India: The Colorful South

India Afterthoughts

After a few days of processing my experience in India, the aspect that stands out most is how dynamic the trip was. Everything from the types of places we visited, the people we encountered, our food, the exotic hours, the festivals, and even the individual people on the tour with us. There were so many layers – the way at first glance something appears one way and as you learn or see more about it, your perspective can totally change. For example, the caste system – going into it I had a very critical perspective, and as Lakuma told us more about how it works and affects day to day life, I can see that it is merely a different way to approach structuring a society. Even the lowest caste has pride in their work and their place in society. There were certain people on our trip who I found very difficult to interact with, but I was reminded how complex personalities and people are; when I had one-on-one conversations I saw different sides of them and found really interesting and likeable qualities. A good reminder for myself to take time to look at the whole rather than be judgmental based on one impression. 

Some of the highlights of the trip for me was the festival on the 2nd day. It was such an awesome introduction to India – the energy, the colors, the dancing, the music, the chanting was just so AWESOME! And it felt very pure – it was in the morning, and there were no substances involved from anyone, and everyone seemed to be just smiling and laughing and excited to be there. I saw this energy at a few other places in the trip, but at a lesser level than this first festival. That rocked. I also really appreciated how much time I was able to spend with the family members that came. It is so rare to have an opportunity to travel for 3 weeks with your family… and we didn’t even fight! In fact, I like and appreciate them even more than I did before the trip!!

Our entire trip was a whirlwind tour through the South of India. And I felt like I saw the most I possibly could in 3 weeks. In one way it was really different from my idea of India before the trip began was the spiritual aspect of it. India was romanticized in mind as a place where there is an air of mysticism. On the contrary, I found India to be a place where there are just so many people and things going on, that the rawness of human kind is exposed. To put it simply – survival. Where there are people on the streets who will do anything for money for food for their families. Some of the temples we visited had a different air about them, especially the one in Mysore, however many of them felt like ancient deserted artifacts. I have heard that the culture of India in the north is much different from the South, so I would like to come back at some point in my life to explore more of India. Until then, the adventure continues…

One thought on “India Afterthoughts

  1. I love your storytelling. Your honesty is fun and descriptive and at other times graphic and painful. I am your greatest fan.
    Grandma Karen.

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