India – Turban competition at the Jaisalmer Desert Festival

I could not go back to Europe without having set foot in the Indian land and, precisely in Jaisalmer, were several friends, Indian and western, were waiting for me. My second trip to India has been very intense and certainly more aware than the previous one and for a Country like India, it is a very important aspect. It is beautiful that typical feeling of returning to places familiar to you, where you no longer feel just a visitor, where you no longer need to always walk with the camera around your neck, but you feel more the need to live those places now impressed in your mind, in your heart.

This return to India allowed me to immerse myself even more deeply in Rajasthan and Indian culture. Not only because some Rajasthani women, including a chai and a henna tattoo, have also dressed me in traditional Rajasthani saris and dresses, but also because they took part in the Desert Festival, the famous Desert Festival in all of India. Jaisalmer every year at the end of January, a tribute to the wealth of culture, traditions and ancient stories.

The Festival, inaugurated with a collective yoga session near the Gadisar Lake, continued with a parade of women, men, and camels dressed for partying and still camel races, turbans, music, dances and songs, a riot of colors and a tribute to the desert/Rajasthani culture. Taken by the enthusiasm, I even participated in a turban competition for foreigners, it was really fun to see the Indians making fun of us but at the same time cheering for us; the competition for turbans for Indians is obviously reserved for men only, so it’s easy to understand why the local people were so amused. The event was also picked up by the local media, and the next day I discovered that a Jaisalmer newspaper had published a picture of me with another couple of girls (all the other foreign participants were boys) with turbans shaped, to say the least questionable, for the series, famous for a day!

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