Saturday, June 7, 2008

Learn and Educated Day

The temperature outside today was terribly mucky and hot. After living in the East Coast of USA for 7 years now, my resistance to heat is zero. While everyone is out walking in their sundresses and khaki shorts with fancy shades and flipflops, I could only go out if Curry promise that we get indoors when he sees my cheeks burning hot and going hair wired! He did promised but after being with him for so many years, I should have known better! He made us walked a mile to reach the intended places and by the time I opened the door leading to the indoors, I swear that I have lost 1lb of my body fat through the sweat.

Harvard University's museums were our destination today. I love museums of every kind as they are always full of things that I never knew nor imagined existed and I would very much love to increase my knowledge in other fields besides my cooking. When my brother commented last time that my blog is all about food, I felt a bit uneasy about it. I used to love historical books and natural history magazines before I went crazy with cookbooks and food magazines. Egyptian Pharaoahs, Roman Empires, Chinese Dynasties and world history and antiquities always intrigued me but I see those interests slowly being shoved to some hiding place while family life takes over. Perhaps it is time to rekindle with these things again before I totally become a monotonous and ignorant human being!

Although small compared to the other museums in Boston, the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Peabody Museum have their own unique atmospheres with interesting and sufficient collections of natural and man made structures of the past and present living beings of the natural world and displays of Native Americans' archaeological and ethnological heritage. The places were easy to navigate and the orientations of every exhibit rooms were simply one of the best and easiest to navigate when you have kids going oooh & ahhhh over dinosaurs bones, fossils, taxidermist animals and preserved bugs and slugs in glass cabinets.

I was amazed to see the works of glass created by the Blaschka team of father and son. To create something so intricate from glass and yet so akin to the real thing really show the determination and patience of the artists and having created these things when technology was not as advanced as these days really makes these people admirable and respectable. From their glass arts, I was amazed to see a magnified ovary of an orchid and I admit that I didn't know that there was a male and female part of a flower! The underwater creatures glass creations were so beautiful and I would gladly go back to science and geography classes again if these were used as teaching models!

The Peabody Museum was good too and displayed the way of lives of the Native Americans through miniature models of villages and ceremonies, clothings and daily house utensils and also concise history of the different groups in the different parts of America, which were short and easy enough for me to glimpse through before having to chase all over again for Missy E and Prince D who seemed over excited in the dimmed and little alleyways that never seems to end anywhere! The Latin Americans section was equally informative with emphasis on the Mayans of the Peru area and reproductions of murals and their arts really makes me think on how do ancient people have these visions of colors and impressions when their lives were so much simpler then with no contact of the outside world and knew only of their own kind.

And to my surprise, I found something from my hometown! I couldn't believe it.... I just saw a 'Sumputan', a kind of musical pipe used by one group of the indigenous people in my own state of Sabah, Malaysia! And I ran out to check the main door again as I was really curious what was that pipe doing in this Museum for the Archaelogy and Ethnology of the Americans! Was there any relations? Oh..... it said 'The Pacific Region'. Afterall, the whole world was once connected as one big land before the Ice ages and human beings were moving in every directions to start new communities and generations and I am not surprised that every culture is influenced by another and each heritage can have similarities to each other too. So I shall stop questioning and be proud of the fact that something from my hometown landed in this awesome Museum of Harvard.

1 comment:

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

r u visiting Boston or do u live there? my college roomie n i planned to visit Boston n hang around the campus until we get one of those academic types but plan didn't work out. by the time i visited Harvard, i was in the early months of pregnancy with my 2nd child n bleeding so i only got to go sit on Harvard's lawn, take a pic n got back to the car...very nice 'town' isn't it.

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