2015 Duende Readers’ Favourites
December 3, 2015
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2015 Reader's Favourites

As the year draws to a close, I will be packing my suitcase and heading to where the sun is shining on new inspiration. If you are fortunate enough to put your feet up over the silly season and are looking to catch up on some reading, may I suggest you begin with the Duende readers’ favourite posts of 2015—just in case you missed them the first time.

1. Peranakan – A Colourful Cultural Collision

A cultural collision resulting from historical migration throughout South East Asia resulted in the Peranakans, a people with their own unique customs and an intriguingly vivacious aesthetic.

Peranakan shophouses

2. Calçada Portuguesa – The Mosaic Sidewalks of Rio

A little while ago I fulfilled a lifelong dream to party at Rio De Janeiro’s Carnival! I also discovered an inspired element of the tropical city that unexpectedly captured my imagination.

Calcada Portuguesa Copacabana Beach

3. Ancient Incan Mystery or Modern Myth?

Ancient symbols passed down by the mystical Incan empire…or a modern day myth? I regularly find that the subjects I am researching have debated origins, and this investigation raised more questions than answers.

Incan Symbols: Ancient Mystery or Modern Myth?

4. Buddhist Architecture 101 Series

If you ever travel South East Asia extensively, you will be exposed to a diverse array of Buddhist architecture. Many terms for the exotic and sometimes fantastical structures get thrown about, but do you really know what makes a wat? The purpose of a pagoda? Or the significance of a stupa? In the three part series, Buddhist Architecture 101, I have decoded these three common structures. Stay tuned in 2016 as I add to this series.

Shwe Zi Gon stupa in Bagan, Myanmar | Duende by Madam ZoZo

5. Claddagh – Let Love & Friendship Reign

A crowned heart clasped between two hands that symbolises love, friendship and loyalty; the design of the Claddagh ring of Ireland is one with a long and mysterious history full of romantic tall tales. But who can truly claim responsibility for the original motif?

Claddagh ring

6. Live Long, Be Happy & Prosper

Three strange Chinese fellows stare back at me through the museum glass. Their faces are familiar; I have seen them before on cloth, in porcelain and paint. But who are they and what do they represent?

Fu Lu Shou Complex

7. All hail the noble lotus! Or is it just a lily?

In most corners of Asia, Buddhist and Hindu symbolism are inescapable. From India to Japan, there are endless images and representations to intrigue the senses. One recurring motif that interestingly appears to span multiple religions, geographies and cultures, is the lotus flower. So what is it that makes this aquatic perennial so special?

Lotus bud

Here you can find more Duende readers’ favourites from: 2016 and 2017.

Peace, love & inspiring travel,

Madam ZoZo

Image: The Flamenco Dancers Fan by Patrick McDonald via Flickr. Additional editing by Madam Zozo.

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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