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Bihar, India review piece

INDIA | Sunday, 21 April 2019 | Views [185]

I visited Patna, in the North East of India in February 2017, where I met with a close friend of mine,Tina, who I networked with whilst living and teaching in Copenhagen during 2015 and 2016. The plan was to speak at a conference about my experiences teaching in Scandinavia. I also had the opportunity to visit some Universities and Colleges in Patna where I also spoke to and with some of the students about the education systems in Scandinavia as well as Australia, Finland and Germany. The discussion based primarily on the differences between those education systems and India. There was robust discussion about ideas for change in the future.

It was the first time I've visited India. Patna, the capital of Bihar is an incredibly bustling place with very helpful people. On a personal level it was a complete change of culture and lifestyle to Scandinavia where I previously lived as well as Australia and Germany where I had resided in recent years also. Whilst in Patna I was fortunate enough to visit the Gandhi Museum and add to my educational philosophy.

From Patna we visited Bodh Gaya - known as 'the place of enlightenment', where we visited the sacrosanct Maha Bodhi Temple, where there remains a descendent of the famous Bodhi tree, and the deeply respected practice of meditation continues amongst the Buddhist monks and the general public. We also dined at a traditional Tibetan café which Tina recommended from her previous visits. Bodh Gaya is a busy pilgrimage, also home to the seat of enlightenment, known as Vajrasana.

After arriving back in Patna we visited Rusera - a pleasant village in the countryside. After pausing at the family's favourite roadside cafe on the way, we arrived at the family's rural property set amongst traditional Indian flora and fauna. We visited several small villages around Rusera. What was prevalent were the strong women taking care of their families. Without much food, medicinal access and only very small houses it is a struggle for these families to survive on a day to day basis within the parameters of the conditions available.

Tags: india, poverty, roads, rural, tibetan


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