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Peddie India Trip 2017

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Katherine Thomsson'18

Katherine Thomsson'18

Katherine Thomsson'18

Alan Wang'19, Features Section Editor

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This past spring break, several Peddie Falcons traveled to Southern India as a part of an interdisciplinary Asian Studies experience trip. Students were able to combine studies by learning about Indian art, architecture, history, and religion, all while enjoying the vibrant culture and cuisine.

Students were able to experience a wide range of destinations and cultures, including the Dharavi slum, which is home to almost 1 million people. Although the slum seemed like it would have lots of poverty, the group took a tour of the area and saw unexpected economies flourishing inside, such as the baking industry. In addition to the cultural experiences, educational opportunities were abound. One of the popular outings was to the Meenakshi Temple, a stunning collection of 100 foot tall structures located in Madurai. Students studied the range of Indian religions and how they connected with the history behind the architecture and construction of the temple. But they weren’t just limited to strictly educational activities either. “We always make our trips a mix of activities, so that there’s something for everybody. We went hiking, we studied temple elephants, and enjoyed the local cuisine,” said history teacher Brad Nicholson, who leads the Asian Studies trips.

The trip also exposed students to a wide disparity between cultures and privileges. “My favorite moment was one that not everyone got to experience. We were on the bus driving from Mumbai to Madurai, and almost everyone was asleep. We pulled over on the side of the road to see mud bricks being made. While that was unique and interesting to see, there were a couple children looking at us and whispering. Their older brother used his fingers to mimic writing in the air, and we all dug out as many pens as we could find in our bags, and gave them all to the children. They were all so excited and giddy after we gave them cheap ballpoint pens, and I think that it was not only heartwarming to see children so happy but it was also eye-opening,” said Olivia Lee ’18.

For those that missed out on this trip, it will not be the last one that Peddie falcons will be able to embark on. “This was a South India trip, and the last India trip was a North India trip. We try to alternate between North and South India every two years, so that in a four-year cycle, you’ll have the opportunity to travel to both areas in your Peddie career. We actually are going to switch to North India two years later, which is where we met the Dalai Lama last time,” said Mr. Nicholson. In between India trips, the school offers a trip to Asia during spring break for all students, not just those involved in the Asian studies program.

 

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Peddie India Trip 2017