Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Land of contradictions

the truth is... it is wonderful and also really tough

my feelings on contradictions are a contradiction on their own. it can be so frustrating but it can also be very beautiful to see contradiction in people, art, and music. something gentle and tough. remixed music. combined geometric and floral prints. Ferdinand the bull. i am a big fan of this. it gives me a lot of amusement and joy, as well as pain and frustration to spot these things in life. and it is very influential on my visual aesthetic and direction in design. India is the land of contradictions. it is almost hard for me to explain all of the million ways that this place displays contradiction. i wanted to write about it but my thoughts are really scattered at the moment so i thought i would just offer you some...

Random thoughts and observations:

-each time i get used to where-ever i am...it is time to move on (a cliff's note version of the
"art of letting go" or the transient nature of life...both good and bad)

-each region, state, and city is different...one of the reasons that english is still so widely spoken (after independence) is that it unifies the people. people from different regions speak different languages and when they travel they can not always understand each other. there is an attempt to make hindi the unifying language but for whatever reason it is very slow to spread.

-i have seen extreme luxury and people with nothing...... i knew about it this (most of us do).... but there is nothing like actually seeing it....to truly understand what a "developing" country is like, you have to see it for yourself. you are (quite literally) either inside the walls or out.

-traveling on my own is awesome and tough. sometimes i think i have some advantages to doing this as a young woman on my own...other times i feel at a major disadvantage.

-woman are very modestly covered up and traditional (for the most part) and yet the men can pee on the side of the street in public (though there are plenty that would not do so out of their own modesty). truthfully, i did not consider the fact that this is still very much a men's society. it makes me realize how comfortable i feel at home. that being said, i have also met more modern-minded men and woman but it has mostly been in the bigger cities.

- pollution and littering is everywhere! people just throw things out the window! power outages are regular (too much strain on the energy source), and water is scarce in some regions. this is what makes me so worried for the future. India is growing in so many good and amazing ways but they are making so many of the mistakes that we did. the environment is crumbling. and it made me so sad to leave darjeeling, knowing how much it is growing in tourism (many people from the plains vacation there during the hot season) and what that is doing to the place...and yet... i am also part of the problem. i am here. i am a tourist. i am adding to this. the same thing that allows me to be here is also adding the problem (a very painful contradiction). my friends at the tea gardens are worried also. they say that the education about the environment is just not where it needs to be. and we all agreed that it is not enough for India to see the mistakes in the U.S. (and other developed countries) and learn from them (which would be our wish). instead people need to learn for themselves. they never seem to listen until they make their own mistakes (we are all guilty of this in some way). i have the distinct feeling that this will be an entirely different place in 5- 10 years. when i express my confusion and concern to friends and locals, they say they are just as confused and concerned. it is amazing and uncertain to be able to observe such a time of extreme growth and uncertainty.

1 comment:

Carrie Ann said...

Thank you for your stories Jackie. It's great to read about how these experiences are affecting you. cosmic news: there will be a lunar eclipse on Saturday night (6/26) it will begin at 10:16am Greenwich Mean Time which should be nighttime in India. You may be able to see it. lots of love and hugs ~ca