The change of country could not have come at a better time. As China came to a close the group had hit a bit of a lull so the arrival in India was the perfect thing to get our spirits up again. India so far has been quite an experience to say the least.
Talk about sensory overload…
We have only been here a week but have experienced 4 different religions, 7 different types of cuisine, and 2 variations of dance. Focusing on one thing in this country just isn’t possible. Although the one common theme we have all been experiencing are the trials and tribulations of the infamous Delhi belly.
One of the best ways to really get to know a country is through its cuisine. From the street food in Chani Chak to the veg tali in Agra the food is bright, colorful, and spicy as hell. We eat more than we should and then feel it for days after but it’s always worth it. The food teaches you about the people, but it’s not just that but it’s the way you eat it. Naan is life here. It curbs the spice and helps shovel the curry in faster, which keeps Delhi belly alive and well. At least we aren’t gaining weight while we are here. There is always a silver lining right?
Most of us like the spicy food, and now when we eat Western food it seems so bland and plain, but it is the only thing that keeps Delhi belly at bay. Many people in the group were hesitant about eating Indian food at first, but after the first week everyone was in love with the cuisine, minus the averse side effects.
Food has been present in many aspects of our travels and even today the group was able to attend a ritual at a Sikhism Gurdwara and after we went to the massive kitchen and helped make roti for the people at the temple. Everyday this kitchen feeds 10,000 people for free and everyone in the kitchen is a volunteer. It was a great experience to work with the locals on cooking the food, and then to sit and eat with them after. Unlimited amounts of food were going around the room and it was so great to see everyone so happy.
Clearly, food plays a large role in the Indian culture and the group is excited to continue trying new Indian cuisines. We head to Jaipur next week and will be attending dinner at a famous restaurant called Chokhi Dani. The group has been looking forward to this since we left Boston!
And, by the way we went to the Taj Mahal and it was too beautiful for words so here’s a picture instead…
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.