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istrate paul, fotograf

Born 19 November 1976, Bucharest, Romania, on a Friday. In 1997 graduated from Architecture and Urbanism section from "Ion Mincu" College. In 1999 fired from the architecture office where everybody lost time as best as they knew. Nevertheless, that was for the best because now I could fulfill my dream, to travel to Asia. In 2000 first journey in India and Nepal together with three friends. This journey could have been almost perfect if we have planned better.
In 2002 the journey of my dreams. Three months in northern India and Nepal in search of more Tibetan villages, I went alone this time. The only regret was that I did not reach Ladhak. In 2003 I managed to stay 9 months in India and got around to study tibetan language. The plan to stay 2 years in India fails. After those 9 months I could not extend may visa and the money were fewer and fewer. I returned home! But not for long! In 2004 my first journey to Tibet only for a month and a half and only to pinch myself that I was not dreaming. Another month and a half I traveled through Yunnan and Sichuan, another 2 provinces with predominant tibetan population.

In present I live in Lhasa-Tibet and I am a student for tibetan language at the University for 2 years (I hope) Another dream of mine is to come home on land through China , Mongolia , Rusia , Ukraine , Romania.

The first time I went to India I had a camera bought from the local market that ruined all my films. I was lucky with a friend who had a better camera witch I used I got a few photos from my first journey.

In 2002 I got as a gift a Canon EOS 300 with 28-80 mm lens. A wonder for real! In 2003 a good friend of mine sold her camera and with the money she made me a gift, 70-300 mm Tamron lens. Another miracle. I soon started to take pictures with Canon EOS 20D, this is not mine, and another friend lands it to me from time to time.

Road to Tibet

Chimpuk Caves-Tibet 2005

An old monk woman climbing one of the stairs to the temple at Chimpuk (15 km from the Samye monastery), the area renowned for the places where some Buddhists still live. Even Maria Luiza (an Italian woman used to climbing) had a hard time to keep up with the woman.

Boudanath-Nepal 2003

The snow lion, protector of Tibet. On the flag of Tibet, before it became part of China, you could see 2 lions of snow protecting Dharma (religion), but looking back to the history of Tibet I have some doubts about the power of this mythic creature.

Sera Monastery-Tibet 2005

Higher, munch higher, in the wind! On top of the trees, over the rooftops, the mountain hills, is where tibetans hang their prayer flags in hope that the wind will take these prayers to their god.

Yumbulakhang-Tibet 2005

A Khamba! It is simple to differentiate them: they are a �head� taller than the majority of the Tibetans, in their long hair they have a red ribbon folded and a knife always hangs by their waist. Khamba means person from Kham (eastern Tibet), but for the most of the people it signifies someone you don't want to get in touch with?

Samye 2005

A "stupa" covering the relics of the saints.

Samye Monartery 2005

"Prove me the hunger is real!". Monks having a religious debate, minutes before lunch.

Samye Monastery 2005

12 Kora, or the walk around the temple, is a method through witch you can find more merits for the next reincarnation. Of course that during kora, you can spin the prayer wheels or even humm mantras for several hours non stop. The fear that they did not earn enough merits and they can be in the next life an animal, scares most of the elders.

Lhasa 2005

"Are you thirsty? Yes, I'm!" One of the best jobs in Tibet to be a tour guide. Here a hotel manager during an English course.

Boudanath-Nepal 2003

Wheels of prayer. I have understood that you can "whisper" thousands of prayers in a day with the help of these wheels. The secret is inside of them, where on interminable rolls of paper is written the mantra �Oma mani peme hum� with small characters, to fit more. Spinning these wheels, the prayers go up to the gods. Once I saw a big wheel, put in motion by the water of a river. All the prayers go to the account of the one who paid for the installation.

Yumbulakhang-Tibet 2005

Yumbulakhang castle gracefully guarding over the Yarlung valley. With over 2000 years history, it would have been the oldest building in Tibet if it had not been destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. It was rebuilt in 1982. The initial building it is believed to have been build by Nyatri Tsenpo, first tibetan king. Most of the times the pilgrims bus to Lhasa stops here for almost an hour. In a great hurry old man, children, run up the hill to bow to Cenresig, the first god of this temple.

Pokhra - Nepal 2005

Thin rooftop with plates. This is the most popular image in Nepal, if you can get to a village. The hospitality of the Nepal people, you cannot compare it with nothing. If I were to choose between a five star hotel and a night in a Nepal family house, I would choose the family. I swear I do!

Pashupatinath- Nepal 2003

When he saw me trying to take his picture, he simply took his foot and placed it at the back of his head. He waved to me that it was ready for the picture. A �saddu� hindu monk alt the Pashupatinath temple.

Yunnan-China 2004

An Gelung sect monk, sect founded in Tsongkpa in 1409. In comparison with other sects who wear red bonnets, the Gelug adepts wear yellow, this is why some call them "The Yellow Bonnets"? They are the initiators of the re-incarnation of the spiritual leaders system, and Dalai Lama is the "head master"?of them.

"Lhamo" is the tibetan version of the opera. I tried almost half an hour to catch the beautiful dancer. It seems that she noticed me and smiled. Or maybe not!

Sera Monastery 2004

At the Sera Monastery, the best time to go is after three a clock, when all the monks get out into the courtyard to have religious debates. In the picture is a monk who thinks of a question to trap his opponent. 2004

Lhasa 2004

1.Yak horns, kata (silk white cloth) and engraved stones with mantra in another words a shrine on a hill close to Sera Monastery (Lhasa). 2004