Monthly Archives: July 2013

Amazing Delhi

Delhi has provided an amazing four days! My #HHTeacherTrek is off to an incredible start. I have found myself speechless multiple times for a variety of reasons

The people we have interacted with are profoundly friendly and helpful, the historic and cultural sites are rich with history and stunningly beautiful, and the cultural experiences are deep in intensity. Color abounds and cultural variety is everywhere including Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, and tribal traditions. A variety of flavorful food can be found easily, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Delhi’s dynamic population and long history due to the country’s role in the spice trade.

The city, and India for that matter, are not for the faint of heart. It is a place of extremes and of paradoxes. The beauty of the many cultural, historic, and residential sites is juxtaposed against widespread, extreme poverty and the unsanitary conditions the poor and working classes endure. Traffic is extremely challenging with cars, bikes, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, mopeds, buses, & trucks forever pushing forward to their destinations. Traffic lanes, although painted on the streets, are merely suggestions. And always present are the honking of horns used as a simple and frequently warning to communicate one’s presence or intended direction in the jostling commotion.

Delhi’s historic and cultural site are numerous, many bearing great significance. Multiple locations are World Heritage sites. The historic importance of many Delhi locations reflect a long history of Hindu and Muslim influences. The establishment of the Mughal empire in the 14th century has resulted in Persian influences through the present. But Delhi is not just steeped in ancient world history. Sites of contemporary significance and reverence can be found at locations such as India Gate — a WWI Memorial, and the Raj Ghat — the place along the Yamuna river where Ghandi Ji and other revered figures were cremated.

Delhi’s Khan Market is a bustling and hip urban center. Fashionista’s can satisfy their cravings at trendy boutiques. Western and Indian styles meld together amidst streets teaming with motorcycles filled with colorfully dressed women in flowing, silk saris riding side-saddle behind their boyfriend drivers. Khan Chacha provides flavorful kabobs and other street-foods in a clean and inexpensive setting, accessed through a narrow alley that is distinctly Indian.

Religion is a very significant element of daily life in Delhi, and all of India. It is a subject worthy of many additional posts. Of course, Hinduism provides the major religious current in India however, Islam is present throughout, and a fast-growing tradition. Although India is the home of Buddhism, they constitute a small minority. Jainism, a religion with roots in Hinduism, can be found but is a minority presence as is the Sikh tradition.

One could go on and on about Delhi, but this will have to suffice for now. As time permits, more posts about individual topics will follow.

Namaste.

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Purana Qila

Said to be built on the ancient site of Indraprastha, a city belonging to the Pandavas dating to 400 BCE, Afghani ruler Sher Shah built the fort of Purana Qila in the 1540’s. Within the walls of the Old Fort, Sher Shaw built the Qila-i-Kuhran Mosque. Now in ruins, the mosque’s construction uses local red sandstone, white and black marble and it serves as a tomb.

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Indimentum

I have only been in India for a little less than 72 hours, but I have coined a new term to help describe my observations:

Indimentum /ˈindēmentəm/:
noun
From “India” & “momentum” meaning the force exerted by 1.2 billion people to accomplish tasks despite extreme difficulties.

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A Taste of India

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The spiced chai and Mutton Roganosh (a spicy curried lamb) were delicious. They kind of help take the edge off of a 12-hour jet-lag and the shock Delhi presents to a first-time visitor.

Yum.

I would try to describe the flavor of the lamb, but that would be like trying to describe how a rose smells.

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Made it!

After a loooong 26 hours of travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, I made it to Delhi! I can tell you this: driving through the streets of Delhi at 2AM to get to the B&B was definitely a cultural experience unlike any I have ever had! I will try to find the words to describe it later, but I need to try and convince my body to sleep.

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Saggin’

They are saggin’ in Srinigar.
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What type of cultural diffusion is that?

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Next Stop: Delhi

Next stop: Delhi! I had a great flight to Frankfurt and met an interesting engineer for Mercedes. We had a great conversation, I got a little sleep, and had excellent service on Lufthansa. Can’t wait to meet my wife half way around the world!

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Next Stop: Frankfurt

Next stop: 5039 miles to Frankfurt! #HHTeacherTreks

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The Adventure Begins!

I am so appreciative of @HiltonHonors, @iieglobal, my wonderful family & friends who have made this #HHTeacherTreks possible!

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Free School, New Delhi

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Photo by Altaf Qadri, Srinagar.

“A boy writes on a blackboard painted onto the wall of a building, at a free school under a metro rail bridge, in New Delhi, India.

The school was founded by Rajesh Kumar Sharma, who was unable to complete his own college education, because of financial difficulties. Every day he takes two hours out to teach children of local laborers, while his brother replaces him at his general store.

Together with an assistant, Laxmi Chandra, Sharma gives lessons to around 45 children daily, having persuaded their families to free them from working to earn money.”

Reblogged from Mind Blowing Facts on fb

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