Monday, July 6, 2009

It is a pleasure to watch the Hindu.

Well here I am, in the coconut tree swing of things, flung far far far away from two-car garages and toilet paper. In India there is poverty, political disorder, and most problematically a lack of jobs for their 1,147,995,904 strong. But only a materialistic, naive, cynical fool would simply label this country third world and stop their explanation here without a word about the architecture, the music, the respect for learning, the religion, the philosophies, the beautiful grace and delicacy of the women (which I would have to dedicate ten blog entry's to in order to do these goddesses justice), the colorful garments, the fresh food, the dance, the breatheinspiring landscapes, the birds, never-ending masses, the work ethic, the caste-types, the languages, the hospitality, and the general love of each other despte inequality and death.
I currently reside in a remote village outside Calcutta in the Suryapur Ramakrishna Vivenkanada Mission. I rise at 6, from 7-9 I meet the computer teacher Sanjoy to practice his English, and in the process flex my Bengali tongue. After, I eat breakfast with my fellow teachers, then for the next two hours I practice my sign language with different groups of young deaf girls ranging from ages 6-17 who joyfully practice their English, I then have two different classes of college boys training to become instructors for the deaf and blind who I teach spoken (conversational) English. After, I must get into gymnastics teacher mode. Yes, it's true, by some swing I have become the gymnastics instructor here for the girls. We mostly dance, and then our smiles dance, and then our hearts dance for the angels are attention-starved. After this, if possible, I try to get the college boys to exercise by playing either soccer, volleyball, or their preffered cricket at the village's humble field which seconds as a goat farm but due to Monsoon conditions today we will rest. I cannot be focused on my past or the end result to do this job well since I am utterly unqualified to teach and stifled by this overly affectionate Indian sun while exercising. The only way to make this extreme adaptation is through dedication to each days work and I am hoping if this adaptation is accomplished, the end result will be evolution.
I have learned that in poorer conditions exercise is forgotten. I do not know why, but if that is how I can help I will sweat until I am gas.
My roommate, Joydev Chatterjw, is the English teacher. His English is very weak and he can only speak in short muddled sentences, but unfortunately, he is arguably the best English speaker in the school and village. He has been in social work since the age of 9; he is humble, handsome, and quiet. I would like to say a bad thing about him so as to seem objective, but cannot.
In Northeast India, where I am currently extending my family, they speak Bengali. The national Language is Hindu. English would of course be vital as an outlet internationally but how can everyone be expected to learn three languages along with their other entire school curriculum when they have no-one to speak English with in childhood through adolescence. The villagers where I live are almost entirely self-sufficient and since India has been liberated from the English tongue and teeth, it has become more introverted. I am not to judge if this is good or bad because regardless of little me sweaty me, their are children everywhere; India will most certainly go.
But I must confess, there is a fear growing in my gut as I watch the Hindus' extend themselves for mine and eachother's comfort. If to be westernized means to not love your neighbor than let the devil take it. But if to be easternized means to be a prostrating sucker, than I have no time for it.
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