India 2014

29 December 2013 – 10 January 2014

 

In late December 2013, Cohort IX departed for India. The trip was led by David Fine, the Global Citizenship Program’s interim assistant director; Arpana Inman, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Chair of the Department of Education and Human Services; and Asmita Pendse, a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology.

Experience India through the eyes of our sophomores
December 2013 to January 2014 
Click here
 

Trip Highlights

  • Food preparation in Gurudwara Bangla Sahib’s langar
  • 2014 welcomed at the Taj Mahal, Agra
  • Qawwali at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
  • Brief at the Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi
  • Roundtable discussion with American Citizen Services, U.S. Embassy
  • Visit to the Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali Statue in Shravanabelagola
  • Afternoon with Christ University students
  • Journey through Infosys’ campus at the heart of India’s Silicon Valley
  • Explication of Ujjivan’s microfinance initiatives for the female urban poor
  • Tour of Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Bangalore kitchen and a meeting at headquarters
  • Cross-cultural dialogue with members of the LGBT community at Sangama

 

 

Student Testimonials

Sonja Gorman

“I can’t imagine experiencing India with any other people or program. The Global Citizenship experience strikes to the core of cultural tolerance in a way that is increasingly rare in an age of myopic mission trips and vacations abroad. Global Citizenship places human relations on the frontier of a globalized world. In every visit and activity, students are forced to re-evaluate their paradigms of right and wrong, normal and deviant. They realize that the Western lifestyle is both incredibly privileged and incredibly flawed. By visiting a large sampling of institutions that constitute life in an Indian society, students come to understand the social pressures that influence people in a different part of the world, while seeing firsthand the venues they have to effect positive change.”

 

 

 

Matthew Feinman

“This trip was both exciting and humbling. It definitely left me lost for words at times, and I was shocked by the duality of beautiful richness and crippling poverty. The best way to sum it up was by quoting Colin (yes I actually wrote in my journal!), the first speaker from the Human Rights Law Network. ‘India is a beautiful country that can be ugly. It’s a rich country that can be poor. It’s rising and improving but still needs work.’ I carried these words with me throughout the remainder of the trip, and they serve as a lens through which I now see the world. I am forever humbled by this trip, and forever thankful.”

 

 

Jeffrey Kasle

“We were in the Islamic section of New Delhi. I was sitting down waiting for qawwali to begin, and next to me was a man and his son (who looked to be in middle school). The son said, ‘hello,’ and I said ‘hello’ back. I asked him how old he was and what he was studying at school. We had a nice back and forth, and his father, after remaining silent, said, “we like America and would like to go there, but we aren’t allowed.” This comment struck me off guard, because I have always thought of America as a free society, especially compared to the rest of the world. Since he was Indian, he knew that America is powerful and the land of opportunity; but since he was Muslim, he felt that he was banned from the country. I never thought I would become involved in such a serious conversation, especially about America. I felt obligated to express to him, in the most heartfelt way possible, that this was not the case and that there is even a mosque in my town. It was a privilege to hear the rest of his story. I learned that I have misconceptions about Indians just as much as they have misconceptions about Americans. However, by using our hearts to communicate face-to-face, I believe we can begin to understand each other.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenna Wu

“First of all, the intersession trip brought me closer to the Global Citizenship Program and to Cohort IX. I gained friendships from the trip and know how to communicate with others better. In fact, after the trip, I started to talk to people instead of keeping silent in a group! This will be beneficial to me for a lifetime. Second, the organizations we visited in India reminded me of what I can and am supposed to do in my own country and in my own community. The kindness and generosity of Indians inspired me to start taking actions to help the needy ones around me. Overall, this trip is one of the most memorable experiences I have had in my life.”

 

 

Amie Diamond

“It is one thing to learn about India in a classroom, from novels, films, or newspaper articles. It is another thing, however, to walk the streets of Delhi, interact with students at Christ University, meet the street kids at Salaam Baalak Trust, and learn about the challenges Indian citizens faces at the Human Rights Law Network. Everything we studied was finally connected to an experience that I will undoubtedly remember and carry with me for the rest of my life.”

 

 

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS