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My Experience in the Israeli Rainbow Gathering

Well hello there Maniacs!
The preparations for the flight to Thailand are happening as we speak, but this weekend I took some time off to go to the Israeli Rainbow Gathering.
I was really hoping it’ll be an experience like the one’s I had in the Midburn community events, but it was completely different. the rainbow is a gathering of people for a whole month in some forest, who try to build a community on peace and love and shit. it’s a free event and you get food for free so it has a really nice anti consumerism aspect to it.
I took a few hitchhikers with me on Friday and the ride was very nice and the view was incredible. when we got closer to the gathering we went through my favorite grapes vineyards. I was really excited! We arrived at sundown and couldn’t see jack. but we still build our own independent tribe and built our tents together. afterwards we started hearing everyone shout “food circle now”. this is a call for the major social event that happens twice a day in the rainbow, where everyone gathers around the main fire and chant and sing and do hippie stuff before the food, and then everyone eats together in a bowl they bring themselves, and have a portion of food being poured like in Oliver twist movies.

as most of you guys know i eat Raw Till 4, so I came prepared with my own fruits and some quinoa and broccoli i precooked at home before heading out. so I had that, and a bit of bread my friend made from whole wheat. 
after dinner, as it was apparently full moon, the full moon celebrations started. basically it was a lot of hippies singing and jamming together around a huge fire. it was really nice. a lot of good vibes and shit, but i felt completely out of place.

the following day was great! i went with my friends for a nice walk in the woods, met a few nice people and got to talk to some hippies. I was supposed to get back on saturday night back home but I felt like I still haven’t opened up enough to the experience and got out of my shell, which usually takes me a few days. also I wanted to see how I handle the situation and being alone without the friends i came with and got to know through that time. so i decided to stay another day and see whats up.

my friends left at night and i knew a few people from other festivals but i was still pretty lonely, so i went to help in the kitchen. i met some nice dude and we went to pick some sugar cane next to a vineyard. I must say after trying to eat it, it is not food for humans. really inedible and it made me a bit nauseated as well, so i ultimately ended up having a panic attack in a vineyard in a place i don’t know with some dude i don’t know. he handled it very well, but i was still feeling crappy so i went to sleep back at my tent when we got back.
the day after, i woke up feeling fine but i was a bit sad. i felt lonely cause i wasn’t really opening up to the environment and i am certainly not a hippןe. i have  a huge resistance to new age stuff  and some people i spoke with had this thing that they made me feel like they were a bit condescending.
after wandering around and seeing that most of whoever’s left in the gathering were asleep i saw a group of people playing a game and i said to myself: “Henya, this is your chance to open up. Your’e all alone and you can just go, say hi, and sit with them”, and so I did. they were friendly and let me read a card as soon as i sat in the circle, but afterwards the very loud girl asked my if I’m not underage or something.

Now this got me a bit worked up, cause I know i look young and everything from being vegan and
fruitarian a long time, but It is non of your interest how old I am. I didn’t feel the need to answer her saying I’m actually 26, probably older than she was, but the fact that they give a shit about ages in such a place is a bit silly in my opinion. but than again, most of the “hippies” there weren’t even vegan or vegetarian so I don’t know why I’m getting all worked up over this.
Seriously, all those people claiming to be spiritual and hippie shit is just ridiculous if they are eating dead food. talking about peace and taking part in most cruel industry ever created that terrorizes billion of innocent beings is absurd. i had conversation with the carnists hippies many times, and every time i get so mad. even the one’s that are vegan are saying all the time that we shouldn’t bother other people with what their eating, but I wonder how calm and shanti they’d be if it were their sister lying on someone else’s plate. it’s noteworthy that the rainbow gathering’s food is strictly vegan.
anyway, after she asked about my age in such a condescending and disgusting way I went to have some dates and pears in my tent, and I got to a point where i felt like i needed to get the fuck out from this place asap. i picked up all my shit and then a new friend, Kiki, came to see if I was heading out and i went with him, and a few more hitchhikers back to civilization.
on the way I could help myself from stopping to pick some grapes from the vineyards all over us, and I got myself a really nice box of my almost favorite grapes – crimson red. as it is “Shmita” here in Israel, a year in which we don’t cultivate or pick fruits commercially just so the land could have some time to regenerate itself, the vines were packed with ripe sweet and beautiful grapes just waiting for me to binge on 🙂 seriously, meeting Kiki and picking grapes were actually the highlights of my rainbow experience, but i was happy to spend some time in nature and with friends, and its absolutely great to try something out and just see that’s its not for you, so you don’t have to wonder what would it be like if you went and tried it out.
to conclude, I really don’t have anything against the rainbow, I had a nice time, but i didn’t really connect to the atmosphere there and I preffer Midburn and Burning man events much better. It’s not allowed to take pictures there because no electricity is allowed, but I took the liberty to shoot some pics anyway 🙂
Peace,
Henya
the rainbow gathering in israel 2014
my tent and fruits. I had another box of cherrimoyas, pears and kiwis inside the tent. no need to give up on a fruitarian RT4 or fully raw lifestyle when camping.
the vineyard
hippies in the picking!
doesn’t seem like much but my guess is that there’s 20kg worth of grapes here

me and Kiki 🙂
Blog

MIDBURN 2014

Hey
Maniacs! 
I
just came back from an AMAZING experience in every way possible. I
spent 5 days in the Negev desert in the Midburn festival – the
Israeli Burning Man. I don’t quite know how to even start
expressing what I’ve been through, but I just can’t sleep and can’t
get the playa out of my head.

At
the first day I was so anxious to get there, I was driving and
picking up some people who were supposed to come, and I had to carry
so much shit with me, cause I’m doing the raw till 4 diet now [more on that on a different post]. I
brought 5 kilos of dates, 4 watermelons, ton of bananas, veggies and
stuff to cook for my cooked dinner. I brought other fruits bet they went
bad so fast and filled my car with such a stench!
So anyway, I
came to the playa by myself. No friends, no camp, no nothing. Radical
self reliance in its best. At first it was because non of my friends
wanted to come, but in the end I wanted to go alone and put myself
out there, outside my comfort zone, even though in some ways being
alone is exactly my comfort spot.

Iv’e been to other
festivals in which I brought food to cook and bread and peanut butter
and all those festival foods, and I have to say that preparing the
fruit and eating it was so much easier and funner than eating a
peanut butter sandwich with canned corn and half raw pasta. Moreover,
it was so satisfying and filling, gave me a TON of energy to dance
and walk around, and saved me so much time. When everyone else were
cooking in their camps, I would eat half a watermelon and go dance
right after without being too heavy to need to friggin rest. Besides,
fruits have so much water content, I didn’t get dehydrated once! In
comparison to a cooked lunch you eat in the heat, that takes water
from your body to digest and doesn’t add its own water. So no wander
people need rest after such a meal, and a lot more water.

I picked up a few hitchhikers from jerusalem, one of them is Shawn Saleme, who writes also for the Visual News blog! Such a chilled and down to earth person, very happy I met him. I put up my tent with the hitchhikers at our own camp, and went out to explorer.

Me, Shawn, and the hitchhikers. the car was packed!!!

The playa was
unbelievable. The art installations were incredible. The man, which
was a man and woman installation combined, was very impressive, but my favorite was grampa.
So beautiful and well build, just look at the pictures. The person
who made the installation was as expected – very nice and friendly.
I couldn’t find more about him online though. He was excited to
burn it, but in the end granny stayed foot, probably had a change of
heart. Anyway his name is Faluja. If you find anything bout him let
me know!

Me and Faluja wth grandpa in the back

On
Friday the atmosphere in the playa was very special to me. To sun was
going down, and the desert lit up with such beautiful colors… it
really felt like the end of the festival. Me and some new
friend were sitting and looking at the sunset and I came down in
tears. I felt like something inside of me died. A feeling that was
immensely increased when the man was burned. As the sun went right
behind those desert mountains and the darkness started creeping, I
made up my mind to create a life for myself that I wouldn’t be sad
to come back to after a festival.

The sunset on friday

Now
that’s a very controversial thing for me to say, because I’m so used
to just surviving, that being happy sometimes sounds like bad word to me.
I always had some disrespect towards those who are happy, or at least
claim to be. They look so naive, or simple minded, even stupid to me.
They live in denial, believe in god, release all responsibilities
from them, and mainly, haven’t had a life even close to what shit
I’ve been through. I’m so used to life being this shit load of crap
just piling on top of other crap layers that hadn’t composted yet.
Shit on top of shit on top of shit. But life on the playa felt so
damn good. Chillin at day, or
dancing, eating fuck loads of fresh fruit, talking to people, dress
up in funny costumes, enjoying nature and the desert, I mean, life
definitely looked like this once. No money, gifting, community life,
fuck I wanna go back.

After they burned the temple, I was a friggin mess. It was
sunrise, complete silence on the playa, such a huge difference
between burning the man and the temple. I wasn’t as sad as I was when
burning the man but it wore me down and eventually I found myself
walking around camps, just wishing I could meet anyone to keep me company.
I felt such an urge and it was terrifying, to think that I NEED someone,
and not just rely on myself, but I guess that’s the difference
between surviving and living, eh?
I went to some camp and this wonderful guy immediately gave me such a warm hug. I asked if I could crash on the couch, cause I couldn’t just
start a conversation. I was crashing on the couch, and this other guy
from the camp brought another couch so I would have room for my feet.
I know it wasn’t something special for him, but I was so fucking
grateful for him and for what he did, I started crying non stop for
hours.

The temple and the man

Why? Why would anyone help me? Moreover, why don’t they hurt me?
I’m so accustomed to people who talk shit to me, take advantage of
me, use me and hurt me, and this guy helps me out with such a small
and unnoticeable gesture? I was dumbfounded.

I wanted to come up to him and hug him and thank him and I don’t
know what, but I wasn’t able to. I just couldn’t. [so for the super slim chance your’e reading this – I FUCKING LOVE YOU MAN!]

I’m still digesting and trying to comprehend this whole thing, and
the burning man experience in general, but no doubt, this burn was a
thing ill never forget. After crying my eyes out, I went to the granny installation for a bit, just to have some time with this awesome peice of art. as I was appreciating that glorious installation thing, I got this incredible urge to built and create things, to make something of my own, to just do. I just hope I won’t lose this energy to the mundane life I’m living right now..

grandpa♥

Well, to sum it up, I met and befriended so many awesome people! I
still have my social skills apparently 🙂 I danced so much, so long,
so happily, dressed or fucking topless, with shoes or barefoot on
the boiling desert sand. I even got blisters from the hot sand, and I
got a bad sunburn. I’m so happy. And sad. Fuck. Look at the pictures
already, would ya?!

The playa

DUST, see it, breat it, eat it, drink it, dust every-fucking-where

The whale being constructed
all finished 🙂
Friday sunset and the man
the man at night
Burning the temple
And we’re gonna let it burn
Awesome people!

Craig and me
The man turning to a pile of ash
You got BURNED
Skeleton
The temple