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NavdanyaMB
October 7, 2012

While staying at Navdanya, an organic farm near Dehradun, we spent time at local farms. This is a chicken farm we had the privilege of visiting. Despite its proximity to Navdanya, this farm is not part of the Navdanya team and is not certified organic. Chicken farming did not seem as pleasant as growing grain or flowers, but it has its perks. A chicken can be sold in a mere three months rather than the lengthier and varying period of crop turn over.

tags: Health, Environment, Food Security, Social Issues/Civil Society

location: Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

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October 7, 2012

On our walk through Sonapura, we ducked into a narrow alleyway predominantly inhabited by silk weavers. Through the windows we could see looms and those who worked at them as well as storehouses for the products that had been produced. The entire alleyway seemed to be dedicated to the work and home life of these people. (more...)

tags: Development, Neighborhood Development, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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October 7, 2012

The Taj Mahal was built by mogul emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1653. He built it as a tomb for his deceased wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj's pristine semetry was an innovative architectural concept in the mogul time period. These days, it is often described as the "jewel of India" and is said to represent passionate love and devotion. After Professor Kumar's description of Shah Jahan's playboy-like ways, I find myself questioning these sentiments. (more...)

tags: Mughal Empire, Historic Delhi, Delhi and Modernity

location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Dance Education in Banaras: Nirman's lecture room
October 7, 2012

I spent the first week of my research interviewing the Nirman staff about their experiences with dance in this room (normally more put together than the picture seen here). Many of the teachers had either taken or taught some type of class. It took me till my third interview to realize I was not looking in the right place - these people appreciated dance, but they didn't conceptualize it past enjoying the hobby it provided.

tags: Varanasi, Rituals, Culture and Religion, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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School for Soligas
October 7, 2012

These girls attend the elementary-turned upper level boarding school we visited in BR Hills that Dr. Sudarshan created. We sang our respective national anthems for each other, talked about what classes they like best (history was their current subject), and about their family lives.

tags: Education, Health, Environment, Development, Social Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Population Impact, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society

location: Mysore, Karnataka, India

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(Re)searching Dance Education in Banaras: Kathak Class at BHU
October 7, 2012

Kathak is one of India's eight traditional dance forms, originating in Uttar Pradesh (northern India). Like most forms of traditional dance, most Kathak dances tell a story. It is characterized by the rhythmic stomping of the feet on which chains of bells are wrapped. The sound created is very loud and quite entrancing. This experience was very helpful, I was able to watch part of a Kathak class. (more...)

tags: Theatre, Varanasi, Rituals, Culture and Religion, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Dance in Banaras: BHU's dance studios
October 7, 2012

The classrooms in BHU's dance program are wide, open rooms with clean, smooth floors and bright windows. Propped against the walls are large mirrors in which the students can practice, and pictures and explanations for India's eight classical dances sit atop those. This was the best day for my research - I met with two of BHU's three dance professors. I was very comfortable conducting my interviews here - this dance studio felt very much like the dance studios I have spent time in at home!

tags: Theatre, Varanasi, Rituals, Culture and Religion, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Dance in Banaras: BHU's curriculum
October 7, 2012

I found this schedule during my visit to BHU. The dance program has three teachers that, combined, instruct classes in six of India's traditional dance styles. The school does not focus on modern dance styles like Bollywood. This helped to secure my familiarity with Indian dance education - I had imagined it to be more mystic and all-consuming than it is at BHU. Students have regular class schedules that leave ample room for taking other, unrelated courses.

tags: Theatre, Varanasi, Rituals, Culture and Religion

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Dance in Banaras: BHU's dance program
October 7, 2012

Nirman school's music instructor introduced me to Vidhi Nagar and Hombalji, two of BHU's dance instructors. I discussed with them their histories and experiences with dance and their outlook on dance and dance education in the future. These were the most important conversations I had, previously I had doubted whether I would find what I was looking for - those who regard dance as an education in and of itself. (more...)

tags: Theatre, Varanasi, Rituals, Culture and Religion, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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