It was a long journey from Mumbai to Pune and we can’t wait being in the city known as the “New India”. My first impressions, which I believe we share in common, were all about the weather, the local people with colors, music and vehicles. All I want to share with my friends is that India is similar to our country but everything is different and is very Indian!
INDIA IS COLORFUL
My first impression as we got out from the airport was being surrounded by colors. Along the street, everything was a colorful picture of life. In that picture, there was a combination of costumes, of flowers, of houses, buildings, banners, various vehicles along the street and even the food. All in all, everything has made me feel and see the tight connection between the colors and their concepts of expressing religious faith and beliefs which is so interesting to learn more into.
Pune is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra but we still could reach many places in minutes thanks to a variety of vehicles especially the rickshaws. For us, being in a rickshaw going around the city was an unforgettable memory. The feeling of being in the middle of the busy street was so fantastic. As old as it is, Pune does not look like a 1600-year-old city. Everything turns out to be an active and developing area which is so interesting to discover. It was even much more exciting to go around the area with the help of rickshaw drivers. Language is not a barrier to us as local people speak English as well as Maharashtrian.
Rickshaw would be a unique symbol of mobility in India as it takes people to everywhere and is just as popular as the tuk-tuk of Thailand and the cyclos of Vietnam. We also felt young and active being in a city of so many education institutions which made the city “Oxford of the East”. So, except from hot weather, I would say it is worth visiting at least once.
Similar to the colors, music would be very significant in terms of representing the cultural impression of India. It started first from the moment we got on the flight. Then, first day on campus, we watched a practice of traditional dance which represents the area of Maharashtra. Music would be an interesting field from the perspective of representing the idea of a diverse country which is at the same time new and modern as well as traditional.
India, in general and Pune, in specific, is a dynamic place which is really interesting to explore and I would love to make the most of the course with all of the very kind local people and students here.