While traveling last month, I found myself in Paro, Bhutan, sitting across from this commercial building. For Bhutan, this is an ordinary, modern, commercial building, nothing special. I thought to photograph the painted figures that encircle it -- they too are nothing unusual. Similar motifs cover every other building of similar size in the town.
The central panel portrays the four harmonious friends
of Tibetan bhuddism.
These four mountain creatures run around the frieze. Every moderately prosperous building and residence that I saw in Bhutan was covered with such paintings. They aren't for tourists; they are there because Bhutanese like them. They advertize prosperity and right concern for the order of things.
These women sat on the steps of the building, consulting over a knitting project.
In the street, a cow might wander by.
Click on any of these photos to see enlarged.
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