This Sunday was the most enjoyable moment of the German exchange. On this Sunday for lunch me and my partner had lunch at a lovely restaurant called smoke house deli where we had lip smacking food and mocktails and had delicious ice cream. Afterwards we met the others at Delhi haat where we spent the evening buying exquisite Indian handicrafts!!!
Though the day was a bit exhausting but it was worth the time………😀
On Sunday we all visited the amusement park – WOW -World OF Wonder!!
It was an amazing place!!All of us enjoyed the topsy turvy rides ..
The most amazing ride was BIG BEAT which left us all shell shocked !!..
After that some of us had dinner at TGIFridays ..
The entire outing was super cool and adventurous….
If you think the teachers are the most important people, you are wrong. The students aren’t either. But the parents of our guests and our hosts are the MVPs the Most Valuable Players in this exchange program.
They give consent to the that exchange, pay for the tickets, open their house for a foreigner and help whenever they can during the 14 day long stay in India and Germany.
That’s why today we had a potluck dinner together with the parents where we not only performed some dances to thank them, but to eat some really exquisite Indian food, which – why should it be different today – the parents themselves prepared for that very occasion.
The official program
The potluck startet with very warm welcoming words from the Indian coordinator Ms Radhika Babbar and the second Indian teacher Ms Ritu Shahar followed by the German coordinator Mr Wolfgang Poeschl and his colleague Ms Christina Wiedemann.
In a short movie clip the parents got a short summary about the trips that had been done during the stay in Germany. A dance performed by students of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium (Niederbayerischer Ländler) and another one by the Indian participants concluded this official part.
Unfortunately we are not in India during the 2017 Diwali celebration due to our departure to Noida which is not until October 27th. But all our good wishes travel ahead and therefore we wish you and all your families a happy Diwali!
According to the Ramayana, the book about the life of Lord Rama, people lit a line of oil lamps to lighten the way of King Rama, his beloved wive Sita, and his brother Lakshmana. All three returned from 14 year long exile and could only find home due to the little diyas the people prepared for them.
To celebrate this story the people still put lights in their windows, the corners of their apartment and decorate their whole house with blossoms and even more lights. To celebrate that four day lasting festival you even burst crackers, perform pujas and visit family members.
Whoever gets the chance to come to India during Diwali should embrace the opportunity and happily enjoy the sounds, colours and smells.
How about you?
But everybody celebrates Diwali differently. What are your family traditions? Tell us in the comment section!
India is widely famous for the delicious food, the bright colours, the vivid music and the absolute kindness of its people. Before my first trip to India I read a lot about these and I was eager to witness everything. But I was still unfamiliar with the real Indian culture and was therefore unknowingly making many mistakes during my first stay.
Let me tell you about some of my first “culture shock” experiences.
Everything can be finger food: Of course I use my finger to eat fries, a burger or a sandwich in Germany, too. But I was quite astonished by the way most of the Indians use their fingers to eat all the curries and most of the other dishes.
Ripping apart my roti just with the fingers of the right hand was a skill I had to practice a lot and during my first trip I put more food on my face and my clothes than into my stomach. Once I managed it, it became quite natural and most of the time I don’t use cutlery. But I am looking forward to seeing my students struggle with their first dishes and to watching them handling the Indian food better from day to day.
The direct way is not always the shortest: “Being German means to be pragmatic, direct and therefore to be efficient.” How wrong I was! I learned this lesson the hard way, that in India it is seldom the best to say frankly what you want or to expect a short “Yes” or “No” as response to a simple question. It is not only incredible rude to shout out your wishes and demands straight from the shoulder, it can also lead to awkward and embarrassing It was hard for me to understand this and I am thankful I had so patient hosts. In the meantime I learned to relax more and to accept an indirect answer. Only when again I insist to have everything done my way I slowly notice I still have to learn a lot about the Indian way of communication.
Half an hour can be quite a long time: Time zones in Germany and in India are different. In India there is the IST. For a long time I thought ITS stands for Indian Standard Time. It took me a while to realize it’s just an abbreviation for Indian Stretchable Time! In my first exchange year my host told me that we will leave the house in half an hour.
You can’t belief how fast I took a shower, got dressed, had breakfast and packed my rucksack for school only to sit in front of the house for an extra half an hour. Time is relative – Einstein knew that and the Indians do definitely trust him. Nowadays I often leave my watch at home when I explore an Indian city. What is it good for anyway? Things happen, when they are supposed to happen. An understanding I am happy to have learned in India.
Of course there were many more situations that left me puzzled when I experienced them the first time. And I can easily imagine how strange it must have been for my Indian friends to deal with that German teacher who was obviously making a habit of putting his foot in it. I still have to thank them for all their patience!
In the southern part of Germany (Bavaria) school year ends this week. At this occasion all students and teachers are presented a school yearbook in which they not only can find pictures of each class; every department writes about its activity during the school year, too.
Being a kind of highlight of the year the German-Indian exchange project fills some pages as well as shown in the following pictures.