By Reza Ganjavi (FB)
Badenfahrt: The Swiss know how to party -- 10 days and nights
"Badenfahrt: A Gigantic Party"
Just a note to say hello. I am still in Switzerland, alive and well. Really enjoying the European culture, especially the mass appreciation for classical music. Did a concert lately and got a good newspaper review. Making a guitar record is more work than I thought. It will eventually come out - only when it is excellent! Other news: I am learning Rolfing (bodyworks) from a medical doctor in Zurich. It's a good complement to the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Method, and of course yoga. This summer partly attended the annual gathering of those interested in Krishnamurti's work in Saanen (K said he was just an ordinary man, but these days they unfortunately call him a spiritual teacher). K talked in this gorgeous Swiss mountain village for 25 years as part of his 65 years of world tour before he died in 1986 at 91. You can find all sorts of people there - from the nicest to the most judgmental... It was a great chance to meet old friends and meet new people. Recently spent a weekend in Slovenia. Met some really kind and lovely people. Look for the details in an upcoming book which I am slowly working on.
Here in the town I live, Baden, aside from the annual winter-end wonderful carnival, every 10 years (since 1923) there is a massive party which goes on, as in ancient tails, for 10 nights and days. This time around people couldn't wait so they're doing it now after 5 years. It is the most massive celebration I have ever seen. To prepare for it they build buildings and shelters and ships, and so on all over town for weeks in advance. The town's natural state is so pretty it looks like Disneyland/Fantasyland, and with these additions it is out of this world. There are over 100 eateries and bars spread in the streets, by the river below, under the bridge... Excellent bands from around Europe playing different kinds of music in every corner. There are roller coasters, theaters, parades, bungee jumping, dancing, beach volleyball, you name it, we got it. Most world cultures are represented. I met a number of very interesting people, including a couple of really great guys - American musicians called "The Muse". Jammed with a number of groups on percussion/vocals/guitar, and did my own Beatles show at a potato ship on the last day of the event. A few friends got together and built a marvelous old sailing ship just for this event and sold baked potatoes at it - just for the fun of it! Gods were on our side - the weather was perfect the whole time - and as soon as the event finished, thunder came to accompany those who were sad that the song was over, and to help wash the mess...
I am always amazed by the maturity and sensitivity of some young people. An 18-year-old Swiss, discontented with the older generation's shallow mentality said: "They are all just drinking. They don't know how to have fun." - and we talked about how the young people can fall into the same groove as they grow older. She said: "That's because they are anxious - afraid to live". You do see a lot of abusing of the brain and body by alcohol, and thus contributing to the decadence of the society. I also stretched my body's resources by not sleeping enough the whole week, and begged it to accommodate me through the last hours of singing last night. Now it needs tender, loving care to recover. But my healthy lifestyle - a meatless, sugar-free, natural diet, refraining from alcohol and drugs, and regular exercise and bodyworks, helped me get through this biggest celebration of life. Someone said people will be somewhat depressed after it's all over because they are tired and have spent lots of money on food and drinks, etc… Also, it tends to be natural, almost as a withdrawal syndrome, that one may feel empty after a big party is over... but to stay in the present is the key, for life can bring good things - and to inquire into emptiness is also important. The Swiss, generally - as accurate as generalizations can be - are simple, kind, good people. And they sure know how to party. I won't mention the general depression and high suicide rates and stress of this society, as it is now summer and people are very happy about the heat. They've got the California blues!
As the sun was going down, by the river, next to the potato ship and other food stands, a good feeling of sacredness and love came with the gentle cool breeze and filled the air as one was strumming it away.