India Initiative Internship abroad has been a unique experience. At first, I felt a little hesitant to embark on an internship abroad to India as it is already my native country. I could not think of ways that this internship would be a new experience for me. But, I was wrong to feel that way. After multiple chats with my mentor at the internship, I have realized that there is a lot more to learn. Up until now, I have just blindly practiced my religion and followed along with my cultural traditions. I did not give much thought to the history and reasons for some of the traditions I follow. However, my mentor’s vast knowledge base and her stimulating chats have forced me to start thinking about the reasons why some traditions exist and how the society, overtime, has lost the logic behind some practices. For example, in the Indian culture, women are supposed to be shielded from the outside world for forty days after childbirth because she is more prone to infections and other diseases. However, overtime, society has twisted the reason behind this practice. Now, most people believe that women are impure or unclean for forty days after childbirth. I was shocked when I learned this. I did not know about this practice because I spent most of my life growing up in the states, but I could not believe that something as pure as childbirth could be represented so negatively. Alongside some serious conversations, my mentor and our group also talked about some fun traditions. For example, I learned that an easy way to distinguish between a North and South Indian is by checking the women’s nose piercing. If it’s on the right side, then the women are South Indian and if it’s the left side, then they are North Indian.
- Week 4- Birthdays and 5Ks