The Motherland

They say that traveling abroad can be a huge culture shock, and I can completely attest to that. However, the experience is not as bad as the phrase connotes. I have been traveling with my family to meet my aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and 500 other distant relatives (like great-aunts and uncles…) for as long as I can remember (so yes, I was that annoying kid on the plane who wouldn’t stop crying ). I never knew what to expect when I went. Would I go to a market in a rickshaw? Or would I not be able to eat anything (or would I risk my stomach for the delicious food)? The journey begins with a seven-hour flight to Heathrow Airport in London, and another eight-hour flight from there to the New Delhi International Airport.

Playing in the backyard

Going in December is great because the weather isn’t so disgusting. Going in the summer is quite a shock. The moment you get off the flight, a heat wave literally smacks you in the face, and you go from being freezing on the flight, to being drenched in sweat. Gross, I know. I was really looking forward to this trip after this hectic term. It’s nice to be around grandparents who never stop feeding you, constant activity and being able to loaf around the house. Being away from home was weird, mostly because Hopkins has become my home; I was barely even home from Hopkins for a week before we left the Motherland.

 

That’s what I call India- the Motherland. It makes me think about the crazy traffic, the loud atmosphere, the terrifying feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when we cross the street, babysitting my cousins, going to markets- the list goes on and on. All of this used to be really overwhelming, but I think I have gotten over the culture shock. Now that I’m older, I have a little more freedom to do what I want- like work on my photography. It sounds so exotic to go to India, but to me it’s like going to another home.

 

They say that going to college can be a culture shock. I remember how excited and nervous I was about going to Hopkins a year and a half ago. I had butterflies about making friends, eating at the FFC, and being able to find my classes; very much like a Kindergartener. My mom told me to wear my big girl pants. It was hard for me to imagine living alone, but I was more than ready to do it. I had never been away from home for very long- I had been on those school trips for a few days, but I didn’t really know what to expect. I dropped my parents off at the Beach and left to meet the people I would be living with.

A year and a half later, I already have rented my apartment for the rest of my time at Hopkins. The best part about going to Hopkins, or any college for that matter, is that you can live at school- doing laundry, dishes, becoming addicted to coffee- all the while walking around like you own the place and be able to go home and feel like you never left. I think that’s one of the most important things to consider when picking a college- being able to picture yourself. Moreover, it is important to be able to be yourself at college (I know, it’s corny…) and not have to change yourself too much when you get there.

Some things have changed though. I can no longer do any work at home. I also think that my parents should give me very special treatment when I come home…which normally only lasts a day or two.

I am excited to come home for Intersession- I’m shadowing a doctor and taking a class on Latino Fiction!!

A Real Rikshaw!

Enjoy the pictures- I took a ton, but the internet is shoddy here, so this is the best I can do!

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