Unesco workshops in INDIA -Global Citizenship 1 , 2 & 3

Vikhe Patil School , December 2018

The first workshop that was set up in Vikhe Patil School in December was about Migrations. Mrs Deepti Prasad’s first reaction when we started talking about this project was to say that many Indian families had long standing experience of one or several relatives moving away from India to Europe, the USA, the Middle East ... most of the time for job opportunities. Our students would then be able to go beyond mainstream western media talk and exchange, perhaps understand better about the other end of migration routes …
Here are some of the notes they took as they were interviewing their partners :

Maela, Luna, Julien
Shaswah Rahna is 16, His parents came from South India, He was born in North India but they left for Pune in the center of India. His parents moved to different countries for their work as they are an engineer and a teacher. A big part of their family moved to some other places like his aunt who moved to the USA because of her job. Most people move and fly around the world to have a better job. As most teens would, Shaswah wants to move for his education, his future and his career. Students learn more and more English as a universal language because there are around 26 languages and 1200 dialects in India. As time goes by India keeps changing and people don’t want to settle down in India. They want to move more and more.
Yash Mhastar was born in California. His parents are Indian but they moved to the USA for 20 years because of his father’s job. After his birth, they came back to India. Also, his mum’s cousin moved to London for his job. He thinks that American culture is more casual than Indian culture. So, he wants to go out of India for education but they don’t want to leave now because it would contribute to the brain drain. For him it’s not really difficult to move around, because things are changing.

Naomie & Gwen
The first girl we met was born in South Korea and moved to India eight years ago with her parents. At first, they wanted to settle for only two years for “vacation” because they wanted to have a break from their life there, which was so hectic and busy they couldn’t enjoy their life properly. Because they were comfortable and she had friends in Pune, they decided to stay. When they first came they only spoke Korean, and did not speak a word of English and so in the beginning it was hard to communicate and adapt to Indian life. But after some time for her at least she learnt to speak English because she wanted to communicate with her classmates. Now she speaks English fluently and a few words of Marathi. She now goes back to Korea and her family every two years to meet their closest relatives. Her grandma came once to Pune to see them. Finally, contrary to what we can think, her family understood her parents’ desire to go to India and they were very encouraging. They’d even planned a party for their departure.

The second girl was also born abroad, but this time in the U.S. She stayed there for four years and then came back to India, in Pune, because her parents wanted her to have an Indian education as they themselves had had. So, she came to India with her mother only. Her father stayed in the US for three more years because of business. When she lived in the US she used to speak Hindi, Marathi, and another Indian language at home ; she learnt English by going to kindergarten. Now she can speak those four languages fluently and a little bit of Spanish. She went to several countries and has relatives in Singapore. After her graduation, she wants to go back to the US to study.

Lola & Mina
During our school trip in India, we interviewed, two Indian students about their origins to see if some of their family members had migrated away from their country.
In the families of the two Indian students it was every time an uncle of the family who left, both for the United States for different reasons. One of them had to go to the USA because his company was down, he left for his job, the second Indian student saw his uncle leave by personal choice, he didn’t like the living conditions in India so he decided to leave his country to go to the USA and find a better job. However, this uncle had a hard time starting his life in the USA, so he had to be a taxi driver in New York to be able to pay his bills.
We asked the two Indians what they thought about migration. They both said it was a good thing and they both want to move in the future to live like their uncles in the United States. For one this is going to be pretty simple because he was born in the United States, so he has an American passport.
They also spoke to us about the border dispute between China and India, which claims to be leaving India without any agreement and this creates tension.
"India does not accept migrants. The Indians absolutely want to keep their cultures, they do not have the habit of seeing strangers, they stay in their cocoons and it does not help the cultural mix. "One of the Indian students told us.

More to come soon ..

Vikhe Patil School , December 2018

Exchange between students from Vikhe Patil Memorial School in Pune, India and Le Likes in Quimper, France

During our visit to Vikhe Patil Memorial School, French and Indian students participated in a workshop to discuss preconceived notions about each other’s cultures, and more specifically about women. The workshop took place in the second week of our two-week visit to Pune, India. Many students had already experienced moments where stereotypes of each culture had been either reinforced or challenged. Our goal in guiding a more formal discussion on the topic was to encourage them to put into words what they had observed and how they were feeling in order to take another step towards tolerance and understanding. It was our hope that these discussions would continue more freely outside the classroom.

In groups of seven students, five Indian and two French, they answered questions about stereotypes and impressions. Stereotypes about French people or Europeans that came out included the idea that they drink wine and eat cheese frequently, that their food is bland, they smoke, don’t bathe regularly, waste food, don’t like to work, and have less rigid rules. Generalizations about Indians that were discussed were that they eat very spicy food, they don’t drink alcohol, they are calm and religious or orthodox, and that Indian men are dangerous. Some Indian students thought people from other countries considered them ‘uncivilized.’ The idea that Indians were ‘poor’ or that that was a lot of poverty were cited by most of the groups. French students also made generalized observations from their visit ; that there was a lot of trash and pollution, women don’t have equal power to men, there are a lot of stray dogs, and that traditional dresses (which many of the French students were wearing that day) were heavy and uncomfortable.
Few of the students expressed the feeling that these stereotypes were offensive or harmful. The French considered, for example, that it was offensive to believe they could drink alcohol at a young age, or that they didn’t like to work. The Indians only cited the idea that they might be considered uncivilized.
One interesting point that came out was that students of both countries described thinking initially that the other students were ‘softspoken’, not friendly, not open to interaction. They followed up in all cases by saying that these initial impressions were proven false, but that everyone had needed a couple of days to get used to each other.
We also asked the students to describe a “liberated” woman in each of their countries.

In India, a “liberated” woman was described as someone who can wear what she wants to, work independently, stay out after dark, say what’s on her mind without having to think about the consequences. In France she could live alone or have a live-in relationship, do what she wants, get an abortion, get divorced, have a child outside of marriage, work independently and play an important role in business or politics. One group observed that as women have the same rights as men, they should all be considered liberated.
Jennifer Sanquer Mason

Vikhe Patil School , December 2018

Mrs Madhura runs art sessions that appeared to us very much connected with traditional forms of arts , perhaps a way to preserve patrimony and learn to be creative at the same time . She invited our French students to take their first steps into block-printing, dying cloth, pattern drawing ... and would love to exchange more practice with our Arts teachers in Le Likès ...

Publié le : samedi 6 janvier 2018

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