Mumbai, India—Students Share Their Thoughts

Last spring, nine Arcadia students ventured to India to learn about “visual culture” in a class taught by Dr. Shekhar Deshpande, Associate Professor and Director of the Communications program. During their nine-day cross-cultural journey, “We visited the proverbially great Taj Mahal, the epic and erotically sculptured temples of Khajuraho, the intensely busy streets of Mumbai, the industrious slums of Dharavi, and the tribal artists of the Warli Village,” says Lauren “Ren” Manley ’09, in the most recent issue of Arcadia magazine.

 

Now, days after the terrorist attack on Mumbai that left nearly 200 dead, the group photo they took inside the Taj Majal Hotel provides a stark contrast between the city they visited and the burning landmark they saw on the news. While the students did visit the legendary Taj Mahal, the mausoleum often referred to as “the jewel of Muslim art in India,” they found the rest of the country far more interesting. The Taj turned out to be just a building. The real treasure turned out to be the people and culture of India.

 

Join these students in sharing your thoughts and messages with some of those people they met in India. Comment here or write a note on the paper next to the visual display of their experience in The Chat, outside the game room.

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One response to “Mumbai, India—Students Share Their Thoughts

  1. Last year’s Arcadia visitors discovered that the important thing about India (and about all countries) is the people who live there. Establishing those acquaintances with others, even for a brief time, enables this small group of Arcadia travelers to understand how horribly tragic and senseless last week’s slaughter in Mumbai really was.

    Unfortunately, terrorist acts are a component of today’s world. None of us is immune from them. Students and other travelers must be careful and alert at all times — particularly in unfamiliar surroundings.

    But the need to be watchful must not dissuade us from traveling to other lands, from experiencing other cultures and from seeing our world through the eyes of others. Indeed, the insights, the understandings, the self-knowledge and the tolerance that living and learning in a different country bring are essential components of a well-educated leader of the 21st century. Besides, when you permit the possibility of a act of random terrorism to steer you away from an international experience, the terrorists win.

    Arcadia University students who wish to spend a whole semester studying in India should seek information about the Alliance for Global Education’s program in Pune from Janice Finn. Jan has information about dozens of other study abroad opportunities, too.

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