Summer Adventure in India

Photos & Text by Taylor Erdman

Americans live in a bubble. It’s a land where freedom of speech and equality are taken for granted.  The American dream says we can make ourselves into anything — we can have big homes, a decent job and even take off working hours for a day at the beach.

These are First World problems.

In India, a Third World country, water is manually pumped into houses (if they can afford it), there is no air conditioning and rolling blackouts occur frequently. Walking down unkempt, pothole-ridden dirt roads, mounds of waste are everywhere due to a lack of adequate disposal systems. Families live in tent houses and packs of starving wild dogs roam the streets.

Outside the city is a different story. With miles of lush green forests and streets that twist around mountains, crowned with temples that worship the God Shiva, getting there can be more dangerous than the serene surroundings would suggest. In India, no one seems to obey traffic laws, so being cautious could result in traffic backups and possible crashes.

What Indians lack in material wealth, they make up for in the worship of their gods. Religion is important in Indian society, but not all follow Hinduism. Though not as common as Hindu temples, some of the most beautiful Christian churches can be found in the City of Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore. Christian churches often are treated with as much respect as Hindu temples. Perhaps modern America could learn something about tolerance from our overseas neighbors?