I am so excited to get into the full swing of my classes. I know I’m going to learn so much about Indian culture, politics, and tradition through having a lived experience in India as well as taking sociological courses. During my Population and Poverty course last Tuesday, the teacher explained a phenomenon that immediately caught my interest known as “Unity in Diversity.” Diversity shines through in every aspect of Indian life and Indians are unified through this. Diversity exists in food, culture, language, and customs, and Bangalore is a cultural hub with foreigners from all over India. Walking down the street, I can hear multiple local Indian languages as well as English spoken. Anywhere I go I can find food from all over the world, which oddly reminds me of home. There is always an amazing array of colors and decorations on everything I see, including the rickshaws, cars, buildings, temples and houses. I recently participated in a Salsa social and it reminded me of how global Latin dance really is. I’ve seen so many examples of other cultural influences mixing with the local culture and it’s beautiful.
I want to learn more about this phrase “Unity in Diversity”, and if it truly exists. How are Indians unified through their diversity, and how are the able to Coexist through differences between ethnicity, religion, caste and gender? In the U.S., concepts of diversity and inclusion are often used to cover up issues of inequity. I want to look deeper into this in India and learn about the systems of inequity that still exist despite the country’s passion for diversity and inclusion.
Population and Poverty and Gandhi and Non Violent Protest will help me learn about colonization and its’ effect on Indian way of life. Just like in the United States, people are systematically oppressed. I can’t wait to share more about what I’m learning in classes as time goes on. Right now, it is hard to articulate all of my thoughts on one small blog, because India is so vast and I am learning so much. The culture shock phase is making it really hard for me to reflect on everything that I’m learning. I am constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged. Even trying to get to sleep is a challenge because I can hear cars and people out my window all night long. I haven’t found a quiet place where I can meditate, read, or write in my journal. Hopefully I’ll figure out how to explore on my own and keep my mind open to all possibilities while in India.