“A library of books is the fairest garden in the world, and to walk there is an ecstasy.”
― E. Powys Mathers, The Arabian Nights
I thought sandcastles are made only in the shores of beaches, I was definitely mistaken.In Germany, every little kid plays with sand and dig their hearts out .It´s no wonder that most child owns a bucket , spade and shovel .If they are spoiled enough, they have little trucks and even a mini wheelbarrow.Mamas take their children for a walk into the playground and tuck these toys in the stroller and their day is complete.
That´s how special sand is…!
But nothing compares to these professionally built sand sculptures.
I was pregnant that time and the heat was really scorching, I laughed because this weather is quite normal in my life in Kuwait but then again, it didn´t stop me from seeing this once in a lifetime largest Sand Sculpture in Kuwait in 2014. With the theme ” 1,001 Nights ” or better well known as the ” Arabian Nights”, we head on to Remal International Exhibition. Looking at my swollen feet, I´m glad I´m wearing flats. I was excited since it would be the very first time I would see gigantic sand sculptures but then the baby keeps kicking me so I was also feeling lethargic.
My first thoughts were ” How did they do it?”
” What kind of sand would they use for making the model figures?”
I know from experience that the budget for this exhibition is no problem for Kuwaitis , since they always opt to do extravagant and unique exhibitions like this. Looking back, it was even easy for them to record the biggest and world -class Guiness World Records Fireworks display that lasted almost an hour to celebrate it´s 50th year National Constitution. I´ve heard that for this one alone, the whole exhibition costed 1 Million Kuwaiti Dinars or approx. 3 Million US dollars!
And yes, my neck hurts from staring in the skies for that but it was a beautiful experience.
There were LOTS of sands in this place!The entire sand sculptures were made of 28,000 tons of sand which is about 1,000 dump truck loads! It´s really big and the walking throughout the place made me really feel fired.The artist behind the gigantic sand sculpture exhibition is no other than Canadian Sculpture and Stone Mason Delayne Corbett along with other 73 Scuplture artists from 25 different countries.
“Open Sesame ” ! -Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Who would have not known the story of Ali Baba and Aladdin and his magic lamp?
Growing up, the stories of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Alladin´s Lamp, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad and the Sailor is quite familiar to me. Decades have past and these Arabian folk tales, and magic carpet rides still plays a major part in early childhood.I´ve seen quite a few of films and plays depicting these ancient stories .Now as an adult, I realized that these stories tells another far much deeper “TALE”.
The Arabian Nights , or 1001 Nights which is a compilation of different folk stories during the Golden Islamic Age .Of course, the story settings are in the Middle East like the ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, India and China.
The highlight of the story for me was about Sharayar and his wife Scheherazade.Their story really made an impression to me because as tragic as it is, it tells about the story of one woman´s cleverness and will to change his master´s heart. Sharayar found out that his wife cheated on him so he vows to marry different woman every night and kill them afterwards to prevent further betrayal.Then comes Scheherazade whom he married, but she learned about his plans and prepares a tactic to survive from his evil plans.
Her plan? It´s reading and telling stories to Shahrayar every single night, but stopping in the middle of the story for Shahrayar to increase his curiosity. This way, he gets more anticipation and excitement. Sheherazade repeats this pattern for 1,001 Nights! With this technique, she were able to save herself from being killed and stop the heinous crime of killing women of her husband.Now that´s a lot of storytelling!
I realized that Scheherazade wouldn´t be able to do it if she is not well versed in general information. Looking at her character she must have read thousand books and equipped herself with enough knowledge to be able to deliver stories like that. She must have loved to read and study a lot.
Different sculptures depicts the scenes of the stories that Scheherazade told to Shahrayar so it´s like walking into a picture book.The whole place was soooo pretty and beautiful at nightime. I admire the sand sculptures when it is lighted up to the heavens. They all looked so real, wonderfully crafted to the very edges! They were really done well and the details are so intricate. I respect the great labor of the artists, considering that working under the heat conditions in Kuwait is no joke. Paying attention to every tiny detail is very important. One false move and the sculpture would suddenly collapse!
The whole place of Remal is transformed into a giant sand paradise.Tons of sands made into different sculpture figures is definitely one of the best interpretation of human´s artistic skills and talent.
” Stories might not be able to change the world, but they are capable of changing us by making us look at ourselves in new ways.”
To make it even grandier, there are also Fire Dancers, Python show and Fata Ole ; demonstrating the finest in African folklore within a 3-minute dance performed 3 times daily.The largest sand castle made in a contest was 18 feet tall; the owner, Ronald Malcnujio, a five-foot-high man, had to use several ladders, each the height of the sand castle. His sculpture consisted of one ton of sand and 10 litres of water to sculp!
But then, here in Germany, they have broken all these records and made it to Guiness Records with their Biggest and tallest Sandcastle in the World!
Since then, I´ve looked at sands on a very different level.
Let children play and get dirty playing with sands.Continue reading stories to your kid, in the end, it pays off.
Until then, over here in Germany we are celebrating Father´s Day. Tschüss!