entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

Living the Life

Weeks go by fast here at the University of Hyderabad! I definitely dig this four day week/three day weekend schedule. With classes beginning at NWU this week, I have missed the Nebraska campus and my sisters at Alpha Gam, but not so much the cold weather. 🙂

Classes are finally beginning to roll. In Kuchipudi Dance class we are learning “sets” of dance movement. It has been really basic so far, but it is the foundational movement. Each class begins with a prayer to Shiva, the Lord of dance. Our professor, Aruna, will sing a phrase of the chant and we repeat it back. We sound completely ridiculous since we have no idea what the Sanskrit words are but it is neat to have that kind of ritual behind the dance. Then we move on to our warm up sequences. It is basically like doing plies in ballet. However, in Kuchipudi you have five speeds of movement. Aruna beats a wooden block to keep the beat moving faster and faster. How exhilarating! I have not been in a formal dance class in since high school. Next we move on to a similar sequence where we kick our butt with one foot and then plie. We have also learned how to move forward, backward, and side to side. I am excited to learn more of the hand gestures next! They are so expressive! In the meantime, we are also learning about the origins of Kuchipudi dance during each class period.

Last week in my Film & Literature class we watched Slumdog Millionaire after reading Q&A, the movie it was based off of. This week we began discussing the two in comparison, however, our classtime keeps getting interrupted! On Monday, we were cut off halfway through the period to attend a lecture from a poet on campus. Today we didn’t even start class, we were just ushered into the lecture all for another conference. Our teacher, Sirisha is very frustrated and I am too! I am ready to start discussing and interacting with my classmates. Better luck next week….

In the meantime, there is an International Film Festival taking place on campus! There is a movie showing almost every Tuesday and Thursday in the Humanities Department! The first film on Tuesday was a french film, La Doublure. I arrived just before 5pm for the start of the movie. Ten minutes later, a professor finally made some opening remarks and then introduced the Dean of the department. I have realized that introductions are very important here. Every lecture or event is opened by a presiding professor who introduced the Dean of the particular department. The Dean of Humanities is full of smiles and full of words. Ten minutes later, speeches were done and I was ready to get the movie rolling. But the Dean continued, “So, without further ado, I invite you for tea in the lobby and we will start the film shortly.” Haha- I should have known! We all made our way into the hallway where tea and biscuits were being served. In chatting with some other students they asked me why I wasn’t drinking tea. I explained that I had some at Tagore before I arrived and they responded, “You must learn to take tea and biscuits whenever they are offered because you never know when the event will be over!” Ha- that’s India for ya! Anyway, I was a great movie–romantic comedy.

Today, the movie was a Japanese thriller called Death Note. It was rather interesting; a student finds a book called “Death Note” that the Reaper dropped. When the name of a person is written in the book, they will die within 40 seconds. It turns out that the storyline is based on Japanese anime comic books. There was no tea time before the movie this time, but instead the movie was stopped halfway through, in the middle of the action, for teatime. 🙂

It should be another relaxing weekend. There are lots of International Students out of town so it is nice and quiet. I have my first test in Hindi on Monday so I have some studying to do!



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