Harper Ganick
Hyderabad University, India

This is an excerpt from her blog post 
"Home for the Holidays" at http://harperganick.blogspot.com/2013/02/home-for-holidays.html

At home, people would ask me to tell them about all of my “adventures,” but I just had no idea what to say. I ended up talking a lot about the cows, which I did miss a lot, but it’s really hard to describe India to people who have never experienced it. God, I hate saying that because I know how pretentious I must sound, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Traveling opens a person up to new and different worlds and perspectives, but India isn’t just a different world, it’s a whole different universe! I’ve come to the conclusion that no one, regardless of caste/socio-economic class or heritage, lives in India; you have to survive India. 

I mean, it is hard to live here, especially being a young, white, ginger woman. While its a general consensus that America is a patriarchal society, just saying that in India is laughable, just because it’s so damn obvious. Three facts about India: 1) It runs on Indian Standard Time 2) It’s the world’s largest (most populous) democracy 3) It’s a patriarchal society. 

My guy friends here have no problem going off and traveling on their own, using couchsurfing and having great experiences, but you just cannot do that being a woman. India can be so backwards; they’ve had a woman prime minister, something the US still hasn’t managed, but whenever a group of us go out the rickshaw drivers and waiters always direct all of their questions toward the men in our group. 

This is definitely a tangent that arguably doesn’t have anything to do about my holiday back home, but the thing I hate most about India is that I’m not just a “person,” I am a women and I am white, and here that makes a difference in every aspect of life. 

I can’t put into words what I like about India, because I do really like it here. Maybe I don’t know. But that’s clearly a goal for this semester, to find out what about this huge subcontinent makes me keep coming back. 

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