Feb 14 2010

Valentines day in Bangalore, India, and I have not even stepped outside this apartment. I have been at Swati’s for the last 24 hours mostly doing work, attempting to take a break from work, and drinking orange juice. The apartment is incredible, compared to our  purple home. Each girl has her own room, windows, and bathroom and they share a big living space and kitchen. There are two balconies, a pool, a small grocery store from which you can order things to your door, and independence. I think I will be spending a lot of time over here… as long as the welcome remains open.

The last two days have been low key. There has been lots of talk over the state bandh and valentine’s day. I was told a lot of stories about last year and how the faculty and students went out to the city dressed up in celebration of the day to protest…the protest… of sorts.

I have been staring at a computer now, for more than 12 hours, and have many more to go. It is nice to work around other visual communication students, however, because they have just as much work as I do. We woke up to chai with lemon grass-which was incredible. Swati made eggs-which were up to the chai standard, and we continued to work. I spent a long time just trying to preview the changes I had made. We watched the time speed up, and looked at each other at 4 wondering what had happened. The sky, showcasing the sun, was soon enveloped with darkness, and everyone in the apartment suffered a tremendous increase in levels of stress.

We ate and worked through the night, and fell directly to sleep.

February 15, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Feb 13, 2010

Woke up early this morning in attempts to continue work on the postcards I have due today and was pleasantly surprised by a text message declaring that school had been cancelled due to a “state bandh”. I showed this to emma, and neither of us had any idea of what that meant. We logged onto google to find out more. Turns out, there is a group in India that is very much against Valentines day, and thus everything is closed.

Still curious, I went to the mess to find out more. My understanding is that this group is attempting to preserve their culture and therefor strongly discourage the celebration of this Western holiday? All day I have been hearing and reading stories about (today and or in the past) busses and cars set on fire and stoned, couples threatened to be married on the spot if spotted together in public, groups barging into pubs and beating people up, etc. When I asked if I could go to the city, I was told that it might be alright as long as I remain distanced from any guys and if I see saffron, to turn around and walk the other way… I stayed in Yelahanka.

In the News

I kept reading…

“Since all these fads are against Indian culture, we will see to it that no courting couples or lovers make a mockery of our native ethos and celebrate the Valentine’s Day. We will not hesitate to ascertain their whereabouts and summon their parents for a proper treatment of such lovebirds,” Sampath added.

Meanwhile, activists of Sanskriti Bacahao Manch (Save Our Culture) another forum in Bhopal worshipped sticks with which they are planning to beat up the couples, if they are found courting.

“The youth should banish the western culture from our country on this Valentine’s Day. They can choose some other day from the whole year to express their love, but not Valentine’s Day. Despite our efforts, if the youth does not listen, then we have performed this ritual of worshipping the sticks and gathered our whole group,” noted Chandrashekhar Tiwari of Sanskriti Bacahao Manch. (ANI)

-Newstrack, India

Another article titled “Tamil Nadu-based Hindu outfit burns Valentine’s day greeting cards” reads:

Coimbatore: A Tamil Nadu-based Hindu outfit today burnt a few Valentine’s day greeting cards here, to mark its protest against celebrating the day falling on February 14, in the State.

Eight workers of Hindu Makkal Katchi including its general secretary, Arjun Sampath, brought the greeting cards near the District collectorate and burnt them.

Sampath told reporters that government should not allow Valentine’s day celebrations to be held in Hotels and Clubs and public places. Such celebrations promote Western culture in Indian minds,he added.

No class, and no more plans to go into the city today and tomorrow for my photo essay, which is extremely disappointing. I spent the day cleaning and doing work on and off. Mimansa, Shreya, and a friend went out to eat at a place called Traffic Jam. 50 rupees for us all to eat.

I have been working on after effects. First of all, learning how to use the program, and then making three ten second videos for my interactive type design class. Unfortunately, my computer does not handle the program well, and so attempting to do anything within the program or while it’s open-is extremely slow. This is also due to the glows and particles in the scenes.

At a standstill, and unable to produce anything I was pleased with for my screen printing assignment, I left the house and ventured on to Swati, Laura, and Saema’s apartment. It was beautiful…

February 15, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.