India Day 3: Roshni Skits and Henna/Dance/High Tea/iYogi

By the third day, most of us finally adjusted to the time difference. After another amazingly prepared breakfast, we departed for the India International Centre to meet the Roshni girls at around 9 a.m. In the morning we shared skits from Castilleja and Roshni that portrayed “family and marriage” and “goals in life”. The skits used common characters to portray how the societies view the two topics. After watching the skits we enjoyed a lively discussion about the topics and the realities shown in the skits. Both Castilleja and Roshni students learned a lot about the opposite culture, and also about their own. A definite take away from the discussion is that it is very difficult to characterize a culture—the family, the community, and the individual person create diversity in every scenario.
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After discussion, we broke for tea and then finished the morning by creating and presenting posters that summed up our learning from the skits and discussion.
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Lunch had an American twist, with lasagna, veggie nuggets, and french fries all appearing on the menu. That concluded our time with the Roshni girls today and we headed back to the Guest House. At the Guest House, we got henna on our hands while listening to traditional Indian music played by two men—one on an accordion-like instrument and one on a type of drum (apologies for my lack of instrument knowledge). After receiving our henna, which was drawn in differing patterns on our hands, we enjoyed an Indian dance performance by five different dancers. The most exciting moment of the dance was when the lead dancer held six pots on top of her head while dancing on swords and broken glass. I could not stomach this moment, so I cannot describe it fully, but I heard (mostly from the gasps) that it was incredible. After their performance, they pulled us to our feet (careful not to smear our freshly painted henna) and led us in an informal circle dance. But the festivities did not end there! As soon as the music stopped we were brought upstairs to enjoy high tea. High tea does involve tea (as one would assume from the name) but it also involves many, many food items. Both savory and sweet were provided during the high tea: chicken kabobs, spiced paneer, samosas, and lots of filled phyllo dough, also lemon curd pastries, and rich chocolate cakes. It was an amazing spread and a very enjoyable experience.
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 Click here to see some videos from our trip!

At 5:20pm we headed back to the bus and ventured out of Delhi into a nearing state, Gurgaon, Haryana, to visit iYogi, the tech support call center of Northern India.  After receiving an inspired hour-long introduction (**sales pitch**) by an iYogi executive (formerly known as Jack Dawson when in the tech support/sales dept), we ventured out onto the floor of the call center. We sat beside a random employee and listened to their support calls from the U.S. and elsewhere for a half hour.  In reflection, many people agreed that it was a wonderful experience to witness a scenario we had seen played out so many times in our daily lives from the other side of the telephone (and the world). The half hour flew by, and I certainly found myself surprised and sad when we had to leave. On the bus ride back, we all felt tired from the full day, but amazed at the range and depth of all of the different interactions and experiences we had had. Finally back at the Guest House (at around 9:45) we ate Domino’s pizza and called it a day. Resting up for a shopping experience tomorrow!

Caroline & Clare MM

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