hampshire the ONLY city (or place) with a law against female toplessness is Laconia — the dowager city of the Lakes Region. Well, ever since “Free The Female Nipple — NH” came to be we all knew that Laconia would be where the rubber would meet the asphalt. And to be fair the “Free the Nip” ‘organizers’ have talked about tackling Laconia. Now that the poorly ‘visualized’ Hampton Beach event has come and gone (thankfully) it is time to focus on Laconia. To be fair again there was a lady at Hampton, who I think was topless (though it was hard to tell), who claimed that ‘they’ planned to have ‘flash’ demonstrations in Laconia in the coming weeks — the ‘flash’ in this context, as in ‘flash mob’, meaning that it was be unannounced, unpublicized surprises. I can’t wait.

Laconia’s ordinance is onerous and has to be repealed. That has to be #1 goal of the NH movement (and I think they know it).

And then it came to be in a blinding flash. — Laconia Multicultural Day, now a.k.a. ‘festival’.  BINGO.

The perfect, made-in-heaven venue. Multicultural Day, and here I speak of one who has attended 12 of the 13 ‘days’, is all about diversity and inclusiveness (though 90% of Laconia appears to stay away from the park).

This is THE venue to make a stand — if they really have big enough ‘kahunas’. Let’s face it. In Laconia the good ladies face the real risk of being arrested and facing a fine — a risk that wasn’t that high in Hampton, unless they got busted for ‘disturbing the peace’. IF you are going to be arrested WHAT better venue than the Multicultural Festival? IF publicity and attention is what is required this is IT.

IF I had a say, I would go even further. I would contact the Festival organizers and ask for a SPOT on the PARADE! Think about it. That is how the LGBT movement got much of their EARLY publicity. They demanded their right to be in parades. Go see the Mayor. Ed ‘University of Whales‘ Engler probably will be sympathetic. Go ask him whether the NH movement can appear in the parade. Worse case make a COMPROMISE. Agree to appear in the parade clothed, but with appropriate signs and apparel protesting the infringement.

Well, you got the IDEA — and that is all it is. An idea. A suggestion. And then remember, Laconia PUMPKIN festival. I can JUST see it. Painted PUMPKINS!

laconiamc2015poster

halloweenbodypaint2011pic


Pumpkin Festival (Ex-Keene) Coming To Laconia, New Hampshire In October 2015.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Keene 2014: the riots!
>>
Keene 2014 schedule.
>>
Keene 2014 preview.
>> Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Keene‘ or ‘pumpkin’ using sidebar search (at top) for ALLthe posts from 2012 festival >>>>



See April 26, 2015 Update.



laconiamap

Google Map view of downtown Laconia, NH.

Just heard that the troubled Keene, N.H. pumpkin festival is moving to Laconia, New Hampshire this October. That is great news.

We are big fans of the Pumpkin Festival. We all volunteered in 2012 and I even made it to the HGTV TV show. We couldn’t make it last year because Devanee had a track meet — and as such, fortunately, missed the riots. Ditto the year before also.

I am delighted to have it in the Lakes Region. Laconia, with its long history of hosting ‘Bike Week’, is no stranger to holding big events. So that, at least, is good. But, I have some concerns — knowing both Keene and Laconia well. Laconia is no Keene! That could be an issue. Keene is handy to both MA and VT and I am sure that that played a role in the success of their festival. Laconia, dare I say it, also does not have the amenities. So it will be rather different. Yes, we will most likely get involved. I know a lot of people in Laconia plus I am a Granite State Ambassador (GSA).

Given my experience at Keene I would think that Weirs Beach Boulevard, the focal point of Bike Week, would be the best spot to anchor the festival. The long, broad sweep, by the Bay would be the ideal place to place all the pumpkins. But Weirs Beach is a few miles from downtown Laconia. This will be much bigger than Laconia’s ever successful ‘Multicultural Day‘ — which is held downtown. The location, to me, will dictate the overall success of this new venture.

I will try to make this blog ‘Laconia Pumpkin Festival’ central — for YOUR edification. OK? So stay tuned. This was but a heads up post. This should be exciting and fun. Can’t wait.


Andrew Hosmer, The Perfect Gentleman (Though A Lawyer), Wins HUGE In NH Senate District 7. Great News For NH.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


The first time I met Andrew Hosmer was at this year’s Laconia Multicultural Day when he was doing the rounds. We chatted briefly and I was hugely impressed. I introduced him to a ‘friend’ from Gilford who had lost his job at Hannaford’s. Andrew spent a lot of time talking with him. I decided that I was going to follow Andrew. I was not disappointed. Then I found out that my friend Lisa DiMartino, who also just won a seat in the NH house, was acting as Andrew’s fiscal agent. For me the deal was done. I was not just going to follow Andrew, I was going to root for him though Alton (where we live) is outside of his District 7. I am glad I did. Andrew has done all of us PROUD! Bravo. This continues to be a great, great, wonderful week for me, the family, Alton, NH, THE COUNTRY and the World. I am so happy and proud. Having folks like Lisa and Andrew in Concord is so good for the 47% — which includes us.


Andrew Hosmer introduced Dr. Jill Biden when she visited Laconia, NH on October 26, 2012.

Andrew Hosmer with Jill Biden taken by Anura Guruge

Andrew Hosmer after he had done a great job introducing Dr. Jill Biden who captivated the gathering. Please refer to link above for another picture of Andrew at this event. Click to ENLARGE.


Click to ENLARGE.


Though I knew of his company, I only knew of Andrew’s opponent from what I had read in the media, as of the September primary race. I was amazed. For there to be so much smoke around him had to mean that something was smoldering. I was worried for Andrew. His opponent, in terms of signage and letters to the Laconia Daily Sun, seemed to be on a tear.

I had a brief, private chat with Andrew after the Jill Biden visit. He assured me that he was ‘looking good. Told me not to worry. But, I still worried. I counted signs on election day as I was in and around Gilford and Laconia doing my stuff for Obama. His opponent definitely won the sign contest. But, as with Obama, this election proved that signs means NADA. If anything it was those that had the least signs that won. I am so delighted. I had 4 Obama signs stolen. But, that is OK. Obama won. Romney lost. Same with Andrew. Andrew won. The signs lost.

I saw his opponents truck, emblazoned with the name of his company, illegally parked at the Gilford voting station. Yes, I have a picture of it — but I didn’t post it because I did not want to give his company any free publicity. To me seeing his truck illegally parked said it all. I wanted Andrew to win.

Andrew won. Life is good.

I can add another ‘I WON’ to my list. How great is that?