March 15th , 2011
How are you doing at home? Is it a lot of school work? I miss school a bit, but I’m doing very well here in India, on me and my family’s long vacation. Unfortunately, I’ve got a bunch of homework from the teachers, but I do them when I’m travelling. Flying across India can be hard, especially with the heat on the airports, and all the screaming children for seven hours.
We’re staying in Calcutta now, on the east coast, after being in Mumbai for a week. Mumbai was alright, we visited one of the greatest film studios in Bollywood, which was really interesting. Did you know that Bollywood makes twice as much movies a year than Hollywood? Well, it wasn’t that much we wanted to see in Mumbai except for a few attractions, so we just stayed in the hotel for the rest of the time, bathing and relaxing.
The weather here in Calcutta is fantastic, although the sun can be really burning some times, especially in the spring time. It’s much warmer here than in Norway, but I guess you’re not surprised. The hotel here is called ‘’The jewel of India’’, and it really is. It has a white facade, with oriental patterns all over it. The hotel is full of great facilities, such as a cinema, a little shopping center, three large pools, five restaurants and a nightclub. I’m waking up every morning to a delicious breakfast, consisting of Indian food, and the hotel organizes an excursion every day, to different tourist attractions. Yesterday, we rode elephant’s through the forests, and it was so amazing! It was a bit scary, since the elephant’s were so big and bumpy, but I guess I was just a little overwhelmed. Neither mom nor dad complained, but by the look on their faces, they didn’t enjoy it.
Today, we’re not going to any excursion, but I’m going to visit the marked down the street, and I’ll continue with the letter when I get back.
We just came back from the marked, which was huge! All the way down the street, small red tents were stuck in between each other, selling meat, groceries, food, jewelry and spices. And since the cows are holy here in India, I saw two or three of them walking down the streets. One of them was painted entirely blue, with golden patterns on the back. Anyway, I bought very much, and my entire room smells of Curry right now. I even bought something for you, but you’ll have to wait until I come home. It was really nice, so just look forward to it! On the market, they very also selling coloring powder, since the Holi festival soon will be celebrated. The Hindu’s celebrating it by throwing color and painting on each other. I don’t quite know why they’re celebrating it, but I think I will learn more when it starts.
At the time, we‘ll be in New Delhi, and we’re going to celebrate it, even though neither one of us are Hindus. You see, under the festival, there is no difference between the upper class and the lower class. That’s another thing I want to tell you about.
You see, the people in India are something for themselves. The Hindus are peaceful and friendly to each other, but unfortunately, they have class distinction between them. For example, when I was at the market, there was an old, little man who was lying on the ground, unable to get up. He was clearly from a low class, and if you helped him up, you would become ‘’dirty’’. I did eventually help him up, since I felt so bad about him, but you should have seen the looks people gave me, as is it was weird to be polite.
Tomorrow, we’re visiting a big, beautiful Hindu temple a few kilometers from here. I can’t recall the name, it was very Indian and hard to pronounce, but I’m really looking forward to it. I saw the temple from the outside when I arrived, and it was absolutely gorgeous, with a high tower covered in stone figures, and the entire temple looked like it was painted in gold. Since we’ve learned about Hinduism at school, it will be interesting to learn even more about all the Gods and the rituals.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. Earlier this week, went to a museum about Indian culture. They had a section about Mahatma Gandhi, and we visited it. I usually love visiting museums, but I have to say, it was quite disappointing. It was just a small section, and I knew nearly anything that stood there. I mean, you know Gandhi, right? He was the leading cause of India’s independence, but unfortunately, he never won the Nobel Peace Price.
We’re going to New Delhi, the capital of India, on Saturday. Then, my vacation is over, but I’m looking forward to come home. It’s been amazing so far, learning a lot about new cultures, and tasting all the delicious Indian food. My new favorite dish is definitely Chicken Tikka Masala, we can eat it together when I get back. Daddy loved being here, since he loves spicy food, but mom is no big fan yet.
My hand really hurts from all the writing, so I think I’m going to stop here, unless I want to ruin my fingers. You’ll get the rest of the story when I’m back; I have so much to tell you about. I took a bunch of pictures, so I can show you what it looks like here. You should visit India yourself, you would really love it.