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Monthly Photos February 2012

Photos taken by ILCAA staff and associates are posted here once a month; most of them are taken during their field research in Asia and Africa.

(The copyright belongs to the photographers.)

Spring in the Tropics

Ethnic Chinese celebrate the arrival of the ‘Spring Season’ (Chinese New Year) from the New Year’s Day to the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar. This year the celebration was from January 23rd to February 6th. This picture was taken during the New Year celebration in 2009 at a Chinese temple located in Semarang, the port city in the northern-coast of Java Island, Indonesia. This temple is famous for enshrining Zheng-He, the eunuch admiral of Ming Dynasty who led an large-scale expedition to the “Southern Sea”. I had been here several times before, but this was the first time I saw a artificial cherry tree in full bloom in front of the temple.

In recent years, as the New Year approaches, we often see such decorations in every shopping mall throughout this country. They might be trying to bring out the atmosphere of the spring season in a season-less country.

Yet, people living in this tropical region which seems always hot are not without a sense of seasons. Ethnic Chinese, who make up just a few percent of the whole population of this country, frequently say, “It usually rains on the Chinese New Year; When it does, the year will be a happy one”. Every group of people has their original sense of seasons which is deeply rooted in their region and ethnicity.

6 FEB 2009
At Semarang City, Central Java, Indonesia
Photograph by Koji TSUDA

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