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In photos: rare glimpses into the life of the 14th Dalai Lama

A gorgeous new illustrated biography of the religious leader offers priceless insights into his extraordinary courage and the tireless fortitude of the Tibetan people

Tenzin Geyche Tethong was initially reluctant to write a biography of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, even though he had worked in His Holiness' Private Office for four decades. Readers must be thankful that he gave in in the end, considering the result is a handsome illustrated volume, offering rare glimpses into an exceptional life. In this photograph, for instance, relief floods the Dalai Lama’s face as he arrives in India in 1959 after an arduous journey across Tibet, and is greeted with a khatag, or offering scarf. Credit: Tibet Museum.
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Tenzin Geyche Tethong was initially reluctant to write a biography of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, even though he had worked in His Holiness' Private Office for four decades. Readers must be thankful that he gave in in the end, considering the result is a handsome illustrated volume, offering rare glimpses into an exceptional life. In this photograph, for instance, relief floods the Dalai Lama’s face as he arrives in India in 1959 after an arduous journey across Tibet, and is greeted with a khatag, or offering scarf. Credit: Tibet Museum.
Tethong weaves his personal experience of the Tibetan struggle and the story of generations of his family's involvement with the Dalai Lamas into his narrative. It is rich with historical details and anecdotes. But above all, it comes vividly to life through powerful images, such as this one of the Women's Day Uprising on 12 March 1959, On that day, a spontaneous gathering of 15,000 women from all regions of Tibet flocked to an area below the Potala palace in Lhasa, the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas, in a remarkable act of bravery. The leaders were later imprisoned or executed. Credit: Tibet Images Collection of Jane Moore.
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Tethong weaves his personal experience of the Tibetan struggle and the story of generations of his family's involvement with the Dalai Lamas into his narrative. It is rich with historical details and anecdotes. But above all, it comes vividly to life through powerful images, such as this one of the Women's Day Uprising on 12 March 1959, On that day, a spontaneous gathering of 15,000 women from all regions of Tibet flocked to an area below the Potala palace in Lhasa, the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas, in a remarkable act of bravery. The leaders were later imprisoned or executed. Credit: Tibet Images Collection of Jane Moore.
The 14th Dalai Lama's journey began much earlier, though, in the 1930s, when, as an infant, he was singled out as the living incarnation of his predecessor. In this photograph, one of his earliest, taken at the age of four at Kumbum monastery in 1939, His Holiness is holding on his lap a Gospel of St. John card presented to him by a visiting missionary. Credit: Archibald Steele, in A.T. Steele Papers, Arizona State University Libraries, Special Collections.
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The 14th Dalai Lama's journey began much earlier, though, in the 1930s, when, as an infant, he was singled out as the living incarnation of his predecessor. In this photograph, one of his earliest, taken at the age of four at Kumbum monastery in 1939, His Holiness is holding on his lap a Gospel of St. John card presented to him by a visiting missionary. Credit: Archibald Steele, in A.T. Steele Papers, Arizona State University Libraries, Special Collections.
In the early years of his exile in Dharamsala, India, the Dalai Lama had two Lhasa apso dogs, Senge (‘lion’) and Tashi (‘good fortune’). Here Senge sits at his feet in the sitting room of Swarg Ashram. In Tethong's portrait many such intimate moments shine through. Courtesy: Tendzin Choegyal and Rinchen Khando (John Faber).
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In the early years of his exile in Dharamsala, India, the Dalai Lama had two Lhasa apso dogs, Senge (‘lion’) and Tashi (‘good fortune’). Here Senge sits at his feet in the sitting room of Swarg Ashram. In Tethong's portrait many such intimate moments shine through. Courtesy: Tendzin Choegyal and Rinchen Khando (John Faber).
The Dalai Lama travelled to Karasjok in Northern Norway, after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, at the invitation of Ole Henrik Magga, first president of the Sami Parliament. The Sami are an indigenous people who, like the Tibetans, are intent on keeping their culture and language intact. Their discussions were followed by a reindeer-led sleigh ride, to the delight of His Holiness who had not seen a reindeer before. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Harry Johansen).
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The Dalai Lama travelled to Karasjok in Northern Norway, after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, at the invitation of Ole Henrik Magga, first president of the Sami Parliament. The Sami are an indigenous people who, like the Tibetans, are intent on keeping their culture and language intact. Their discussions were followed by a reindeer-led sleigh ride, to the delight of His Holiness who had not seen a reindeer before. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Harry Johansen).
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to nuns from several nunneries who had just concluded their annual winter debate sessions at the Tsuglakhang in Dharamsala, 2013. Tethong notes the spiritual leader's effortless savviness in interacting with people of different faiths from across the world. Courtesy: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to nuns from several nunneries who had just concluded their annual winter debate sessions at the Tsuglakhang in Dharamsala, 2013. Tethong notes the spiritual leader's effortless savviness in interacting with people of different faiths from across the world. Courtesy: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During his early days in Dharamshala, Tethong says he used to be disappointed with the lack of interest about Tibetans among the media and political leaders in India. It was His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's tireless campaigning and unique presence that changed the indifference into lively engagement, But the battle is far from over.
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During his early days in Dharamshala, Tethong says he used to be disappointed with the lack of interest about Tibetans among the media and political leaders in India. It was His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's tireless campaigning and unique presence that changed the indifference into lively engagement, But the battle is far from over. "Unless China becomes more free and democratic, it wouldn't be possible for Tibetans to achieve their rightful goal," Tethong adds. The cover of 'His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama: An Illustrated Biography', published by Roli Books, Rs1,295.

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Paris Haute Couture Week: Vaishali S. creates an underwater journey

The designer stays true to her signature style while offering new silhouettes and blends of shimmering materials 

The show took place in a room stripped of wallpaper, with rows of electrical wires visible.
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The show took place in a room stripped of wallpaper, with rows of electrical wires visible.
All the females models wore Kolhapuri chappals (from Vaishali’s hometown state), while walking in clothes were structured, yet flowy.
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All the females models wore Kolhapuri chappals (from Vaishali’s hometown state), while walking in clothes were structured, yet flowy.
Vaishali S. presented her collection, Abyss, on 24 January under the landmark, La Pyramide Inversée skylight, at Carrousel du Louvre. The collection included 35 garments, made using different silks and uplifted with traditional embroideries. 
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Vaishali S. presented her collection, Abyss, on 24 January under the landmark, La Pyramide Inversée skylight, at Carrousel du Louvre. The collection included 35 garments, made using different silks and uplifted with traditional embroideries. 
Vaishali S. greets the crowd after presenting her collection
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Vaishali S. greets the crowd after presenting her collection

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At Paris couture week, Rahul Mishra brings the universe alive in embroidery

The designer's collection, Cosmos, was a celebration of Indian hand-embroidery and craft techniques   

Rahul Mishra presented his couture collection at Paris' The Westin hotel on 23 January. 
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Rahul Mishra presented his couture collection at Paris' The Westin hotel on 23 January.  (Valerio Mezzanotti @nowfashion)
Each piece in the collection, made at his workshop in the Indian city of Noida, was realised in two and three-dimensional hand embroidery. 
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Each piece in the collection, made at his workshop in the Indian city of Noida, was realised in two and three-dimensional hand embroidery.  (AFP)
The embroidery was encrusted with Swarovski crystals, to give life to the elements of the world using threads.
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The embroidery was encrusted with Swarovski crystals, to give life to the elements of the world using threads. (AFP)
The collection included gowns, bodysuits and jackets.
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The collection included gowns, bodysuits and jackets. (Valerio Mezzanotti @nowfashion)
The custom-made shoes also grabbed attention with glitter-full heels. 
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The custom-made shoes also grabbed attention with glitter-full heels.  (Valerio Mezzanotti @nowfashion)

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Zângkhua, a Beacon of Hope, a Mizo folktale translated and illustrated by Alyssa Pachuau

An ancient Mizo folktale tells the story of how a young warrior’s spirit continues to watch over his people

According to Mizo folklore, Zângkhua, or the constellation Ursa Major, is the spirit of a young warrior named Kawlawia. The constellation consists of seven bright arsi (stars) and is one of the most prominent clusters that appear in the north. Our ancestors possessed remarkable wisdom about the world, including stars and constellations. The Mizo elders keenly observed the appearance of these celestial bodies to track time, months and seasons, and read them as signs of good or bad fortune to come. They established their own theories of origin, resulting in interesting myths, lore and legends. This folktale tells the origin of the constellation Zângkhua, and how it became one of the most significant “stars” among the Mizo people.
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According to Mizo folklore, Zângkhua, or the constellation Ursa Major, is the spirit of a young warrior named Kawlawia. The constellation consists of seven bright arsi (stars) and is one of the most prominent clusters that appear in the north. Our ancestors possessed remarkable wisdom about the world, including stars and constellations. The Mizo elders keenly observed the appearance of these celestial bodies to track time, months and seasons, and read them as signs of good or bad fortune to come. They established their own theories of origin, resulting in interesting myths, lore and legends. This folktale tells the origin of the constellation Zângkhua, and how it became one of the most significant “stars” among the Mizo people. (Illustrations by Alyssa Pachuau)
Once upon a time, there lived a man named Kawlawia (pronounced Koloya) in Mizoram. He married a young woman from the village of Sairum, which lies east of the Tlawng river. One night, Kawlawia dreamt a terrible dream that he believed foreshadowed his death. “Go to your in-laws’ village and offer a sacrifice. Tragedy will not befall you,” the village elders said. He decided to go to Sairum to perform a thla hual, a ceremony where a sacrifice is offered to pacify one’s mind.
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Once upon a time, there lived a man named Kawlawia (pronounced Koloya) in Mizoram. He married a young woman from the village of Sairum, which lies east of the Tlawng river. One night, Kawlawia dreamt a terrible dream that he believed foreshadowed his death. “Go to your in-laws’ village and offer a sacrifice. Tragedy will not befall you,” the village elders said. He decided to go to Sairum to perform a thla hual, a ceremony where a sacrifice is offered to pacify one’s mind.
At Sairum, Kawlawia’s in-laws sacrificed a young fowl and a pig for the thla hual ceremony. He felt a sense of peace almost immediately, and set off for his home. On the way back, as he reached Berhvakawn, Kawlawia was waylaid by warriors from another village. And just like he had dreamt, he was killed, and the enemies carried off his head and leg as trophies. 
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At Sairum, Kawlawia’s in-laws sacrificed a young fowl and a pig for the thla hual ceremony. He felt a sense of peace almost immediately, and set off for his home. On the way back, as he reached Berhvakawn, Kawlawia was waylaid by warriors from another village. And just like he had dreamt, he was killed, and the enemies carried off his head and leg as trophies. 
After a few days, a tlaiberh (Red-vented bulbul) appeared at Kawlawia’s house and perched on a bamboo clothesline by the doorway. “Kawlawia lies dead at Berhvakawn,” the tlaiberh called. When they heard its song, Kawlawia’s family became anxious. “What a strange song the tlaiberh sings,” they said. 
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After a few days, a tlaiberh (Red-vented bulbul) appeared at Kawlawia’s house and perched on a bamboo clothesline by the doorway. “Kawlawia lies dead at Berhvakawn,” the tlaiberh called. When they heard its song, Kawlawia’s family became anxious. “What a strange song the tlaiberh sings,” they said. 
Finally, they sent some young warriors to Berhvakawn who found Kawlawia’s body. A small swarm of khawidang (wasps) was hovering over his knee where his leg had been severed. 
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Finally, they sent some young warriors to Berhvakawn who found Kawlawia’s body. A small swarm of khawidang (wasps) was hovering over his knee where his leg had been severed. 
As they stood over his body, there occurred a great gathering of darkness: the Thîm-Zîng. It appeared like a great black fog that covered the world in darkness. In that moment, Kawlawia’s body rose to the sky and turned into a cluster of stars that came to be known as Zângkhua. In this constellation, the first two stars, or “point stars”, are believed to be his shoulders, and the rest his torso and remaining leg. Till today, it is said wasps are flitting around his knee and can be seen blinking in the distance.
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As they stood over his body, there occurred a great gathering of darkness: the Thîm-Zîng. It appeared like a great black fog that covered the world in darkness. In that moment, Kawlawia’s body rose to the sky and turned into a cluster of stars that came to be known as Zângkhua. In this constellation, the first two stars, or “point stars”, are believed to be his shoulders, and the rest his torso and remaining leg. Till today, it is said wasps are flitting around his knee and can be seen blinking in the distance.
When Zângkhua turns upside down, it is common knowledge that it won’t be long before dawn. In hard times, it’s common to say “Zângkhua a la bungbu ang”, which means Zângkhua will turn upside down to bolster people’s spirits and indicate that things will change for the better.
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When Zângkhua turns upside down, it is common knowledge that it won’t be long before dawn. In hard times, it’s common to say “Zângkhua a la bungbu ang”, which means Zângkhua will turn upside down to bolster people’s spirits and indicate that things will change for the better.
When Zângkhua turns upside down, it is common knowledge that it won’t be long before dawn. In hard times, it’s common to say “Zângkhua a la bungbu ang”, which means Zângkhua will turn upside down to bolster people’s spirits and indicate that things will change for the better.
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When Zângkhua turns upside down, it is common knowledge that it won’t be long before dawn. In hard times, it’s common to say “Zângkhua a la bungbu ang”, which means Zângkhua will turn upside down to bolster people’s spirits and indicate that things will change for the better.
Zângkhua not only tells the time and seasons, the stars themselves give hope to those who look upon them. They are a constant reminder that darkness will eventually give way to light and wrongs will be made right.  Alyssa Pachuau is a New York-based children’s illustrator. Her first picture book, Ukepenuopfü, with author Theyiesinuo Keditsu was published in 2022. 
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Zângkhua not only tells the time and seasons, the stars themselves give hope to those who look upon them. They are a constant reminder that darkness will eventually give way to light and wrongs will be made right.  Alyssa Pachuau is a New York-based children’s illustrator. Her first picture book, Ukepenuopfü, with author Theyiesinuo Keditsu was published in 2022. 

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Snapshots from a cake exhibition in Bengaluru

From a cake weighing 18 tonnes to one dedicated to Lata Mangeshkar, visitors can witness the limitless creativity of bakers at this annual event

The 48th edition of the annual Bengaluru cake show is underway at St Joseph's Indian High School ground in Ashok Nagar. The themes this year explore good over evil, history and remembrance, and nature and harmony. In this photo, a baker poses with a 340 kg cake model of the Great Barrier Reef. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 
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The 48th edition of the annual Bengaluru cake show is underway at St Joseph's Indian High School ground in Ashok Nagar. The themes this year explore good over evil, history and remembrance, and nature and harmony. In this photo, a baker poses with a 340 kg cake model of the Great Barrier Reef. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)  (PTI)
The cakes have been created by 20 students of the Institute of Baking and Cake Art (IBCA). This photo of a cake, designed like the bust of Lata Mangeshkar, weighs 130 kgs. (ANI Photo)
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The cakes have been created by 20 students of the Institute of Baking and Cake Art (IBCA). This photo of a cake, designed like the bust of Lata Mangeshkar, weighs 130 kgs. (ANI Photo) (Savitha)
Sugar art is key to designing these elaborate cakes and most contain just icing sugar without the moist sponge, reports a story published by The Hindu. (ANI Photo)
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Sugar art is key to designing these elaborate cakes and most contain just icing sugar without the moist sponge, reports a story published by The Hindu. (ANI Photo)
A man dressed as Santa Claus poses for a photo with this gigantic replica of North America's the Cathedral Basilica, that weighs about 18 tonnes. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 
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A man dressed as Santa Claus poses for a photo with this gigantic replica of North America's the Cathedral Basilica, that weighs about 18 tonnes. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) 
A cake designed to represent the highlights of 2022. The show was unveiled on 16 December and will end on 2 January, The entry fee is  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>100. (ANI Photo)
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A cake designed to represent the highlights of 2022. The show was unveiled on 16 December and will end on 2 January, The entry fee is 100. (ANI Photo)

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In photos: A traditional Christmas cake from Portugal

A cake known as bolo-rei—made with port wine, mixed nuts and candied fruit—is a Christmas specialty from Portugal

The bolo-rei, a donut-shaped cake, is a Christmas speciality in Portugal. Every year, the National Association of Bread and Pastry Producers recognises the best bolo-rei in the country. The 2022 winner is a small bakery, named Padaria da Ne, located in Amadora, in the northwestern suburbs of Lisbon. In this photo, a baker places candied fruits on a bolo-rei before putting it in the oven. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
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The bolo-rei, a donut-shaped cake, is a Christmas speciality in Portugal. Every year, the National Association of Bread and Pastry Producers recognises the best bolo-rei in the country. The 2022 winner is a small bakery, named Padaria da Ne, located in Amadora, in the northwestern suburbs of Lisbon. In this photo, a baker places candied fruits on a bolo-rei before putting it in the oven. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
A freshly baked bolo-rei at the Padaria da Ne bakery in Amadora, Ingredients include port wine, candied fruits and lots of mixed nuts. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
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A freshly baked bolo-rei at the Padaria da Ne bakery in Amadora, Ingredients include port wine, candied fruits and lots of mixed nuts. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
A photo from the kitchen of Padaria da Ne bakery shows a baker shaping the dough to make bolo-rei. The cake is eaten in the period between 25 December to 6 January. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
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A photo from the kitchen of Padaria da Ne bakery shows a baker shaping the dough to make bolo-rei. The cake is eaten in the period between 25 December to 6 January. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
A baker places a freshly baked bolo-rei at Padaria da Ne. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
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A baker places a freshly baked bolo-rei at Padaria da Ne. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
Customers wait to buy Christmas specials, including bolo-rei, at the Padaria da Ne bakery. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)
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Customers wait to buy Christmas specials, including bolo-rei, at the Padaria da Ne bakery. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)

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A magical exhibition of gingerbread cities for Christmas

The Museum of Architecture's Gingerbread City in London's Belgravia district is an ode to Christmas

A gingerbread installation on display at the Museum of Architecture's Gingerbread City in Belgravia district, London. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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A gingerbread installation on display at the Museum of Architecture's Gingerbread City in Belgravia district, London. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
The exhibition showcases five intricately designed cities conceptualised and created by more than 100 architects, designers and chefs. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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The exhibition showcases five intricately designed cities conceptualised and created by more than 100 architects, designers and chefs. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
The installations, made with dough, sweets and icing, feature five edible cities across different climate zones such as polar, continental, temperate, dry and tropical. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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The installations, made with dough, sweets and icing, feature five edible cities across different climate zones such as polar, continental, temperate, dry and tropical. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
This is the sixth edition of the annual exhibition that draws large crowds every year. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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This is the sixth edition of the annual exhibition that draws large crowds every year. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
This year’s theme reflects the desire for more liveable cities where most daily necessities can be met within a 15-minute walk, cycle or trip on public transport. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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This year’s theme reflects the desire for more liveable cities where most daily necessities can be met within a 15-minute walk, cycle or trip on public transport. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
The Gingerbread City at The Museum of Architecture will open on 3 December, 2022 and will run until 3 January, 2023 at 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)
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The Gingerbread City at The Museum of Architecture will open on 3 December, 2022 and will run until 3 January, 2023 at 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London. (Photo: Maja Smiejkowska, Reuters)

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