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Additional thoughts..

INDIA | Thursday, 28 August 2008 | Views [601]

Okay, so while I am here in Delhi with my absolutely favorite internet connection so far I will share some more thoughts:

First: I forgot to mention that I took a Tabla lesson (only 1h) in Pushkar! Oh man, that was fun. But it's really difficult! You think: okay, what's so difficult about getting a sound out of a DRUM!...But I can tell you, when the sound is calle "ti" "te" "ne" "ke" or"ghai" you quickly reach a point where you have to bee 100% conbcentration AND 100% relaxation, because the teacher will tell you to stay loose at the same time! It was interesting, and I just walked into a room where the teacher (who was probably my age) sat and played and played. He showed off his virtuoso first, and I was duely impressed. I cannot fanthom to move my fingers so quickly and speak at the same time (also quickly, by the way).

On the "cultural" end of things, Rodney noticed that the famous "head swaying" that is done here as a response to virually any question bears potential misunderstanding to the western eye. It can mean "okay" or "no thank you" or "yes" depending on the facial expression as well as the hand movement accompanying it. It is never aggressive, though. To the western trained eye it might seem like "get lost, I am sick and tired of dealing with you" or worse. Hmm. I wonder what motions we do (that might even offend), without knowing, and how it seems to out Indian hosts. I feel like I am in between the two chairs in a way, because  this is not new to me and I understand this bodylanguage well. But I don't understand the spoken language so much - hence I cannot communicate fully.

People also like to look. And as someone who can hide behind a group of people at home we are not accustomed to that. It is modtly curiosity, I would say. Especially for Rodney, it is A LOT of curiosity, sometimes. I see it happen to other tourists, too, and I thnk most of them get defensive. They just try to block everything coming to them. I felt that tendency myself. Your own curiosity is curbed. I do not believe, however that that is the right reaction. A natural amount of curiosity on both sides is good, because we are here on an exchange prorgam, say what you might. We learn and people seing us learn, too. I think if you don't mean to say something bad, you shouldn't be afraid of it coming off as something bad. So just act more natural. (I am talking to myself here, too). And enjoy the curiosity and interest in you!

Of course there are special cases and people are good and bad in every country. Oh, and how many times have you found yourself staring at someone who was clearly not a "regular" person. Be it due to his dress, manner, looks or what he was saying! We all do it. It should just always remain friendly.

Allright. Tomorrow Rodney steps off, back home..into familiar surroundings, where getting something to eat is almost laughably easy. :)(no spice, though - and watch the quality of Indian food over there, my friend!)...Farewell! We just arranged for a taxi at 2.30am to the domestic terminal. My flight out is at 5am. And, supposedly quite dramatic, since it is so high up in the mountains. No idea what aircraft (this is a note to my aerospace friends) but I am thinking if it is called Deccan Air it will probably be small. ;)Talk to you from 3500m!Jippy!

Tags: body language, cultural difference, stare



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