The Philippines’ controversial president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, will assume his post on June 30. As mayor of the Philippines’ second largest city, Davao, Duterte was accused of employing “death squads” to rid the streets of drug dealers and lower the crime rate. He has vowed to bring back the death penalty so that he can legally execute drug traffickers, rapists and murderers. On June 1, Duterte said that “corrupt” journalists were legitimate targets for assassination. He once commented on the 1989 gang rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a prison riot: “I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first.”
Despite all of this, Duterte wristbands are a common sight among poor Filipinos. The slums of Manila and Cebu remain impoverished, despite a 5.8 percent GDP growth rate in 2015. This is juxtaposed with data showing that the collective wealth of the 40 richest Filipino families grew by $13bn during the year 2010-2011, to $47.4bn – an increase of 37.9 percent. The country has a history of oligarchic dictatorships, but the people have now elected an “outside-the-box” candidate. Many impoverished Filipinos say they voted for Duterte because they believe he can reduce crime and create a more just society.
Indian villagers watch two buffaloes lock horns during a traditional buffalo fight during Magh Bihu at Ahotguri, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Gauhati, India. Magh Bihu is the harvest festival of north eastern Assam state and is observed in the Assamese month of Magh, that coincides with January.
Magh Bihu (also called Bhogali Bihu (Bihu of enjoyment) or Maghar Domahi) is a harvest festival celebrated in Assam, India, which marks the end of harvesting season in the month of Maagha (January–February). It is the Assam celebration of Sankranthi, with feasting lasting for a week. The festival is marked by feasts and bonfires. Young people erect makeshift huts, known as meji, from bamboo, leaves and thatch, in which they eat the food prepared for the feast, and then burn the huts the next morning.
The celebrations also feature traditional Assamese games such as tekeli bhonga (pot-breaking) and buffalo fighting. Magh Bihu celebrations start on the last day of the previous month, the month of “Pooh”, usually the 29th of Pooh and usually the 14th of January, and is the only day of Magh Bihu in modern times (earlier, the festival would last for the whole month of Magh, and so the name Magh Bihu). The night before is “Uruka” (28th of Pooh), when people gather around a bonfire, cook dinner, and make merry.
During Magh Bihu people of Assam make cakes of rice with various names such as Shunga Pitha, Til Pitha etc. and some other sweets of coconut called Laru.