What a week! Things have been quite eventful for me here at JNU. I started off the week normally, going to classes and whatnot. Then Tuesday there was Puja, a festival celebrating the beginning of springtime:
Thursday was also an interesting day. It started off normally but then around 3, the President of Germany gave a speech at the convention center here on campus. I wasn't terribly interested in what he had to say (politics blahblahblah) but I was interested in the rhetorical ritual of the whole event. One could easily see his background as a pastor in the way that he spoke. The whole speech centered around India and Germany as strategical business partners, which I think glossed over a lot of systemic issues. Oh well, it was a nice thing to see and I ended up being on German television (for literally one second) because of it.
He's the one in the middle...ya know, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany...NBD.
Then Friday I went to an LGBT talk given by a group called DHANAK here on campus. I didn't realize there would be such a thing, given the heteronormative, exclusionary nature of what I've seen of Indian culture.There were 4 speakers: two of which who left a bit to be desired and two of which who were amazing.
There was also a musical performance group associated with DHANAK, which makes me want to get involved even more. We'll see how that goes, I guess. One thing that I noticed about the whole event was even though it's supposed to be a Queer community, there was definitely an in-group/out-group dynamic that left me feeling a bit excluded. People knowing/socializing only with each other, Panelists speaking Hindi (or Bengali)...it wasn't as much of the "home" (as one Panelist put it) as we'd all like, I suppose. I think it might have a bit to do with my personality but, oh well, I had a pleasant time nonetheless.
Saturday was also quite cool. I went to our specially organized Hindi lesson, which ended up not happening. However, we decided on a new time that would be more convenient than Saturday morning. Went to my Arabic class afterwards, which was so productive. The teacher also wants me to teach him the basics of Spanish, which would be great because I feel a bit like I'm getting more out of the arrangement then he is. Language reciprocity!
That afternoon, there was also an event arranged by the Music Club. I hadn't realized there was a music club (they even have instruments!) here on campus. The room was nicely decorated and the performances were interesting for the most part. I'm hoping to get involved in some sort of music while I'm here. I didn't bring my trumpets for nothing!
All in all, this week has been great. Doing a lot, learning a lot experiencing a lot. That's why I started this adventure.