Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cultural Crossroads

After two weeks in India we have gotten over the initial shock of being in a new country.
After two weeks in India, we have gotten over the initial shock of being in a new country. We have accepted that traffic is not a loud anarchy lacking rules and order but rather a symphony of interweaving trust where horns are not a sign of frustration but rather an announcement to the world of their presence. Our group has formed bonds that defy cultural norms. We know each others allergies and bathroom schedules; their spice tolerances and preferences. We have formed friendships with people we had never spoken to two weeks ago and learned about their hopes, dreams and aspirations and also what makes them similar and different from ourselves.
Two weeks in India has taught us that political, social and environmental issues are never black and white and that the wicked complexities of the issues make them seem like insurmountable tasks. The only way to tackle them is to approach it like eating an elephant- which we have not seen yet by the way- one bite at a time.
We have also seen changes to our group. Friends from all over the world have joined us for days at a time to teach and learn as we are. On the other side, last night we said goodbye and good luck to Malcolm as he travels back to the states to be initiated into the Peace Corps before heading to Mali. The group already feels his loss.
India is a country teaming with colors, noises, smells, and stares which open our mind to things we take for granted everyday; for better or for worse. The differences in our cultures are not good or bad but rather just that- different. Variety is the spice in our Indian chai that we gratefully accept and enjoy. India has opened our eyes to a new way of living for which we will forever be grateful.