Flowers, Coconuts, Chalk Patterns, and Elephants
22.02.2013 - 26.03.2013 82 °F
Tiruchirappalli is a bustling city locate near a few rural areas in Tamil Nadu. It's a beautiful city - less crowded and smoggy than Chennai - with a lot more vibrant culture and neighborhood life. We were off on our rural visit.
The first day we arrived early morning and were dropped off near a colorful little alleyway crowded with people; our rural coordinator's neighborhood. We were greeted by an old female elephant decorated in bells and colorful tapestries. She was beautiful, but looked a little old and tired. All along the street people had chalked calums. Its a practice here in South India where women sprinkle rice powder in the morning to feed the ants and ward of the evil spirits. But these calums were elaborate with different colors and intricate designs. They were having a neighborhood competition and our professors were the judges. We walked up and down the street speaking to adults and children. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
At the end of the streets they had fresh coconut juice waiting for us and cooking lessons. It was one of the most open-hearted displays of love and affection between strangers. We sprinkled thank you in rice dust as a small token of our thanks. It was one of my favorite moments here in India.