6.25.2007

Today was the first day of classes for the Indian students on campus and I am already enamored with the student body. Get this: after eating dinner together in the cafeteria from around 8-9pm, they come out to the lawn and sit in little circles of either all girls or all boys ranging from 5 to 15 people. (Although I did see one suspected couple walking and talking…). In these circles, the girls often take turns singing songs in both Hindi and English ranging from quiet, traditional folk songs to dance songs such as “Let’s Party!” In addition to singing songs together in groups while sitting in the grass after both lunch and dinner, they also play little games such as spin the bottle – the games usually involve singing as well. Jessica and I were invited to join one group of 6 girls, which within a few minutes had grown to about 15. After it was my turn to sing a song (I sang part of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly me to the Moon”), they transitioned to a game which is basically the equivalent of duck-duck goose, except you don’t tap people on the head – instead the girls going around the outside has a little towel that she hides as she prances around and then drops behind someone and if the girl running around the circle makes it around the circle before the girl with the towel behind her notices, then the girl who didn’t notice has to go in the middle of the group and perform. I don’t know what all the options were but we saw two singing performances and Jessica gave a little dance performance – she was a big hit with some of her bangra moves! When the groups of girls get together they are the most bubbly, sweet, cute little groups you can imagine. I am very much looking forward to participating in more group singing and game-playing in the cool (~85-90F) of the night.

Incidentally, as more students arrive on campus it seems increasingly clear that boys and girls pretty much do not interact (other than having mixed classes). They live, eat, and apparently hang out separately. This concerns me slightly, because here I am working out at the same time as the business school guys two times a day: yoga at 6:30am and running and lifting at 6:30pm. Nevertheless, I think I will continue my current workout pattern, since it doesn't seem to bother anyone and I am having fun.

Oh also, today I finally saw the three peacocks that make such a racket in the tall grasses near the field where we run. (I may or may not have had to climb up onto a brick wall and then the roof of an abandoned building and then walk along the top of the brink wall to see them).

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