Category Archives: Travel

Must See Documentaries About India

10947238_10155114359680367_6919900311834592174_nIt’s Friday, which means it’s movie night! Instead of scrolling through Netflix for hours (I can’t be the only one) try scrolling through this list of amazing documentaries.

Even after traveling to India, there are so many mysteries about the country, and many heartbreaking truths that aren’t immediately observable.

Take a look at these documentaries if you want to learn more about in life in India for women, and for people living in poverty.

India’s Daughter. This documentary (which was actually banned in India) tells the story of Jyoti Singh. Johti was a young, Indian physiotherapy student who was tragically murdered. You can watch this film for free here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/ID/2657845142/

Gulabi Gang. A group of women name themselves the Gulabi Gang and fight against gender discrimination, caste oppression, and widespread corruption. If you are interested in the Gulabi Gang also watch this short vice episode on HBO about corruption, rape, and the Gulabi Gang in India.

Poverty, Inc.  Many fighting poverty have their heart in the right place, but is what they are doing really helping impoverish nations to be sustainable? Or is it in fact destroying that nations economy?  Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/109863354

Hit the Road India. This travel documentary follows the adventure of two American friends from Mumbai to Chennai… wait for it… driving in rickshaws! You can rent this film online here: http://www.hittheroadindia.com/

It’s a Girl.  In India, and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. “Gendercide” is very real today. Girls who survive are often neglected their whole life. Watch online for free here: http://documentaryaddict.com/its+a+girl-12169-doc.html

On Thursday, March 26th thisvillage is hosting our Indian dinner fundraiser! Come out and help us raise money to create a sustainable future for the widows of Bandanpally, India. Buy Tickets

— Julia Kutyn

 

All Food is Finger Food

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India is famous for the wonderful flavours of the exotic dishes it produces. From tasty chutneys and spicy curry to sweet chai and rose flavoured desserts, India has very unique style of cooking and using spices and herbs for an explosive flavour. 

While dining in India it quickly becomes evident that something is missing from the table setting: cutlery! There are many reasons why Indians eat with their hands. First, many eat with their hands because they think it is in fact cleaner to eat with fingers than with a fork or spoon. They know where their hands have been and they wash thoroughly before and after meals. Others believe that interacting with their food, not only by smelling, tasting and seeing it but also feeling it, is all part of the experience of eating. (Also it’s kind of fun!)

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India is a large country, so naturally the food varies in different regions of India. In the south, the food is generally unbearably spicy compared to the north. There are also often more vegetarians in the south. Along the coast lines seafood dishes are more popular, whereas in the jungles of India many tropical fruits can be found such as: mango, banana, coconut, guava and papaya.

My favourite recipe I learned while living in India is to make Masala Chai. Follow my recipe to try it out! What you will need for two mugs of Chai:

–       2 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf black tea.

–       2 cups of milk

–       ½ cup of water

–       2 tablespoons of sugar

–       3 teaspoons of fresh ginger (chopped)

–       Cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom to taste (I prefer chai with ginger only)

Heat saucepan with milk and water on stove on medium high for about three minutes. Add the tealeaves and stir until milk becomes a desirable colour. Add sugar and ginger and spices. Bring to boil then remove from heat and strain into mugs. Enjoy!

P.S. If you want a chance to try some delicious Indian dishes, desserts, and chai come to our Indian Dinner Fundraiser! More info here.

Buy Tickets

— Julia Kutyn

दन्यवाद

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Hi! My name is Julia Kutyn, and I’m new to this blog and to thisvillage! For the next few months you’ll be hearing from me quite a bit. I am currently taking my undergraduate degree in business administration and am very excited to be working as an intern for thisvillage. I am also very excited to be a part of this organization that is connected to India in such a big way.

 A couple years ago I had the extreme privilege of travelling 36 hours to this chaotic country and having my heart broken (in the good way) by India and its beautiful people. As cliché as this sounds… my life will never be the same. While living in India I  worked in a home for young boys whose parents were too unwell to take care of them. I was also able to work in a school for children from the surrounding village. The children I spent time with were so full of energy and enjoyment of life it was hard not to love every minute of it, even though I was usually lost; I couldn’t understand much of the Hindi that they spoke so quickly!

Extreme poverty and overwhelming wealth are next-door neighbours in India. This is something that I wasn’t expecting. However, something that was even more striking to me was the use of this word:  दन्यवाद , pronounced Dhan’yavād. This is the Hindi word meaning “thank-you”. I spent Thanksgiving in a small village north of Delhi, and I have very fond memories of making food with my new friends and being taught how to dance (which was embarrassing for someone with not enough coordination to do Zumba), but mostly I remember hearing this word, dhan’yavād, again and again, and not only just on Thanksgiving.

There’s something to be said about being emotionally wrecked by the reality that IS life in India. Daily life can be so upside down compared to the standards of the west but this is just “normal” in India. India is such a special place to me; the people there are like no other when it comes to tradition and respect, being hospitable, and just having fun! If you are ever presented with an opportunity to travel there, TAKE IT!

Rahul

—Julia Kutyn

A development student’s first experience in a developing country

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We are officially back from India! To say that it was an overwhelming trip would be an understatement. This was my first major trip, and in fact, my first trip outside of North America. I went in with as few expectations as possible, as I genuinely had no idea what India would be like once we got there. We ended up experiencing India in such a raw form, that the few expectations I did have were completely blown out of the water. Because I am an international development student that studies poverty, I constantly see pictures and hear stories about communities and individuals who are unable to break free from the poverty trap due to shortages of safe drinking water, lack of adequate sanitation, and poor access to education. To actually see the wells that people drink from, the garbage lining the streets, and the outdoor classrooms of schools, was completely overwhelming.

I was extremely humbled to be in a rural village and have individuals open up their homes to me, showing me each and every one of their belongings, asking me to sit on their beds (which were simple cots with hand-threaded boards), and telling me their stories. All my studies suddenly became real and humanized everything I have learned, simply because of the people I was meeting.

As part of our work with thisvillage, we were able to hear stories from the individuals who are deeply embedded in this poverty, and it was a privilege to listen to their stories and understand their perspectives. I now feel a sense of duty to these individuals, who were so loving and grateful for what little they have despite their poverty.

Nothing makes me feel a sense of urgency to help the world’s poorest people than meeting the individuals personally, shaking their hands, and being a guest in their homes.

— Sara Fournier