Diane Capuano

Daya Diane

Diane Capuano

I will be entering my fourth year of college at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. I am fortunate enough to be embarking on a study abroad trip to Thiruvandrapum, the capital of Kerala, India. I have a huge interest in meditation, yoga, Ayurveda, and the various types of healing. Being interested in these things allowed for a growing interest in India itself and when the opportunity came along to go with my professor who happened to look like Gandhi, I took it. I also was fortunate enough to win scholarships from my university and the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship. Part of my follow-on project includes creating this blog and also interviewing different healers as well as experiencing yoga in the place in which it originated. I will be in India for a month starting June 18 and I can't wait!

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum July 17th 2011

Friday morning at 6:30am we traveled to the Kerala backwaters, the one attraction of Kerala I had been dying to see. I had seen photos before coming on the trip and they looked absolutely beautiful but even more beautiful seeing them with my own two eyes. A young boy Thomas had stayed with us at Loyola for a few days and came with us to the backwaters. We stopped at his summer home on the way to the backwaters for snacks. They had a beautiful home and we ate some fried bananas, dried jackfruit, coconuts, and chai tea. We finally arrived to our boat on the backwaters. It had two bedrooms and was very spacious. We had a delicious lunch of fish, shrimp, and other Indian dishes. It was so relaxing being on the boat for ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum July 13th 2011

This morning after breakfast I picked up The Hindu newspaper and sadly on the front page was a photo of a man who had been injured in the 3 bombings in Mumbai last night. Mumbai is also known as Bombay. The bombings were at only a few minutes apart. They killed 21 people and injured 141. I was able to finally talk to my mom on the phone for the first time being here. She said my aunt in Hawaii asked what part of India I was in just to be sure. Thankfully we are far away from there but this is a shocking reality. People can be so distraught that they think the solution is to bring harm to others. I know there is a lot more to this than the knowledge I have but ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum July 11th 2011

This morning we went to an Indian wedding. The aroma of sandalwood filled the air as went stepped inside the place where the wedding was taking place and received many stares. Everywhere we go we stick out like sore thumbs especially to an occasion like this. I was so excited to finally witness an Indian wedding because a friend of mine who worked at a banquet facility had told me how lavish and extravagant Indian weddings were. The decorations and flowers were vibrant shades of yellow, pink, and green. The bride looked absolutely stunning dressed in a magenta and gold-trimmed saree. She was dripping with gold-bangles, earrings, and necklaces. Her jet black hair was pulled back in a beautiful thick braid that went down to her legs. Some of the family were very welcoming to us ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum July 6th 2011

Wow-time is flying here! In the last week we have done so much! Last Friday we finished the Art of Living Course. It was a good experience and I'm glad I participated in it. For the last day we had to perform a skit in groups of 3. Our group chose to do a Disney Medley-we each performed a song from a Disney movie, I performed "Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid. I felt this course was a great way to each grow in our personal way. I now know the sudarsanan kriya which helps to maintain stress in one's daily life. On Friday we also went to a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar school where we received our certificates for completing the course. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the creator of the Art of Living. Once ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum June 28th 2011

Today I got up early and went running for 30 min. with another girl on the trip Brittany. It was still very dark but it was cool so good running weather. Then we had our Art of Living course from 6:30am to 8:30am. The course is really teaching us to find happiness in our lives. Some phrases they said that stuck out to me were "expectations reduce joy in life" and "memory clings to the negative". Also they talked about the difference between responding versus reacting. When we react, we might be too emotional but if we can respond with a clear mindset, we often can deal with situations effectively and as positively as we can. We did the sudarshankriya and it didn't feel as long as yesterday. We also did a meditation at the end ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum June 27th 2011

Here we are at the start of week 2 and I feel like I have been here for so much longer! This weekend we stayed at Vivekanandapuram the Headquarter of the Spiritually Oriented Service Mission in Kanyakumari. I was eager to do some meditation and yoga. Kanyakumar is an attraction for people all over because it where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian ocean all merge together. We watched the sunset the first night. It was like being in a movie looking out at the city on the ocean. Then we went to the Kanyakumari temple. Kanyakumari means virgin goddess and this temple is dedicated to her. The archtitecture was beautiful and the temple had a rich history. The next morning I woke up at 5am to watch the sunrise. Professor Nair said some ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum June 24th 2011

Yesterday we went to the "Silicon Valley" of Kerala. It was called TechnoPark. It was corporate like. We met with the CEO Mr. Mervin Alexander and we all sat around a big fancy round table with mini flags from all around the world. To say the least, I felt very important. We watched a powerpoint with different statistics about TechnoPark. It was interesting but for me somewhat hard to understand because I'm not very good with business. Next we went to a company called the Software Incubator. They greeted us formally with a flower and paste for a bindi. The social ambiance and hospitality of everyone we have met makes me feel so welcome and not like a stranger at all. There we watched a number of performances done by the workers including a mime performance, ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum June 23rd 2011

So internet can be flaky here. In the morning it always works but at night sometimes the electricity goes out and then the wi-fi can be very slow and frustrating so that's why I haven't been able to keep up this blog as much as I would like. Yesterday we met with Reverend George Thenadikulam, an anthropologist who specializes in studying folklore of tribes here in Kerala. We learned a tribal song and dance! After lunch we went to an art museum with pieces of art as old as A.D 1. Many buddha statues as well as other gods and goddesses. Also there were some instruments and pieces of money from ancient times. Next we went to the zoo and saw lion-tailed monkeys, zebras, different kinds of deer, king cobra snakes, a jaguar, tigers,hippos, rhinos, and ... read more

Asia June 20th 2011

I embarked on this journey with Professor Murali Nair, his wife Vijilakshmi, and 12 other Cleveland State University undergraduates and masters students. After 2 days of traveling, we have finally made it to India. After some sightseeing in Washington D.C. since we had a layover for about 10 hours, there we got on our flight to Doha, Qatar. This was a 14 hour flight. The longest I had ever been on a plane but also the biggest one I had ever been. I had a little bit of anxiety right before we were getting on the flight. But once on I was lucky to have a window seat and I also got to sit next to another girl in our group Danielle. We chatted a bit. Then we received two meals of Indian vegetarian food. The ... read more

North America June 17th 2011

So it's the night before the big flight! Flight leaves at 10am and we fly into Washington, D.C. where we will have a layover all day. Luckily, Professor Nair scheduled a visit to the Capitol Building for us. Then we catch a flight at 11:30pm to Qatar. This will be the middle flight which is the longest. This is the only part of this India experience that I am slightly dreading because I'm not crazy about planes and this is will definitely be the longest I have ever been on a plane for a consecutive amount of hours. But on the other hand I have my iPod and On The Road by Jack Kerouac to entertain me. But now I must finish packing and finish a paper on peoples' perception of India. Next time I will ... read more

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