Sunday, May 22, 2016

Relaxing day in Bangalore

Today was our first free day in Bangalore, so a group of us explored the Botanical Gardens and went to the movies.
Today was our first free day in Bangalore, so a group of us explored the Botanical Gardens. We divided up into smaller groups and took rickshaws there.

The botanical gardens had a flower and plant market attached to it so we walked through that part first. It was nice to see the various flowers and different flower colors that we can't find in the US. Once we reached the botanical gardens, we walked around to the various sections of the gardens. The bonsai park was the largest and most unique area. Monkeys live in the trees inside the park, and we saw a few walking around and some babies playing in the trees.

In the evening, the group came together and went to a movie and discussion. The movie was called the Mood for Love, and talked about the LBGT community in Bangalore. It was a documentary that told the personal stories of a few gay couples as well as a transgender. While the movie was moving and served as an introduction to the problem, the interesting part of the night was the discussion panel at the end of the movie. The filmmakers and a transgender woman made up the panel. The transgender woman talked about the problems that her community faces in India with its conservative culture and lack of government support. Hearing her personal story made the problem more real. She talked about how her family pushed her away when she came out and the limited jobs available for transgender women. These issues are also relevant in the US and showed the similarities the LBGT community is facing in both countries.