Blogs from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia - page 5


Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai » Elliot's Beach January 16th 2013

YUPIII!!!! Nous sommes arrives en Inde saines et saufs! Il fait chaud et beau! Chennai ne nous a pas trop impressionne, ville trop grande, etendue et nous n'avons pas pu lui trouver l'ame. Mais nous avons vu notre premier temple dravidien et nous avons mis les pieds dans le Golfe du Bengal (chaud et agite!). C'est la que nous avons trouve plus l'ame de la vile car la plage etait noire de monde, des locaux qui viennent passer la fin de la journee en bord de mer en piqueniquant et en se saucant dans l'eau. Mais nous avons eu notre petit coin de "paradis" car le hostel de YWCA etait dasn un jardin paisible et verdoyant au nord de la ville. Il y a des jolies batisses (gare, mairie) de style plutot britannique. On avait hate ... read more
Chennai - temple dravidien
Chennai - plage
Chennai - mais grille sur la plage

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 15th 2013

Today we woke up and walked nearby to a place to catch a bus to a village festival. There are already 17 of us, but we were not the only ones going to this festival. There were two whole buses of foreigners going, all from various organized tours. When we arrived, it was hot and sunny and so so bright. As we approached the village, welcomers gave us yellow flower leis, but instead of being round like our leis in Hawaii, they had an extra appendage of flowers hanging. These are the kind of leis reserved for the Gods. They are offered in shrines, and I learned that you are not even allowed to smell them, because the first whiff is meant to be for the Gods. Why were we given these leis? Either 1) to ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 14th 2013

There are drawings I've been meaning to mention, in front of every doorway. They are done, I think, in chalk, with white chalk for the borders and colored chalk as filled in color decoration. Originally, they were done in rice flour. They were intended to keep bugs out of the house. But as time went on, they became popular more for the decorative aspect. Today we got on our little tour bus (which we'll be keeping for the duration of our stay away from Chennai) and drove to an NGO. The bus ride was long and many of us fell asleep. I was glad to see a bit of the landscape, outside of cities, outside of expected tourism, and just see everyday life, if only from the window. The NGO is run by a Catholic priest ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 13th 2013

We left on the train to Madurai in the evening. We packed what we actually needed, which it seems is a fraction of all the stuff we actually brought, and piled into the bus, and off at the nearby train station. We had all been so thoroughly warned about bag-slashers, pick-pockets and all manner of thieves, it seemed like everyone was preparing to see the "real India." In reality, it was not a big deal. We even got to rest in an A/C room before the train arrived. This kind of separation from what the average person experiences actually frustrates me a lot. Yes, A/C is nice. But we are already Americans, and when I look to the Indian side, I feel like they are judging the rich Americans for parading around in their country with ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 13th 2013

Yesterday was our second and last day of shooting. It was only yesterday but it already seems so long ago. We were at the academy by 9:30 to meet our crew and the hired van. Raj Kumar and I had each prepared some questions, and we got together and compiled a complete cohesive ordered list of questions for our main subject (Jayshree), her teacher-trainer, and her best friend. I was not sure how to approach the more personal topics, but I guess that's always the challenge: ask questions in a culturally and personally sensitive way, and encourage open honest answers, even in front of a camera. We got there just in time for tea, and not long after, we set up our equipment upstairs to interview the teacher-trainer. this woman is in her late 60s, and ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 11th 2013

On Friday, we got to the school at 9 because we had to present our formal script to the three heads of the program: Uma, Hariharan, and our own Vinit (from NY). I felt a bit apprehensive because while other groups were finalizing theirs, we hadn't even started ours. We had talked about how we had to do it, and then we had gone to a pub, effectively eliminating any possibility of working on it. By 10, we were wondering where everyone was, all the other Indian students were working with their groups and only ours were absent. By 11, we asked everyone to call them, and apparently they were on their way. Finally two of them arrived at 11:30 and one arrived at 12. Another glorious miscommunication. Before they arrived, Umila and I talked about ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 10th 2013

Today we had the opportunity to shoot b-roll at the monessori school. Umila and I met the rest of the crew at the street where they had rented a van and picked up all the equipment at the academy. It took us 20 minutes, since it was about 5 kilometers away. On the street, just like yesterday, we passed auto rickshaws crowded with people, oxen, pedestrians, bicyclists, and everybody was simultaneously trying to occupy the same space. Entire families on a moped. Five people in a rickshaw. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents. But since no one is going too fast, it kind of works out. It's like how water appears to be one thing, you don't see it as separate molecules, but as a liquid whole, the same goes for the traffic here. It turns ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai December 28th 2012

27. Dez. 2012 - Ankunft in Chennai nach langem Nachtflug (Wien - Dubai - Chennai). Immigration in Indien ziemlich langwierig. Wir steigen in den wartenden Bus und fahren durch Chennai (ehemaliges Madras). Indien empfängt uns mit der vollen Wucht seiner Geschäftigkeit und Menschnmassen. Die Straßen sind viel zu eng und ständig verstopft. Alles Leben spielt sich neben der Fahrbahn ab. Menschen in bunten Gewändern gehen ihren Geschäften nach, hektische Motorradfahrer führen viel zu viele Passagiere vom Kleinkind bis zu Frauen im Sari auf dem Sozius. Busse und LKWs fahren aufeinander zu, um im letzten Augenblick doch auf die richtige Seite auszuweichen. Wir besichtigen die katholische Kirche St. Thomas, die Grabkirche des Hl. (ungläubigen) Thomas, der hier ab 52 n. Chr. missioniert hat. (Hier im Süden Indiens gibt es viele Christen, aber auch Muslime, die mit den ... read more
Shiva Priester

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai October 22nd 2012

Air India has a reputation of being completely no-frills and that, it certainly was. Our plane arrived into Dubai an hour late and so we left there an hour late. Interestingly, whiskey was apparently free on board and so quite a number of the menfolk enjoyed the priviledge. Got into Chennai at 5:30AM. Chennai is toridly hot. Sweltering is another good word for it. Being a northern-born girl, I do not like it. Dry heat I can deal with, its the high humidity that gets me. Anant's parents do not have air conditioning, only a couple strong ceiling fans. Still, it is sweaty, sticky hot. Anyway, Sundaram-uncle is hosting the 9-day Navratri festival at his house and adjoining Sri Ananda Lakshmi Mandir in Mylapore. So after a quick breakfast at home, we headed over to the ... read more
Traditional lunch
Monsoon rain
Visiting relatives

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai October 11th 2012

Lottys version; After an extremely dusty, bumpy ride we arrived at the train station. Outside was a cow with the biggest horns I have ever seen in my life! He can't have been comfortable carrying those round on his head! We entered the station and were shown to the upper class waiting room to use the bathroom if we needed. We walked into the waiting room and the stench of stale urine hit us hard. We bravely continued, knowing we faced a 13 hour train ride where the toilets would probably be worse. In the toilets we peered into the cubicles and recoiled in horror. We had seen more western toilets than I expected, and we had also used squat toilets, but this was a tiled room with a tiny little hole in the corner, how ... read more

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