Student Exchange: The Colours of India

Photo5Imagine this, a display of fluorescent colours, laid on the smooth marble floor, to create fanciful patterns, such as bright fuchsia lotus flowers with forest green backdrops, or candles that burn purple flames, much like in a child’s dream. These picturesque creations are a renowned form of Indian artwork, known as rangoli. They are most often seen during festivals such as Diwali, the festival of luminous decorations, which commemorates the return of Lord Rama, as well as the triumph of light over darkness and during Holi, the festival of colours.

India is a diverse nation, which has multiple states that spread amongst its vast territory, and each state has its own customs and traditions including food which varies greatly within the country. If you visit the city of Bangalore, in the southern region of Karnataka, you will discover a white spongy, circular white cake made from rice, called idli, along with tasty coconut chutney. In the northern state of Punjab your mouth will water at the smell of fried parathas, filled with green peas and potatoes. Finally, In the state of Madhya Pradesh, your taste buds will be delighted to try bhutee ka kees, a corn based dish, served with chick peas.

When I’m not trying these delectable repasts, you will find me dancing in the Daly College dance studio. I have tried the Punjabi dance style, which incorporates sporadic jumping motions, as well as impeccable coordination. There is also a contemporary dance which requires gracefulness and balance. Finally, my favourite dance originates from Rajasthan, however, this one was too arduous for me to try, given the pots that must be placed on your head!

Though every state has minor cultural differences, each part of the country celebrates a month long tradition, celebrating the return of the god Shiva. People walk for days to temples to worship this god, transporting holy water in little pots hanging from each side of their body. Driving down the road, you witness a sea of saffron orange, with fanciful decorations as they pursue their quest to the temple. I take in the moment, not letting time evade me, and observe the wonder which lies in front of me. – Jane Robeck ’19 (Student Exchange, Daly College, Indore India)

Student Exchange Daly College: Spirituality, Colour & Opulence

“Today is the time for humanity to recognize its oneness and live in peace and harmony.”2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_04

This phrase is written outside the Lotus Temple, a Bahá’í temple, located in New Delhi, India’s capital. It is dedicated to the messenger of the gods, Bahá’u’lláh, who believed that all religions were created in order for humans to live in harmony among each other. The Bahá’í religion supports people of all faiths to have free practice of their religion, to become better people.

Here’s a riddle: a golden triangle, a pink city, a lotus flower, a marble palace and a king named Singh. On the week of July 13th we saw the cities of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra, three of India’s most well known cities, which form a triangle in the Northern regions of Rajasthan and Utter Pradesh. After taking a domestic flight to Delhi, we navigated the streets of Delhi using a rented car, much like a game of chess. If one player were to make a move we needed to be prepared to secure ourselves a safer position on the street. We made our way to the Lotus Temple, which is shaped like a white lotus flower, while its inside ceilings are bare and echo the sound of one’s voice. It also has many green gardens that give it a peaceful atmosphere, much like Ghandi’s memorial, which holds the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, a renowned peacemaker.

As the trip progressed, we visited a number of forts such as the red fort, built along the Yamu River, under the order of Shah Jahan in 1639. Today it is the place where the flag of India is hoisted every August 15th to celebrate national Independence Day. We saw the Qutub minar, which holds an ancient mosque facing the west, towards Mecca, as well as a Hindu temple. Our next stop was the city of Jaipur, which was painted pink in 1876 for the Prince of Wales. There we found breathtaking palaces with its peacock gates and paintings with crushed jem stones decorated to the liking of a king, named Maharaja Jai Singh. Finally, we arrived in Agra and saw a palace made of marble and moonstones, which catch the light at sunrise and sunset. This palace is the Taj Mahal.

Sadly, our trip had come to an end, but I knew there would be more adventures awaiting me. – Jane Robeck ’19 (Student Exchange, Daly Collgee, Indore India)2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_07

2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_01 2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_02 2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_03 2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_04 2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_05 2016_2017_StudExchange_JRobeck_DalyCollege_06

India: Beyond Imagination

IndiaExchange2011_blogThis trip so far has been amazing. Alana and I have experienced a whole new world and seen so many things. It’s incredible!

A few weekends ago Alana and I went to an Indian wedding and it was so amazing! It was completely different then what we are used to and so colourful.

India is a whole new world with so many new opportunities to explore yourself and a new environment around you.

Alana and I have become so close with our exchanges Sabiya and Sabrina, we are pretty much sisters! I can’t wait to bring them back to meet everyone; they are amazing! Alana and I have been to many places and seen many sites such as many temples in Mandau and so many sites in Mumbai. This trip has been great so far and I can hardly imagine where the next few weeks will take me.

India has already impacted me so much; I am in love with this country and I don’t know how I will be able to leave it. We have seen so much stuff, from huge temples with acres of land to the small slums of India. Its incredible how the rich is so far from the poor. I have never seen anything like this. You can’t really understand India until you go there yourself.—Elizabeth McInnes ’13

Mesmerized in India

Humes_Week1India_2011_blogLanding in Delhi, the smell of India entered the plane as we were grabbing our handbags to leave. I was nervous, but also really excited, and the staring started as soon as we entered the airport. We drove around Delhi for a few hours, and started to get the rhythm of this new place.

We got on our next flight to Indore and met our amazing exchanges, and then went to the school. By then, it was about 7 pm. We got settled into our dorm and unpacked a little. The first night, we were woken up by a mouse crawling around in our bags, and all we could think was; “this is only the beginning.” After about a week however, we went to Mumbai to attend a wedding, and it was absolutely amazing. There were so many colours and people. We got to wear Indian dresses and shoes and be witness to an authentic Indian ceremony. It was definitely an experience I will remember my whole life. –Alanna Humes ’13

LCC and Our Global Classroom Initiative

LCC jerseys_LadakhI have been fortunate to have visited India three times in my life, including visits to the bustling cities of Mumbai and New Delhi as well as a journey to the top of the world—to the Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir.

I am pleased that through the Round Square LCC will send two students on exchange to India for the first time later this year. It will surely be an exceptional and eye-opening opportunity for them. When they return we all look forward to hearing about India through students’ eyes.

During each of my visits to that country I have been dazzled by the colour and diversity of Indian culture. It is an ancient society currently progressing at an incredible pace. The city of Bangalore—India’s Silicon Valley—is a leading centre of high tech creativity and a symbol of India’s commitment to innovation.

With a population of well over one billion people—about thirty times greater than Canada’s on a landmass about one-third size of Canada’s—India is a country challenged by its need for resources and the provision of education and health care to its huge population.

In recent years, LCC has partnered with Health Inc., a small non-profit organization committed to bringing literacy, health care and community-building activities to India’s most remote villages—on the top of the world in the northern state of Ladakh in the Himalayan mountains.

Our newest venture is The Global Classroom Initiative; a special partnership between LCC and Health Inc. We are currently hosting Health Inc.’s founder Cynthia Hunt and three young Ladakhi leaders-in-training on a special educational exchange that will continue until mid-December.

In addition to following some of our daily routines in classes and on the hockey rink, this group is focusing on learning IT skills so they can be proficient at making videos. They will then be able to teach other Ladakhi students to tell video stories to us and to the world.

We intend to send LCC staff to Ladakh to help set up a satellite supported classroom so that we can use dependable technology to bring us closer together. We have already sent some young LCC alumni to Ladakh and some day we hope to send students. If you are interested in our Global Classroom project, check out this video and feel free to contact us directly if you want further information. —Chris Shannon, Headmaster