Rena is a U of M pre-med student in the Global Future Physician course, who recently traveled to India as part of a 3-week experience. Below is a reflection on her experience.
Agriculture originated in the Indus River Valley around 10,000 BC. Although agriculture has changed extremely in the past 12,014 years, it is clearly still an enormous part of India today. This picture was taken at the Devaraja Market in Mysore, India. Typically, the market is filled with people standing shoulder to shoulder with one another, but Sundays are a different story. Fragrant herbs fill your nose as you step into the market and vegetation of every color on the spectrum is scattered around the market itself. When you stop and ponder at a foreign vegetable, market goers don't hesitate to introduce themselves and the vegetable at hand.
This photo doesn't just represent the image of a typical market in India, but it also illustrates and highlights many aspects of Indian culture itself. As this picture was taken, it appeared to be a typical day here at the market. However, about 30 seconds after this photo was taken, many of the people in this photo approached us and tried their best to not only sell their products but also to introduce various indigenous greens of Mysore. During the entire duration there, it became clear to me that it is not taboo in Indian culture to reach out and converse with a stranger who is clearly visiting India. Everywhere we went, friendly faces approached us, and we learned more about various landmarks, groceries, and history than we could from any textbook in the world.
The trip to Devaraja Market marked one of the most significant trips because it was a clear window to the typical lives of the inhabitants of Mysore. Markets in Mysore are completely different from supermarkets in the US. Although those who visit the market are there to purchase groceries, they take the time to get to know the other people at the market as well as the sellers themselves. Because this trip occurred on the first Sunday that we were in Mysore, it really gave me great insight on what to expect for the rest of the trip. Being from America, I developed a social barrier where it was almost strange when people approached me. However, this trip taught me that Indian culture is extremely different from American culture in many ways and also foreshadowed that I would meet many unforgettable people throughout the duration of my trip.
- Rena, U of M Pre-Med Student