During our second week of the program we visited Delhi, the capital of India! With this city being on the northern side of India, I noted an immediate difference between the previous city Chennai. India has a unique way of living as your lifestyle completely depends on the part of the country you are in. One huge difference I noticed would be the idea of colorism and how Indians also preferred those with lighter complexions as their standard of beauty was revolved around the idea of being lighter. I also noted the major difference in economy as northern India reminded me a lot of home as there were more buildings, signs, people wearing jeans, and more retail compared to the local places I had been in prior. As you can note from the pictures above, we did a lot of sight seeing during this trip. My favorite was visiting the Taj Mahal where we got to learn and understand the history as to why this monument was created, while it was created for the mans wife out of love, he also created it to trap her in with him which can seem very hypocritical. I found it very important to see both sides of a story in order to truly understand why something was done or not done. I also got the opportunity to ride on a rickshaw through Old Delhi which is a form of common transportation in all parts of India, this was an incredible opportunity as I got to see and feel what it meant to go through the heavy Indian traffic and talk to my driver. As you can see from the pictures above, the streets are packed with scooters, people, and rickshaws, so driving through it was definitely an experience. We also got to visit the birth place and death place of Ghandi who was someone that is very much admired in Indian culture. It was an amazing experience to see how one person could do so much for a country and continues to do so even after his murder. However, I did note many controversies that took place in his helping and how many people worship someone who did many controversial things, however, it was through this that I learned to not judge and learned to become more open minded as me seeing something as wrong does not signify it is wrong to someone else or wrong entirely.
In Delhi we also got to visit the US embassy and speak to diplomats on their experiences and social issues that are most common and similar to that of America, we also got to visit NGOs and see how they are changing Delhi for the better. For example, we visited an environmental NGO called TERI who had a unique vision in practicing the efficient use of energy and the promotion of renewable sources for the production and supply of energy. Through this experience I got to see how climate change was affecting people and their communities and how there are organizations such as TERI who which to focus on sustainability and educating people on how they can help. I also got to visit an organization called HelpAge India where they focus on the care of destitute elders through advocating for their rights through awareness and providing homes in their villages. All in all Delhi was one of my favorite cities as I got to see and understand not only how to help people but how to become more understanding and open minded.