Dallas Smith's Blog

A Few Stories from our Weeks in Mumbai

Please view the photo gallery as well--Click on individual photos for short descriptions

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As Susan and I begin the final week of our India visit, in this blog I want to try and describe our day-to-day life during our six weeks here.  We have had such a wonderful time, that we hope to return again at the end of this year.  We played more concerts in our six weeks here than we have in the past year at home in Reno.  The positive audience reception of our Indian audiences was very gratifying.



Making Music in Mumbai

Mumbai 2024 Blog #2

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Susan and I have completed one month of our seven-week visit to Mumbai, India.  This is the longest time that Susan will have ever spent in India.  In my approximately fifteen visits to India over the years, I generally stayed for around a month and twice for two months.  As a result of these many visits, we have many friends here, most of whom are musicians or music lovers.  Our goal for this seven-week stay was to enjoy our friends and the great food while playing as much music as possible.

The Bucket List

Music in Mumbai

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“The Bucket List”—The name of a popular movie that refers to the things that one hopes to do before he/she “kicks the bucket.”  That’s where Susan and I find ourselves since we sold our company, Healing Healthcare Systems, two years ago.  Divesting ourselves of HHS after thirty years created the space for more travel and more music, which are the two pillars of my personal bucket list. 

More Bali Photos

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Susan and I were privileged to spend ten days in Bali.  Several days were spent traveling several hours from Ubud, our home base, to famous temples popular with tourists like us.  We didn't see all of Bali.  But the places we were able to visit yielded many interesting photos.  


Indonesia's Paradise Island

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Bali is an island populated by 95% Hindus, but are only 5% of Muslim-majority Indonesia.  As early as the first century CE, Indian traders spread Hinduism and Buddhism to East Asia, including what is now Indonesia.  Hinduism in Indonesia reached its height by the 7th century. It was during this period that the Buddhist temple of Borobudur was constructed.  (Borobudur was featured in my previous Indonesia blog.)  By the 13th century, Islam spread through the islands of Sumatra and Java, supplanting Hinduism.  However, Bali remained almost exclusively Hindu, despite the rise to dominance of Islam throughout the rest of what is current-day Indonesia.  Bali has maintained the ancient Hindu religious practices which are also still practiced in India. 


Jakarta, Borobudur, & Surubaya

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Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, after #1 India, #2 China, & #3 USA, numbering 279 million people (source-Wikipedia).  It is the world's most populous Muslim country.  It is the world's 14th largest nation by area, and the world's largest archipelagic state consisting of over 17,000 islands. 

But beyond these statistics, I was very impressed with the warmth of the Indonesian people. The attached photo gallery illustrates their warmth.


A Unique City-State

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Singapore is a very small country located at the bottom of the Malaysian peninsula.  It has no natural resources.  Alli its food has to be imported.  As a financial center and trading center, Singapore is extremely successful.  Its citizens enjoy one of the highest median incomes in the world.  Singapore's citizens are 70% of Chinese ancestry.  Other ethnic groups include Malays, Indians, Thais, and more.  Enjoy the photo gallery of Singapore's rich urban landscape.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Impressive Buildings

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Kuala Lumpur is the capital of the country of Malaysia.  Known previously as Malaya, the country was colonized first by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and finally by the British.  In World War II, it was occupied by the Japanese.  It became independent after WWII.  In 1963 Malaya joined with Singapore, changing its name to Malaysia, adding the "si" for Singapore.  However, the confederation lasted only two years because of resistance to the potential influence of Singapore's majority Chinese population.


Ayutthaya, Thailand's Ancient Capital

Photos from Ayutthaya

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Ayutthaya lies about a two hour's drive north of Bangkok.  It was Thailand's capital for approximately four hundred years, founded in 1351.  It was burned by Burmese invaders in 1767, which resulted in its abandonment and the establishment of Bangkok which remains Thailand's current capital.  

Below is one of the oldest Stupas, built in the 14th century, in the same era as the construction of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the world's largest UNESCO world heritage site.  Stupas are Buddhist cylindrical structures containing the ashes, bones, or remains of religious figures, and are intended to function as pilgrimage sites for worship and meditation.


Saigon, aka Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam's Largest City

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Our third (and final) Vietnamese port of call was Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam, which was renamed Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) after the victory of North Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War.  HCMC is a large prosperous city.  We were lucky to be met on two consecutive days by our old friend Bob, who is married to a Vietnamese lady and has retired to live in Vietnam following his long career in Reno as a counselor and professional musician.  I played many gigs with Bob in Reno over the years.