Namaste Delhi – VJan 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Travel
Learning to say ?Namaste?
Amidst the many languages I heard among my classmates, Hindi was one of those I found most difficult as well as interesting. Indians are generally fluent in English, but they speak Hindi most of the time, even when talking to foreigners. The autorickshaw drivers usually speak in Hindi, and that can be really confusing.
Therefore, I was convinced to learn the language. I watched a few Hindi movies but that didn?t get me anywhere with regard to learning the language. I was actually struggling to understand the story.? I finally? thought I should start learning from people. Some of my classmates, especially from Nepal ( the very beautiful ? Renu and Edina) and Suriname (my good friend Rishi), and the hotel staff taught me the basic Hindi words.
I studied the sentences overnight and the next day I started speaking Hindi which astounded my roommate and friends. Getting to the places where we desired to go was a little bit easier as I could relate with the driver easily, and watching Hindi movies and listening to Indian songs also? became a lot easier.
Salsa night in Delhi
Who would have ever thought I would dance the salsa in one of the best hotels in Delhi. It was my first attempt at salsa and I felt instantly comfortable with the rhythm. The salseros were skillful enough to lead my backsteps and feet to go with the rhythm and the beat. It was an exhilarating experience, swaying my body with the rhythm, and taking each step gracefully.
I was captivated watching the salseros on the dance floor as they performed, rather than danced. This made me want to learn salsa even more. Now, I get that regular itch to do the salsa and perhaps, this time I could put on my dancing shoes and enjoy it even more as I can now dance with a bit more freedom and grace.
?Masti? with streetchildren
I felt? privileged to meet and share some golden moments with the street children in South Delhi. Our host (Aptech) took me and Elisa from Costa Rica to Hope Education Center, a non-government organization, engaged in providing education to the less privileged children.
As we arrived there, we saw wide-eyed children who were shy, but excited, to meet us. They were all wearing their blue uniforms with a smile and were all very obedient to their teachers. Elisa and I were both touched to see these children too young and innocent to experience poverty and hardship.
We were asked to impart our knowledge in sketching with the hope that they would be encouraged to aspire and determine their future careers despite their lowly state. According to Aptech, we were there to inspire them to dream about their future as well as stimulate their creative skills.
They thought we were there to help them but for us, we were not the ones who gave them something but those children gave us something more valuable. Being with them made me realize that children are all the same regardless of race, nationality and culture. They all possess a common outlook about life, particularly about modesty. No matter how brief the moment I spent with them was, but it was truly a humbling experience, and one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Just as I was beginning to feel at home in Delhi, it was time to leave. We spent teary-eyed moments bidding farewell to friends with whom we had built good friendships.
I surely miss India as there is much beauty in the country, not only in the ladies and the places, but also in the people and the culture.
The country is something mystical, that will have a special place in my.
??Tata? India? wish I could say ?jaldi milenge? (see you soon).
(Marigold Cherie Ramos-Garrido is an ITEC Fellow from Philippines who was in India from March ? April 2008. This is the fifth and final article of a series of five articles about her experiences in India)