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Tarun Kukreja: Student Report from 2018 Alternative Summer Break to India

The summer trip to India is one that I will likely never forget.  For me personally, India is no strange new world. India is the country half of my family is from, the origin of all my favorite foods, and the place where I was born.  I’ve gone to India more times than I can remember and I’ve even traveled throughout most of the subcontinent.  But despite all my knowledge and experiences that I have had in India I still ended up learning things I never knew before and experiencing things I’ve never even heard of before.  That is because India is such a diverse nation filled with so many different cultures and norms.

In India, just going from one state to another can seem like going to a completely different world. For instance, my family are Sindhis which means our culture and language comes from the state of Sindh which is in present-day Pakistan, but my family is currently located in the state Maharashtra in the city of Mumbai and people from this state are Marathis and speak the Marathi language.  However, the states in which this trip took place are the southern states of Tamilnadu and Karnataka and languages and cultures there are Tamil and Karnataka, respectively.

Every state in India has its own distinct culture, and even then, there are subcultures in the states as well.  Just by driving a few hours down the road you will find a different style of food, clothing, or architecture. It is for this reason why India is such a wonderful place to me. Despite the sometimes near unbearable heat and noise when in the city, India is a place I am proud to have as a second home.  It is a place like no other in the world and will always continue to surprise me with its ever so varied culture.