Imagine a campus where political debate is permanent. Where students receive half a dozen pamphlets to read with dinner and make up their mind on a variety of political issues. Where activist groups come in all shapes and forms, from right to left, from the centrist to the extremes – and all equally organised.
Going to India for the first time can be magical, challenging, overwhelming all at once. Even though there is not greater insight than meeting new people and experiencing the country itself, reading a book or two prior to the trip can prove a valuable asset in understanding the culture.
The landscapes of Maharashtra alone could depict the contrasts that are ever-present in India. As with the inner districts, the outskirts of Pune show grand, tall buildings and a few mansions, with a distinct oriental style.
Some things, like the immediate reflex to swipe left at the sight of a gym selfie on Tinder, seem to be universal. This is one of the lessons we learned from this morning’s lecture with Dr. Deshpande – which escalated quickly from the cultural implications of arranged marriages within the caste system in India, to a candid discussion around dating apps.