Simplicity Within China and India
Post by Leslie Novella (’17) and Spencer Rivera (’17).
The week starting on October 19th, 2015 we began our transition from Beijing, China to Delhi, India.
Our last days in Beijing were spent visiting the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. We were all very excited to get to experience these landmark locations before departing China. When visiting the Temple of Heaven, the BRICers crossed a big park with elders dancing and playing jianzi, which is the sport of badminton played with the feet. Since we saw the locals have fun and unite through jianzi we got a shuttlecock to kick around the group. This is a brief video of BRICers demonstrating their athletic skills.
The simple sport which we all played under the orange Beijing sun connected all of us and took our mind away from our worries. Having an open green space and a “ball” to play with, brought the inner kid in all of us. It was a moment of clarity and liberation that we thoroughly enjoyed. The beauty of that moment, lied within the novelty and playfulness of jianzi.
When we all got to the Beijing International Airport, we were all excited to continue our adventures in India. Although all of us were tired from our flight, we were surprised to have a large group activity on our first day in India. The BRICers were welcomed to India with a Bollywood dancing session. The excitement and energy from our group dance was a memorable experience to have. Our discordant feet and attempts at following the dance instructor created a vivid image all of us will carry forward. This is a video of our group dancing to Iski Uski.
Our group intention for the week dealt with “not taking life too seriously.” With all the amazing opportunities studying abroad provides, we want our group to put things into perspective and not allow each other to get warped up with little things. As business students we often challenge ourselves in the pursuit for the best internship, company, and career to have. Yet sometimes we do not stop and think about pleasing ourselves and enjoying the moment. At heart we are all children craving fun, really wanting to have a great time in whatever we do. Our experiences with jianzi and Iski Uski served as a reminder that we can surprise ourselves with beautiful cordial and fun moments.
Despite all of the activities planned for us as part of the BRIC program, both jianzi and dance were simple ways in which we all connected without using many resources. These high energy activities required our focus on the present experience and thus took way our anxieties of leaving the country, being in a new surrounding and hunting internships for next summer. Letting go for a brief period was a good treatment for our minds and thus we hope to continue this practice through our remaining time at BRIC and at Babson.
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.