A few weeks ago, we had to go by team of two to a market. I went to the Tibetan Market in Janpath, here is the story about it… We first went to the wrong market of a Tibetan community that sells European kind of clothes… Fortunately we met a rickshaw driver who knew where the Tibetan Market of Janpath was.
The weather was really bad because of the monsoon. We arrived in front of line of small shops, they were looking all the same at first. We were expecting to see Tibetan monk and an open market. All the shops were quite clean and organised inside with lots of different goods.
To do this exercise, I have tried to apply the method of first observing without interacting with people. We would just come in the different shops just saying « namaste » and avoiding talking to people during the first three minutes or so. Immediatly people were trying to sell things. I was just pretenting to look around.
In those different small shops, some people were Tibetan and some others Indian. I found Tibetan people very quiet compared to the Indian sellers that almost forced me – still in a nice way — to try a necklace or to buy rings.
They all spoke good English which made the second part of the work easier.
Those shops were selling Tibetan jewellery, god statues, ustensils, semi precious stones… Because of the weather, we were almost the only one in the shops except from two British guys that were looking for some nice statues to bring back home.
For the second part of the work, I kindly tried to understand what those people were doing without asking too many questions but just letting them talk. A man showed me Tibetan bowl and told me the story about it. Some other gave me the name of different Buddhist statues. An old Tibetan woman told me that the kitchen ustensils and pans she was selling were between 30 to 100 years old. Apparently, in Tibet you can’t buy this kind of good quality anymore. They have stopped to make it the traditionnal way.
Between two shops a guy stood outside selling those wire mandalas, he showed me the entire tricks and told me that his dad was making it. I have just bought it for a few roupies because I found it really fascinated as well as the story behind.
After that I went inside another shop that still was selling jewellery and semi precious stones too. I asked the man with his sunglasses on what kind of stones he was selling and if he knew the difference between them in terms of magnetism and power. From my last experience in Bali where I have learnt with an Hindu guy how to feel energy I was willing to know more about it… I was a bit disapointed when he told me that he did not really know but that the lapis lazuri was supposed to have a unstress effect on you. I took the stone in the palm of my hand and immediatly felt the strange power inside. My hand started to skake and I felt the vibration also in my forearm, it was much more contracted than when I was holding the crystal stone. I decided not to buy anything but to learn more later on lithotherapy and shakras in case it would give me a bad effect…
Observing and try to feel the environnement is a way to be in good condition to interact with people around. I found people very interesting and I guess it made me realised how easy it can be to start a conversation and learn from people in the everyday life.