Monday, December 10, 2012

On the Road: Calcutta

Sorry for the lack of updates folks but it has been for a good reason! We have been traveling all over India and are currently in the chilly North. We recently spent a few days in Calcutta, which was described by one student as "what you think of when you think of India".

Rolling out parathas for Kati rolls!

While its poverty is undeniably in your face, Calcutta is also overflowing with India's colonial history and a plethora of fascinating sites and experiences. On our first night we had kati rolls, which are parathas stuffed with your choice of filling from paneer to mutton. With this flavorful street food, Calcutta was off to a great start!

The Rama Krishna Mission.
Calcutta is also known for the Kalighat, a temple dedicated to Kali, widely known as the goddess of destruction. So on our first morning we hopped on the metro and made our way over. While some temples in India are quieter, the Kalighat was bustling with early morning devotees. We wandered around taking in the noises and fervent worshipers and some of us were able to witness a goat sacrifice. While it was certainly startling for those who watched, as we reflected later on several of us were reminded of what the true meaning of sacrifice means and what it truly signifies when we say that Jesus was sacrificed for us.

A roadside shrine.
We also visited Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying and the Motherhouse, her home in Calcutta. We were struck by the beauty of her ministry and how much one person was able to accomplish. Another highlight was Sari Bari, an NGO dedicated to providing an alternative livelihood for women who no longer want to participate in prostitution. They do this by teaching the women to sew and create beautiful handmade sari blankets. Our students came away inspired by the work that the staff and women do!

Our next stop was Varanasi - one of India's holiest cities. Keep an eye out for our next post!

1 comment:

  1. kathi rolls. i would give my left arm for one of those right now.

    also, so glad you guys loved sari bari. they are my favorite, ever.

    and you saw a goat sacrifice!! we wanted to (some of us, anyway), but didn't get "lucky". if you can call it luck.