Tuesday, June 22, 2010

india time

What have I done to my LIFE.
I have spiced it up avec curry powder in exorbitant amounts! All that I have seen so far has saturated my senses with fresh colors and smells and dusted my feet so that they are gritty and brown. (At least my feet can pass for Indian.) Never have I been so aware of the fact that I am a white ‘american’ and that I am used to things being unchangeable, stable, and orderly. Americans, I see now, are OCD about their orderliness. They like things to be set in place and they don’t like you to be able to alter them.
[So far my experience in Delhi has obviously given me tools for perspective-taking in various lines of life.]
While traveling, I have also never felt the need to assimilate into a culture with such pressing necessity. This little ‘pressure’ that I feel to wear a salwar kameez and eat every curry in sight and learn Hindi enough to barter and query of simple matters is an entirely welcomed pressure; because as soon as you do these things, the whiteness, while still visible, crumples its offensiveness. I realize that I can either be seen as ignorant and snooty, or interested and curious. (Both cases still create the eyesore of the ‘white foreigner’ stamp that is imprinted on my forehead.)
I like the pressure. I like the direction that the smog of Delhi is leading me toward. When you visit another place, you should embrace it. Especially a place that is so rich with culture! Culture pools at my fingertips! And yet I know I will never be able to really touch it. To really be part of it – but I can get close. I can be accepted. I can become an active observer instead of an instrument of tourism.

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