Devoted to Faith — Photo story

Traveling has helped me satisfy my desire to learn new things, hear different stories, experience unique lifestyles and see amazing traditions around the world.

That satisfaction became an obsession.

I am obsessed with documenting stories, and the stories around religions are some of the most amazing.

That is why I stared documenting the people of this world who are devoted to religion. They are the ones who tell those stories in the best way.

Vietnam

A Vietnamese anthropologist once said, “Death is not the end but is the final stage of one life to be transformed into another.”

He also asserted that death rituals provide the bereaved with a chance to fulfill their filial obligations to the deceased. Because death is usually unexpected, it often leaves family members and friends with unfinished business with the deceased.

Since filial responsibilities are weighed heavily in the Vietnamese culture, and proper death rituals according to one’s abilities are important, death rituals give the bereaved a final chance to make it right by the deceased and thus provide a sense of continuity as well as final closure.

Sri Lanka

Dragan Tapshanov | Kandy, Sri Lanka 2015
Dragan Tapshanov | Kandy, Sri Lanka 2015
Dragan Tapshanov | Kandy, Sri Lanka 2015

It was an amazing experience to witness the shared prayers that Sinhalese were practicing for some of the big religious holidays in Sri Lanka.

Living amongst them for a longer period of time brought me closer to their religion and showed me how the Buddhism in their country is different then in other places around the world.

Laos

For a long time I haven’t been back to Laos, but whenever it crosses my mind I always have the orange color in front of me.

Almost all Buddhist followers around the world are wearing the orange robes, but somehow in Laos it was the most noticeable.

Dragan Tapshanov | Luang Prabang, Laos 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Luang Prabang, Laos 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Luang Prabang, Laos 2016

Alms giving is a spectacular experience to witness. Followers are donating food every morning to Monks, young and old, before sunrise on the city streets.

Recently has become very popular tourist attraction in Luang Prabang and many say that the whole event is just a show.

Myanmar

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar is the most amazing Buddhist sacred ground that I have ever visited. Golden rooftops, devoted followers, beautiful wood carvings and paintings are just part of it.

Dragan Tapshanov | Mandalay, Myanmar 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Mandalay, Myanmar 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Mandalay, Myanmar 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Mandalay, Myanmar 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Mandalay, Myanmar 2016
Dragan Tapshanov | Inle lake, Myanmar 2016

Macedonia

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Dragan Tapshanov | Krushevo, Macedonia 2016

Christian Orthodox Epiphany is taking place every 19th of January and is definitely an event to attend at least once in your life.

Group of people (mostly man) are entering in an ice cold river, lake or pond, racing towards a wooden cross that is thrown by the local head priest.

Seeing a blood on this event is not unfamiliar.

Dragan Tapshanov | Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery, Macedonia 2018
Dragan Tapshanov | Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery, Macedonia 2018
Dragan Tapshanov | Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery, Macedonia 2018

Christian monk hitting a large wooden piece (Toaca) with little wooden hammer to summon the breathren to prayer.

Iran

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Dragan Tapshanov | Shiraz, Iran 2017

Persian woman saying a prayer in Vakil mosque in Shiraz, Iran.

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Forever amateur photographer & Airbnb host in Skopje, Macedonia

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