October 20, 2008

Today is Sunday, October 19th, but I am going to go back and filling the blanks for the last couple of days before I arrived in Rishikesh, where I am sitting now, on the roof of New bhandari Swiss Cottage, completely at peace and with no desire to be doing this at all. I Am only wirting up this post because I have no many more interesting impressions to share with you and if I don’t write them up, later on I will not remember (even though I have a few notes) and it would be a shame. It is really hard to concentrate on the computer right now, but I will do m very best to get this all down.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When I woke up this morning, after having breakfast, Suman asked if I wanted to go to the market with her and she said it would not be for a very long time, so I agreed. I knew it would be interesting to shopping with an Indian woman, but I never imagined all the things I would see both on this trip and the one the following day as well…the only way to really know a society and a culture, is to see it through the eyes of a local person. A tourist is never more than an observer and nothing is ever what it seems to be as it is shadowed by our own prejudices and cultural awareness. I have been through markets before in India, but never “saw” what I saw today or understood some of the things I was seeing. So, again here, just some further impressions and interesting things I saw.

We took a rickshaw (bicycle) to the local market which is close to suman’s house and where she does most of her daily shopping as well as odds and ends for her boutique business. The first place we stopped was a fabric store, nothing unusual about it, until I realized that Suman had brought with her a bagful of fabric samples and what she was doing, was buying lengths of pure white chiffon type fabric (which I realize now is what ALL Indian women do regularly) so that she could dye them the exact color of the fabric she had made shalwar – kameezes from (they are actually called “suits” here, which is much easier to write and say as well!) to be used as dupattas, the scarf that is compulsory to wear at all times with these suits. It is as much a part of the suit as the sleeves, legs, etc. An Indian woman would be “naked” without one, but I never understood how each outfit ALWAYS has either a dupatta made from Read the rest of this entry »

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