Words are only a part of the Story…

 

We feel SLOVEinia...: Katja
We feel SLOVEini…: Katja

I came to India because there was no reason not to. The start was as smooth as butter. Firstly I found out that airports are slowly becoming my friends  and I was, like always, impressed by the mixed salad of people. Already I felt the mystique of India with the Frenchman sitting next to me, for I knew what he was searching for in India without really asking him. Like many others he came to find the peace of  the mountains and of the blue elders. The weather did not surprise me. In the atmosphere was the smell of monsoon and I can freely present it like one of the most romantic moments that nature can create. Delhi in the evening, still hot and a haze in the sky.

Anyway, sure we are almost dying because of the heat, but I found out that the biggest mistake that you can make here is to use air conditioning. You are done if you use it, because the body prefers the minimum of temperature amplitudes. I declare the owner of the house for my Indian mother. Maybe getting ahead of myself, but the first impression of the first Indian evening was favorable and especially, surprisingly – it feels like a home.

The reason why i am here is the EVS project We feel Slovenia and India: international volunteering for active global citizenship”.  EVS stands for European voluntary service, which project is a partnership between two or more organizations, in my case between Voluntariat (in Slovenia) and ETASHA society.

 

ETASHA society works extremely well. It helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Delhi and other areas to increase their opportunities in employment. But most important, I see in their work  a vision of how to change the whole society.   The first day was already devoted for visiting  these communities. It flashed through me – my biggest fear of leaving my home was the lack of green space in this huge city but it was unnecessary.

 

I am living in an area that is surrounded with parks  in a size of the Slovenian capital city Ljubljana  and what makes me the most happy was the fact that they are more noticeable than the markets. Unfortunately, this is not true for large slums areas, urban and marginalized, with no privacy, no space for work and play; with no real daylight and no real natural circuit. It might be necessary to write about these places and people who live there but sometimes I feel like it has already been told so many times and never really heard. It is enough the thought of how much space occupies the largest Delhi Road and compare it with these areas.

 

In the first week I mostly observed the classes and I was introduced to the methodology of the Direct Approach, which was adopted by ETASHA (initially as a reaction against the grammar translation approach which students had experience in school and not flourished with) in an attempt to integrate more of  the target language in classroom.

 

The classrooms in which the organization operates are simple but full of energy. There is not a lot of teacher talking; body language is used to help interpret the substance and and at the same time convey the feelings and welfare of participants. Honestly I can not deny that sometimes I myself felt like the student :). But I am learning so much and I hope I can repay all I have already gotten.

I am excited about India’s sustainable life. The way of living, eating, showering and recycling is something  so natural and what actually the rest of the world should learn. Understanding the organization of life in Delhi which is six times the  size of the whole population of Slovenia is not easy. I found out that technology does not like me no matter where I am in the world and in the beginning I felt a little bit lost. But in fact I get nearly lost in the parks  but not on the chaotic Indian roads.

 

Even still transport should be declared the greater danger. The pleasant days are getting longer and longer. Morning yoga is like a high, driving through streets a great way to understand Indian culture and the evenings a great time to learn to cook Indian cuisine. But still, to understand you have to open your eyes and words are only a part of the story…

 

Katja Polc, July 2014

 

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