India is the world’s largest democracy and one of the world’s most populous countries. As the hotbed of the world religions Hinduism and Buddhism it is also a rapidly developing country. This mix makes for a bombardment of sensory impressions.
Together we will explore Indian culture and religion, try our hand at Indian cooking, try out the art of traditional Tamil dancing and get really close to the people of this colourful and contrasting country.
“India is not a country, it is a state of mind”
Rajo Rao, Indian writer
SPIRITUALITY, MYSTICISM AND TRADITION
We begin our journey in South India by exploring Tiruvannamalai, to which Indians and Westerners flock every year to meditate, practice yoga, visit the city’s famous Hindu temple and worship the holy mountain Shiva. One early morning we will go to the top of the holy mountain and watch the sunrise over the temple.
Tiruvannamalai is the ideal place to start if one wants to understand Indian culture and religion. We delve into Eastern spirituality, mysticism and tradition when we visit the ashram of late guru Ramana Maharishi and get an introduction to yoga, meditation and dialogue between religions. We will visit NGOs and locals who fight for the rights of women and the casteless, and we will stroll the markets in search of brightly coloured saris, jewellery, flashing God figures and drink a cup of Indian chai.
We will also pay a visit to one of the many boarding schools that were originally founded by Danish missionaries to offer schooling to casteless and orphaned children. Today the school is run by the local church to give the poorest children a chance for education. We will join the children in activities and playing games.
Next stop; the city of Pondicherry, a former French colony where French architectural style and baguettes mix with Indian temples and rice dishes. We will have time to explore a bit of the city and relax “Indian style” on the beach.
FROM RICE FIELDS TO SLUMS AND METROPOLITAN SKYLINES
From villages surrounded by rice fields, we set course for the slums and skyline of the million-dollar city of Chennai. We will talk to young Indian people about what it’s like to live in a country that is developing at record speed and at the same time has 300-400 million poor people. In collaboration with a local NGO, we visit one of Chennai’s slums and have a talk to casteless people about life on the fringes of society.
Amidst the noise and chaos of the city, we will blend in with the hectic crowds of people on the street and enjoy a chai at the local chai-walla or at a new hip coffee bar. Nowhere else in the world do they produce as many films as in India, so naturally we will also find time to enjoy the full Indian movie experience watching a Kollywood film at the cinema.
The India study tour is part of the spring semester 2024.
Price: DKK 11,000 / € 1479
The price includes travel tickets, accommodation and activities. Vaccinations, VISA and meals are not included in the price.
Travel costs on study tours abroad may increase
Silkeborg Højskole study tours are planned well ahead. However, in the current global economic climate price setting has proven difficult. Due to the uncertainty surrounding rising transport costs, some international study tours may suffer a price increase. We aim to adapt the total costs of the study tours to the changing circumstances and any price increase will be announced well in advance of departure.