I came to see this picture in Japan which reminded me of the same culture or tradition or superstition or belief or whatever-you-call-it here in my country. And in neighboring countries, and in countries far & beyond. This just confirms one thing that howsoever we appear different in terms of race, color, caste, creed, language and appearance, but our core emotions such as love, hope, fear, happiness remain the same. In different parts of the world people may have different ways to feel and show such emotions, still some ways remain universal.
This is a photo I took in Sapporo, Japan of Ema, the prayers and wishes penned and hung in the grounds of Shinto shrines. From heartfelt hopes about exam results, or being noticed by that oblivious boy in your class, to wishes for a prosperous or healthy future, you can think of them as prayers and hopes made manifest and left in public.
This photo I took at the Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Bhittai was a sufi saint, poet and a musician who lived around 18th Century. People visit the shrine, make a wish and tie the knots (of threads, a piece of cloth etc) to a tree inside the shrine. And when their wishes come true, they come to visit the Shrine again to pay homage to the Saint.
My favourite couplet of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
Thou art the friend, the Healer thou;
for sufferings thou the remedy;
Thou divest; curtest disease, dost guide,
master thou art eternally–
Yet, I am wonderstruck to see
that you physicians still provide