Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Visit to Indian Parliament

Day 4- Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
The day before New Year’s Eve, our schedule is still packed with activities and visits. In the morning, we went to Delhi University and listened to a lecture on Kashmir conflict (precisely my research interest) and spent the afternoon dazzled ourselves through the colossal, neoclassical structure of the Indian Parliament- the favor paid for us by one of our previous speakers, who happen to LIKE our group.

Delhi University campus was vastly different from JNU. Its campus is located near the commercial district, which lends it a purer atmosphere, spacious ambiance and enlivened with restaurants and much locomotion. On the other hand, JNU derives its antique feeling from the old buildings, the “parasite” trees overflowing the stone-structured concretes connecting building-to-building. In contrast to the more politically indecisive student body of Delhi University, JNU students express their political and ideological stances clearly and loudly through pervasive and propagandanistic graffiti and flyers on all buildings. One graffiti reads, “Smash American Imperialism.” What a great welcome! Because all JNU students were on break and we were not scheduled to meet with them, I could not test their ideological commitment and position, however, the lunch with Delhi University students was as enjoyable as we engaged in discussions on international studies, cross-cultural perceptions and personal ambitions.

I enjoyed every bit of our tour of the Indian Parliament. The British has erected a fine jewel in the middle of the city. It is something that every Indian can truly take pride on. Epicenter to the design is the earthy color scheme of the soil, the green of the well-trimmed trees places strategically to both give a space and create a sense of unison and the harmoniously pale white cover of the building. From the Parliament’s dining table, you can extend your view out on the garden and see a line of trees leading straight to the water fountain at the mere center. Indeed a serene scene to have. The ceiling of the main guest room can house up to 600 people and has fresco painting of the Mogul’s life and ruling in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Mogul legacy continues to accompany us as we attended the light and sound program at the Red Fort in the old Delhi part, which tells the history of India since the rule of the Moguls in a unique and creative way. A big turn-off that substantially reduces the effect of the show was the flashing camera of ignorant people, who either ignored the heeding, or purely disrespectful.

This concludes the fourth day. We came back to the Center, ate dinner with delicious soups and here I am writing to you. Hope you find this useful. I have enjoyed very much here, learned a lot and prepared to learn much more. Tomorrow is another day, but a special day. New Year’s Eve is here and I know it promises more adventures to come!

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