Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 143: Impressions of India

India wasn't nearly as difficult to travel in than others led us to believe, likely due to the poverty we'd already been experiencing. The main difference was that it stood out more. In Madagascar, for example, everyone was poor, so it was less noticeable, if that makes sense. In India, you can see the extreme distribution of wealth and it's enhanced by the setting. Great forts and palaces create a medieval feeling where kings and queens sit looking down at their village, including its peasants. The poor aren't hidden down alleyways and in ghettos like so many Western cities.

The number of children begging was certainly difficult to see, but again, not unusual. It was a sad sight that we've seen in each country we've visited (except Reunion and Mauritius). We've struggled to decide on an area to support as there are so many that are valuable. But for India, we've decided to focus our efforts on improving the rights of women. With rape,  gender selection, and girls dying at three times the rate of boys from malnutrition, it's clear that the women in India need some support.

Overall, our experience in India was positive with lots of delicious food, easy bus rides, and marvellous architecture. Whether or not you believe in Hinduism, there is no denying the beauty in their religious celebrations and buildings. And watching women walk through the streets in their saris is just mystical.

Leg Three showed us culture, history, and a view into the lives of one sixth of the world's population. We're leaving feeling like there are many corners of Nepal and India left to explore. We had high hopes to create a video to some great Hindu music but have settled on another one of our favourites.

Leg 3 Video

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