Reality television series featuring “pickers”who travel through their country looking to buy antiques and collectibles have become popular in several countries: Canadian Pickers in Canada, Aussie Pickers in Australia, Salvage Hunters in Great Britain and American Pickers in the United States.
Antique Archaeology stores
As an antique lover, recycler and thrift conscious person, I enjoy watching American Pickers. It is very interesting to see what Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz discover as they go through people’s old barns, homes, out buildings, storage sheds and property. They will climb through unstable attics and go under collapsed buildings in order to pull out a treasure or two for their Antique Archaeology stores.
Everything they uncover had value at one time. Believing it would be useful or decorative, someone bought or made the item. Some of the people they “pick” have their collections displayed and continue to enjoy them. Others have items buried so deeply the guys have to dig through a lot of other stuff to find them.
Original Ways Restores
Uncovering these old things and using them in new or even original ways restores these items to usefulness. As Frank said in one episode, “Broken does not mean useless.” He knows someone somewhere can see beyond the broken parts and either make it whole again or use it just the way it is.
So much is disposable today. Our landfills are full of disposable containers and items people no longer use. In an ever increasing throw away society, it is refreshing to know some people are working to salvage or restore items rather than get rid of them.
God is the ultimate restorer – our Redeemer. Vance Havner (1901-1986), a well known preacher and Christian author, once said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
God knows the potential of usefulness in each of us. Sin Solar and circumstance can break us down, but when God recreates us through His Son Jesus Christ, we are better than before.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 6:17).
Ludmilla Tueting: ‘My Heart Is Nepali’
Ludmilla Tüting is a robust, well-read, emancipated, bespectacled Teutonic woman who makes no secret of the fact that she lives in a Berlin Hinterhof (backyard) in Kreuzberg (West Berlin) and yearns to see a horizon, especially with pagoda-silhouettes in the distance. It almost sounds as though Berlin is a city with the lost horizon.
She oscillates between Kathmandu and Berlin, and is very much active in the field of ‘sanfte’ (soft)-tourism, which means tourism with insight. She spent her 50th Birthday on 27th of May 1996 with her Nepalese friends in the monastery of Thangpoche. She is concerned about the negative aspects of tourism and write the information-service ‘Tourism Watch’. To potential tourists in the German-speaking world, she’s a Nepal-specialist, who cares about Nepal’s cultural and natural heritage, as is evident through her travel books.
Development In Nepal
I met her at the Volkerkunde Museum in Freiburg, the metropolis of the south-west Black Forest, and the occasion was one of a series of talks held under the aegis of ‘Contemporary Painting from Nepal’ to promote cultural and religious development in Nepal.
Ludmilla Tüting talked about ‘Fascinating Nepal, the Sunny and Shady Sides’ and belted out slides and information and described Nepal as a wonderful country.
The Nepali Times
And the other theme was: ‘Tourism with Insight isn’t in Demand: the Ecological Damage through Tourism in Nepal’ which was more or less what the interested Nepal-fan will find in ‘Bikas-Binas’, a thought-provoking book on Nepal’s ecological aspects, especially environmental pollution in the Himalayas, published by Ms.Tüting and my college-friend Kunda Dixit, a reputed Nepali journalist, who is the executive director of International Press Service since decades and also the chief editor and publisher of The Nepali Times.
Ms. Tüting’s talk, delivered with what the Germans are wont to call the Berlin-lip (Berlinerschnauze) has a pedagogic and practical value, and she tried not only to show what a tourist from abroad does wrong in Nepal, but also suggested how a tourist should behave and dress in Nepal. All in all, it sounded like the German book of etiquette called ‘Knigge’ for potential travellers to Nepal.
The Home of the Snows.
In the past there have been a good many transparency slide-shows and talks under the aegis of the Badische Zeitung, the Freiburger University and the Volkshochschule with jet-set gurus, rimpoches, meditations, experts on ‘boksas and boksis’, shamanism, Tibetan lamaism, tai-chi, taoism, yen-oriented-zen and what-have-yous. It is a fact that every Hans-Rudi-and-Fritz who’s been to Nepal or the Himalayas struts around as an expert on matters pertaining to the Home of the Snows.
Some bother to do a bit of background research and some don’t, and the result is a series of howlers. Like the bloke who’d written a thesis on traditions in Nepal and held a slide-show at the University’s eye-clinic auditorium maximum. The pictures of the Nepalese countryside were, as usual, breathtaking. Pokhara, Kathmandu, Jomsom, the Khumbu area and then a slide of Bhimsen’s pillar was shown and our expert quipped, ‘that’s the only mosque in Nepal.’
Status Of The Family
Or the time a Swabian expedition physician from Stuttgart held a vortrag (talk) at the university’s audi-max (auditorium maximum). A colour-slide of a big group of Nepalese porters flashed across the screen. The porters were shown watching the alpine expedition members eating their sumptuous supper, with every imaginable European dish and the comment was: ‘The Nepalese are used toeating once a day, so they just looked at us while we ate’ (sic). A decent German sitting near me named Dr. Petersen, who was a professor of microbiology, remarked, “Solche Geschmacklosigkeit!” (lack of taste or finesse), but it didn’t seem to disturb our Swabian Himalayan hero. Most Nepalese eat two big meals: at lunch and dinnertime, with quite a few snacks thrown in-between. And when you visit a Nepalese household you’re offered hot tea and snacks too, depending upon the wealth and status of the family.