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!


—Julia Kutyn

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