Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why I wish I were better at keeping a blog!

Although I haven't been actively posting on the blog, I have been doing interesting things in Pune and in PCMC!

During the past couple of weeks we have gone to the Kelkar Museum, a restaurant called Ramakrishna (!!), Tulsi Baug, 3 schools, and Baramati (an agro-eco tourism farm).

Today, City Pride School invited us to come to a few classrooms to see some of the states within India. We "visited" West Bengal (my sister's class!), Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Rajasthan, Assam, Kerela, Punjab, and Maharashtra. Each class presented about their state, did a traditional song or dance, and then gave us LOTS  of food!! Each state in India is so different. In Goa, I could see the Portuguese culture; in Jammu and Kashmir, the influence Central Asian came through; in Bengal, the importance of fishing was... clear.

I loved visiting each of the classrooms because it made me want to go to each state. In the West Bengal class, they sang "Jono Don Me Push pe Bahar" (not sure on the spelling) -this made me so happy because my mom used to sing this song to my sister and me when we were little.

I also loved eating all the food! Even though we had just eaten lunch, I made sure to taste everything that they offered us. I ate fried banana and coconut barfi (Goa), I had rasmalai (West Bengal), I had paysum (Punjab), Assamese chai (Assam), Prasadam (Kerela), an orange tea (Jammu-Kashmir), moduk and puran poli (Maharashtra), and Pulav (Rajastan). I  loved it all!

At the end, we went to the Maharashtra classroom, where the students showed us how the different festivals celebrated. After getting some food, one host mother and her friends showed us how women would celebrate many of the holidays. It was so fun to be able to learn the different games/ dances that are common in Maharashtra and to be able to watch experienced people do it!

Me doing "fugudi" -Maharashtra

All the aunties became a peacock! -Maharashtra

Us learning an Assamese dance -Assam

Students dressed up in Rajasthani clothing -Rajasthan

Goan dancing! -Goa


Students dressed in Bengal's traditional colors, red and white. -West Bengal

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4th of July!

I forgot to post this on July 5th!!

Yesterday I was able to celebrate 4th of July... with an Indian twist!

After coming home from a red, white and blue; cereal; and pizza filled school day, I decided to make pasta and tomato sauce for my host family. Even though I had to substitute a lot of the spices, my host family seemed to really like it! It probably helped that my host sister added the Indian equivalent of tobasco sauce... 

My host dad decided to make the light blubs in the living room set to red and white and my host mom put out Coke and beautiful plates to make me feel more at home. Although I wanted to explain more about what the 4th of July meant to my US family and friends, I explained to my family that the US, like India, declared independence from the British.