Upon returning to the U.S. there was an immediate desire to resume life as usual. I wanted to beat jet lag head on get back to my everyday social scene. India went from being an exhilarating experience to being something tainted by the tragic events that resulted in our early return. I found myself having to explain more about what happen with the bombings than my awesome cultural experience.
I quickly got back into the swing of things and forgot about anything India related, except these blogs of course, until we had the pleasure of meeting Marjorie and Fred Currey. By far the most interesting people I have ever met. The dedication to collecting such beautiful and meaningful art was inspiring. You can tell that it has taken a lifetime to acquire the collection they proudly own. Through their travels and education they have brought back pieces of the world to their home which is the most culturally rich environment I can imagine. What it must be like to wake up everyday and be reminded of all the differences in the world and how they should be appreciated. This is the feeling I left with from India. I appreciate my time there and what it has taught me about acceptance and diversity in culture at every level. Though the Currey’s clearly have a religious philosophy theme, there were many contradictory pieces that made me think about what it is to be a good ethnographer and observer. Hy Mariampolski says that “observation is the ultimate subjective experience: It is shaped by the observer’s own cognitive limitations, unacknowledged prejudices and preconceived categorization of reality.” Despite all of this we have to set aside our biases in order to fully receive the experiences that will ultimately broaden our perspectives. This entire experience has been amazing and I would not trade it for any more or any less. There is always something to be learned in any situation.