Teaching In India

Teaching In India

The following Blog has been written by Lucy Sosa an Art Educator and Nature Lover. Lucy was recently appointed to Lancers International School, Gurgaon as an IB Arts teacher.

What to say about living and working in India? It would be accurate to refer to the word diversity. Its content and meaning may be well experienced in this big and ancient country. I arrived in Delhi about a year ago. My destination was a boarding school in the mountains on West Bengal State, a town called Kalimpong. It's located very close to Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet itself. The foothills of the Himalayas. A lot of people say it's a different India. This is accurate but I soon learned, after spending time in Delhi and other areas of North India, that “different” would not be exclusive to this area.

South America, where I grew up, East Africa, North America and Europe seemed pretty socially homogeneous to me. India is different in this sense. 

Trying to organize in my mind all the different Gods they worship, the different food they eat, the traditions they have, made my mind spin. The celebration of life as well as death is expressed through many festivals and holidays which are intertwined with ancient spirituality, modern professional competition, family values, love for money, high excellence standards, vegetarianism, cleanliness, dirtiness, patriotism, status quo, poverty, richness, rudeness, kindness.

How can so many different factors interact so vividly and yet daily life function so well? This aspect is the pearl that comes out of my experience from working and living in India. Car traffic flow may well represent this dynamic. Motorcycles, cars, Tuk tuks, bicycles and even cows circulate in what to me and many westerners would simply be total chaos. But contrary to what one would predict, no accidents happen. How to explain this? Some people call it organized chaos, other friends call it the matrix and I found my own way of naming it…synchronized chaos.
The answer to why I could not figure India out came from an intellectual local in Kalimpong with a lucid mind and lots of experience, named Karma.  He explained to me the following:  India is like a group of small different countries put together by the British. Every state is like a different country, including sometimes language, ways of cooking, family traditions, etc. Going from one state to another is a new experience every time.  

This peculiarity can well be explored by everyone because of the low cost of living and travelling, which allows you with an International teacher salary to have a high standard of living in India. There are abundant historical and spectacular sites like Taj Mahal, innumerable forts full of history, the tallest brick minaret in the world, national parks and safaris, many powerful spiritual places like Bodhgaya, amazing cities and more. All these are within reach because trains, airplanes and buses are accessible and very reliable if you choose wisely. People are helpful and tourism is supported by the government. 

Lastly, if you choose to come to India I would say get ready to become more flexible, to let go, to eat spicy food, chicken and mutton but never cows…not even in McDonalds or Burger King. Get ready to travel and learn through immersion about world history, ancestral cultural expressions and at the same time see cows sitting relaxed on a main road under a light pole like if under the shade of leafy Acacia tree. But mainly, get ready to know and experience the true meaning of diversity in such an exciting way, which will blow you away.