India Trip Day 3: January 5th

The day began bright and early at the Indian Cultural Center with the Roshni girls. We would spend our time sharing sample classes with each other. Castilleja presented activities teaching girls how to critically analyze media. We searched through both Indian and American magazines for coded messages aimed at girls, promoting both positive (healthy, confident, powerful) and negative (light-skinned, unrealistically thin, flawless) ideals. After sharing our findings, we gutted our magazines and armed with colorful pens and poster board, created the kind of images of women we wished to see in the media. After a delicious tea break, we were able to sample a Roshni module. Roshni, as an after school program, aims to teach life skills for women in addition to their academic studies. Thus this particular module aimed to help girls with time management skills. The Roshni girls were eager to show off their knowledge and enthusiasm and truly blew us away. In the process, we were able to share with our Roshni friends the details of our everyday lives as well as what we wish we could do more of. During a delicious lunch, some girls showed off some sweet Indian dances. Some Casti girls, in return, taught them some American dance moves like “The Running Man” and “The Sprinkler”. We giggled at each others’ goofy attempts and clumsy feet. The Roshni girls were eager to teach us phrases in Hindi, which we probably butchered but not for lack of trying. By the end of lunch, we were literally dragged away from each other, us to the tour bus and them to their homes, both groups laughing and waving as we went.

Back at the guest house, a special surprise was waiting: henna! Everyone got a chance to have the cold, wet dye traced on their hands, leaving beautiful and intricate temporary tattoos (pictures below). While we let our hands dry, another surprise was in store for us. A traditional Indian performance group filed in, all bangles and silk outfits, and set up to play. Two men played music while two young women performed some traditional dances. An older woman performed a dance all while balancing six pots on her head. She then proceeded to continue her dance balanced on a pan, on swords, and on glass! In a riotous turn of events, the whole group was invited up to dance in a whirlwind of cheering, stomping, and clapping. Even though the performers didn’t speak a word of English, we shimmied, shook, twisted, and turned our way into a frenzy.

After a quick high tea, we departed for the iYogi call center. In the neighboring state of Gurgaon, we were able to sit in on tech support calls at iYogi, a tech support company. We wire tapped and listened in on conversations between the technicians and various technologically incompetent elderly folk (mostly Americans). The night concluded with a late dinner back at the guest house.

Phrases of the day:

“Yo yo yo!”

“You have made an ass of me!*”

“Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”

*they tried desperately to teach us this phrase in Hindi, but we of course forgot


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  • Sue

    Great Job, Karly. Love to see some of the collages you made

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