Jarai Arap Grave House (Piran Café Post #800)

This is a landmark post for Piran Café, its 800th since its inception early one chilly December morning in 2006. At a loss for how to celebrate or otherwise mark this turning point, I turned to my grandmother for advice. Her suggestion? Symbols of virility, fertility, endurance and strength.

“Pictures of large wooden penises,” she said. “Lots of them.”

I hate disappointing grandma, so I chugged my second generous glass of calvados and got busy searching and eventually found these: eight shots from the Jarai Arap Grave House in Hanoi I snapped back in October 2010. The house sits in a nicely maintained sprawling garden on the grounds of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. The day I was there, lots of brides-to-be were on the premises posing for portraits.

There are lots of human figures represented by the carvings, but those depicting couples readying themselves for the act are most prevalent. Symbols of fertility and birth were extremely important in death and, the Jarai (Giarai) believed, in the afterlife as well.



These snaps are also this week’s contribution for Travel Photo Thursday (#TPThursday on twitter) hosted by Nancie on her website, Budget Travelers Sandbox. When you have few minutes to browse, check out Nancie’s photos and those of others who take part. You’ll see some great photos and visit some wonderful places.


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