Homestay family (left to right) at the Botanical Gardens: Ramamurthy, Katie (me), Tessa, Sudha
Aside from food vocabulary, "Namaste" reaches the extent of my Hindi language skills. While in India, I am not actually studying Hindi. Instead I am studying the language Kannada (caw.na.da). This is the official language of my state, Karnataka, while the national language of Hindi is predominantly spoken in northern India. After one class, I am able to write and pronounce 36 of the 51 letters and greet people.
In addition to Kannada, I am taking a classes in south Indian culture, international development, and public health. Unfortunately, there are no classes taught to help students with crossing the street. As Cheryl, a program coordinator, says, "In the U.S., you look right, left, then cross the street. Here, you look right, left, right, left...and continue until you've crossed the street." I had to skip my Friday afternoon lecture, taught by a man who works in parliament, because I had to go to the immigration office to solidify my stay. Besides the 2 hour governmental lunch break and a small power outage, the process was not too bad.
The 16 students and I left the hotel last Thursday and are now living with our homestay families. Tessa and I are living with Sudha and Ramamurthy near a shopping district and approximately 4 km away from the study center. Our stay has been enjoyable. I've prepared and eaten great dishes that are "good for health " (frequently said by Sudha), and I will eventually post the recipes that I learn under a "recipe" tab. Yesterday, we walked around the Botanical Gardens. We also ate many sweet things on Krishna's birthday (Hindu god), including Halava and saffron sweet rice.
Typical traffic in Bangalore.
I think it is important to briefly discuss Bangalore and our program host: the Environmental Safety Group, ESG. Initially a farming community, Bangalore became a growing city in the early 1900s as the science and business industries developed from the British influence. Over the last two decades, Bangalore's population has multiplied by a factor of 30 (300,000 to 10,000,000 civilians). This quick IT boom positively impacts the economy, but negatively impacts the city's traffic, structural planning, and environment.
Road alterations include an underground metro, over 50,000 issued car licenses per day, and seven prototyped walkways in front of high-end buildings that are the width of the road. Therefore, groups like ESG have been developed to advocate for environmental and social justice rights. Information on ESG can be found through the following link: http://www.esgindia.org/.
Thanks for reading.
My dark chocolate stash is no longer present.
I am reading Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene. Recommended by Kseniya. If you enjoy physics, this book may be life changing.
I am listening to the following music: Elephant Gun | Beruit | from Ellie Batman; Ain't No Sunshine | Bill Withers | from Glenda Owor; and Always | Panama | from Kailey Mrozak. These three people have impeccable musical taste.