I like this article for two reasons. First: the pictures (like the one above) are really arresting. Secondly: it plays a little bit of havoc with my preconception about Eastern vs. Western culture. The use of a metric ton of jewels for decoration is something I tend to ascribe to cultures like India rather than, say, Germany. But one of the things I’ve learned (although I’m no historian) is that our notions of “East” and “West” are pretty simplistic. This is just one tiny example.