India photo blog 2

Sarah Romanus is a Global Studies major who spent the spring semester in Pune, India, participating in The Alliance: Contemporary India- Development, Economy, Society program.

This photo is taken on the day of Holi in India at an all-inclusive school within the city. This school accepts all students regardless of any type of disability. We arrived early in the morning and helped to make natural color from beetroot and spinach, which would be used later to throw at each other. Holi is the festival of color and it definitely got colorful! I really liked this picture because I feel it captured the fun spirit of the day as we all danced and threw colors together. Many of the students were eager to show us their dance moves as the songs changed to some of their favorite Hindi music.

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend an Indian wedding during our time in Pune. One of the daughters of one of the host families was getting married, and the entire program was invited to attend. Our host families all took us out shopping to get appropriate wedding attire such as saris and lenghas. It is also common to get mehendi (what we call henna) right before the wedding, so we all got this done the day before. This photo is of the mehendi on my hands for the wedding. The bride will typically have mehendi all the way up to her elbows as well as on her feet.

This is a picture I took during the dinner preparation in my homestay. We were making my favorite dish I have had so far in India, chaat. This specific type of chaat is called bhel puri. This dish is much different than most Indian food we have had in the homestay because it is not eaten with chapatti. It was a wonderful experience learning how to make this dish alongside my host mom and sister.

During the semester I took a class called Gender in Indian Media. This class focused on gender issues in India today as well as the way in which the media portrays these issues. During the class we had a field visit to a transgender community in Pune. Here, we got to learn about the structure of the community and what it is like living as a trans person in India. Pictured here are the Gods this community worships everyday. These Gods are commonly worshiped by the trans community in India so they were unique from others we had seen before.

This photo was taken at on a rural site visit for our public health class. During this visit we spoke with a doctor from the clinic about the role the clinic has played in the community as well as the role the community has made in maintaining the clinic. Many people now are employed at the clinic and a nursing program as begun to train local staff. This clinic is funded solely from non-governmental sources.

I had not seen many monkeys until I traveled to Hampi on a weekend trip. The rock where this photo was taken is part of a grouping of rocks atop which a temple for the God Hanuman, the monkey God, sits. The temple and surrounding rocks are filled with wild monkeys that like to steal food and water from visitors or eat what is left behind. This is one of the monkeys keeping its distance from the people watching the sunset.

This picture is from a local fish market we visited in a town called Dapoli. This fish market happens every morning. There are hundreds of boats that crowd the water close to the shore, bringing the night’s catch into shore. A person with a cart pulled by cattle brings the heavy loads of fish to shore where the fish are sold.

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India photo blog

Sarah Romanus is currently studying abroad in India participating in The Alliance: India: Contemporary India- Development, Economy, Society program.

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University of Pune: Pune, India

I took this photo because the University of Pune is the largest university in Pune city.  Many universities in the city have ties to this university, but are assigned different names.  This photo is the main building at the university.

2

Pune, India

This photo was taken on India’s Republic Day.  For this holiday our program visited a school for children with hearing impairments.  This school support kids from age 5-18.  The children had rehearsed a performance celebrating Republic Day and afterwards we all celebrated by eating a special Indian dessert together.

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Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics: Pune, India

This is another incredible example of the vibrant colors and arrangements that can be seen in India.  This specific flower arrangement was created for India’s Republic Day.  I was pleasantly surprised when I walked through the gates of the university to see this beautiful arrangement at the entrance in celebration of Republic Day.  In the middle, India has been made out of flowers to match the colors of the Indian flag.

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Pune, India

This photo is from a street stand selling chaat and panipuri.  These dishes are originally from North India but have since spread around India and South East Asia.  In this photo you can see many people gathered around to get a quick dinner.  Street food is very popular in India and it is common to see many different types of stands line the road with various meals.  This was my first time trying the street food in India and it was delicious.  My host family took us to this particular one because it is their favorite.

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Pune, India

I took this photo at a flea market in Pune city as the sun was setting on a wonderful day.  The flea market had vendors selling mostly handmade crafts and clothing.  In addition, there were live local bands playing music in Hindi, while food trucks sold typical dishes from all over India.  This event has been one of my favorites because it combined and displayed many different aspects of India’s unique culture.

UVA in India

One of UVA’s newest and most exciting programs is the UVA in India program. Taking place during the spring, it allows students to pursue studies in Indian language, history, and culture. Participants in the program learn how to rigorously apply their experiences in-country to their schoolwork, through research projects and internships. This semester, six UVA students are studying abroad through this program. One of them, Amanda Finn, agreed to share her experiences in India as well as her reflections on the program.  Read through to see what she has to say on her semester abroad thus far! 

 

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Why did you choose the UVA in India program?
Amanda: I chose the UVA in India program since it was the first semester it had ever been offered. Also, I had been abroad to other countries in Europe, but figured that spending 6 months in India would be completely different than anything I had ever done in my life. I think I was looking for more of a challenge/cultural shock, and that’s why India seemed perfect!
What were your thoughts going into the program? Were you excited, or more nervous? 
 I was super excited beforehand. I had been abroad before, but never to anywhere so drastically different from the states! I honestly had no idea what to expect before I left, besides what I had heard/read from travel books and people who had previously been there.
Tell me about your first days in the program. 
 The first few days when we were here we just sort of walked around and explored. We actually had a student from UVA who is from Delhi show us around for the first couple of days (he was at home in Delhi for winter break). He took us to Old Delhi on our 3rd or 4th day of being in India. If you look up Old Delhi, you can see how INSANE it is (our house is in New Delhi). There are literally thousands of people on the streets, carrying anything you could possibly imagine. It’s the busiest place I’ve probably ever been. So I would say we really jumped right into the swing of things and immersed ourselves in the culture of Delhi.
What are some moments from your trip that stand out as particularly memorable? 
 The fact that there are only 6 of us makes it awesome for traveling as a group. We’ve been to Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai, and Goa. Seeing the Taj was obviously amazing! Some of my favorite moments were riding camels and elephants in Rajasthan, Holi festival in Goa, and then all of the random hilarious encounters we have with people on the streets.
Describe the greatest challenges you have faced so far, be they language differences, homesickness, emergencies, etc. How have you dealt with these challenges? 
 We did go to the hospital for an allergic reaction, that was interesting! I think we would all say a big difference (not necessarily a challenge) is the food. We have a cook living in our house, so she cooks a traditional Indian breakfast, lunch, and dinner! If any of us has an issue we normally just talk about it over dinner and kind of just laugh about it.
Have you met other young people either from India or from other countries? 
 We take classes at Jamia Millia Islamia University with other Indian students. We’ve made friends through class, as well as through different connections we have with people who live around the city.
Looking back on your experience so far, what is your opinion of education abroad, in particular the UVA in India program? 
 I’m so glad I studied abroad, and in India in particular. I miss a lot of things about UVA, but the experiences I’ve gained through this program are seriously once in a lifetime!
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The UVA in India students, taking a group photo outside a temple.

Adventurous in India

Helen is Third Year from the College of Arts and Sciences studying abroad in India

While there they gave us tutorials on how to milk cows and water buffalo. All of their cows are fed organically and they use the excrement and urine of the cows to fertilize the field and act as a natural pesticide respectively.

While there they gave us tutorials on how to milk cows and water buffalo. All of their cows are fed organically and they use the excrement and urine of the cows to fertilize the field and act as a natural pesticide respectively.

This picture shows Indian cuisine by featuring a typical South Indian dish, masala dosa. The way it is presented varies but here in Maharastra it is crafted into this tunnel shape when served.

This picture shows Indian cuisine by featuring a typical South Indian dish, masala dosa. The way it is presented varies but here in Maharastra it is crafted into this tunnel shape when served.

This photo is of a Rickshaw ride taken through the city. It is the main way of travelling all throughout India and it takes a lot of skill and practice to bargain with Rickshaw drivers who want you to pay more.

This photo is of a Rickshaw ride taken through the city. It is the main way of travelling all throughout India and it takes a lot of skill and practice to bargain with Rickshaw drivers who want you to pay more.

This statue of Ganesh sits right at the sidewalk area of one of the busiest streets in Pune, Laxmi Road, where hundreds of people shop everyday and worship the statue on their way.

This statue of Ganesh sits right at the sidewalk area of one of the busiest streets in Pune, Laxmi Road, where hundreds of people shop everyday and worship the statue on their way.

The gardens of the Shaniwarwada Palace in Pune spread out below the palace balcony. The green luscious grass tends to only last in the winter here and soon will start to dry as the summer comes closer and closer.

The gardens of the Shaniwarwada Palace in Pune spread out below the palace balcony. The green luscious grass tends to only last in the winter here and soon will start to dry as the summer comes closer and closer.