U.S. Department of Education funded Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program Math and Science Teaching and Student Achievement Pre-departure orientation in United States: July 1-2, 2008 Program in India: July 4-August 8, 2008
Fulbright to India Orientation Handbook
United States Educational Foundation in India Fulbright House, 12 Hailey Road, New Delhi, India Phone: +91-11-42090909; Fax: +91-11-23329718 Website: www.fulbright-india.org
May 14, 2008 Dear Fulbright-Hays participant, On behalf of United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), I congratulate you on your selection to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program to India. I am sure this visit will be personally enriching and academically beneficial for you. This program will provide you an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of India. More specifically, you will learn about the school-level education system in India and will observe the process of curriculum development, its implementation in the classroom and training of teachers in mathematics and science. The focus on mathematics and science teaching will be interspersed with the broader understanding of India’s history, culture and society. A special feature of this program is that each of you will be paired with an Indian school teacher to collaborate on the development of your curriculum project. Your program in India will consist of two phases. During the first phase of the academic program in Delhi, the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, New Delhi, your formal affiliating institution, is arranging lectures, interviews, and discussions with prominent scholars on different educational topics using a multidisciplinary approach. The second phase of the program will take you to Kolkata (Calcutta), Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Agra, where you will be interacting with state level officials and visiting schools and teacher training institutions. You will also visit places of historical and cultural interest in each city. USEFI has its headquarters in New Delhi and regional offices in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. U.S. Fulbright Program staff in Delhi - Dr. Girish Kaul, Ms. Varrtika Tarun Mudaliar, and Ms. S.K. Bharathi – with support from different sections in USEFI-Delhi and regional offices, have been instrumental in planning your schedule and logistics. USEFI staff, in rotation, will join you for portions of your travels, and a representative of the travel agency will accompany the group throughout to assist you with logistical issues. The South Asia Institute at the University of Texas, Austin is putting together an exciting pre-departure orientation program for you on July 1-2. Dr. Girish Kaul from USEFI will meet you in Austin. Please read this handbook carefully as I am sure it will answer many of your queries and curiosities. However, please feel free to contact Dr. Kaul if you have any further questions or concerns. I look forward to welcoming you in India on July 4! Best wishes as you prepare for your journey. Adam J. Grotsky Executive Director U.S. Educational Foundation in India
Contents SECTION I THE FULBRIGHT EXCHANGE NETWORK 1.1 Introduction to the Fulbright Program 1.2 Status of U.S. Grantees in India 1.3 Networking Opportunities for Fulbrighters SECTION II BEFORE YOU GO… 2.1 Pre Departure Preparations 2.2 Checklist of Things to Do before Traveling for Pre-Departure Orientation and India SECTION III ARRIVAL IN INDIA 3.1 The Day of Arrival 3.2 Customs Clearance at Indian Airports 3.3 Foreign Exchange 3.4 Culture Shock 3.5 Jet Lag 3.6 Settling Down SECTION IV THE PROGRAM IN INDIA 4.1 Program Schedule 4.2 Accommodation and Meals 4.3 Your Travel within India 4.4 Managing the Group 4.5 Shopping 4.6 Writing Your Journal SECTION V GENERAL INFORMATION ON INDIA 5.1 Physical Features 5.2 Climate 5.3 People 5.4 Government 5.5 Money 5.6 Indian School System 5.7 Glossary of Education Terms 5.8 Communication 5.9 Traveling in India 4 5 5 6 9 11 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 15 15 15 16 16 17 18 18 18 20 20 21
SECTION VI CULTURAL CUES AND CLUES FOR THE AMERICAN IN INDIA 6.1 Cultural Learning 23 6.2 Your role as a Cultural Ambassador 23 6.3 Customs and Etiquette 24 6.4 Purity and Pollution 24 6.5 Women in India 25 6.6 Friendship and Hospitality 26 6.7 Respect and Status 28 6.8 Communication 28 6.9 Sightseeing and Shopping 30 SECTION VII WHEN YOU RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES 7.1 USEFI Report 7.2 Curriculum Project 32 32
SECTION I THE FULBRIGHT EXCHANGE NETWORK 1.1 Introduction to the Fulbright Program
The purpose of the Fulbright program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. This section orients the reader on the organizations which play an active role in Fulbright grants to India. The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), <www.fulbright-india.org>, administers the Fulbright Program in India. USEFI was established by an Indo-U.S. agreement on educational exchange in 1950 and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five Americans appointed by the Ambassador of the United States in India and five Indians appointed by the Government of India. USEFI provides grants for both U.S. and Indian citizens, conducts seminars involving Fulbrighters, and advises Indian students about U.S. higher education and U.S. students about study in India. USEFI receives most of its funding from an annual allocation authorized by the U.S. Congress. USEFI is not a part of the U.S. Embassy or of the Indian Government. Neither the USEFI staff nor its grantees enjoy any diplomatic status or immunity. USEFI collaborates with the following agencies on administration of Fulbright grants: J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB): Located in Washington, D.C., the FFSB was established under legislation introduced in 1946 by former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. It consists of 12 members drawn from academic and public life in the U.S. and appointed by the President of the United States of America. The FFSB sets policies and procedures for the Fulbright academic exchange program and the policies can be viewed at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/fulbright/ffsb/policies/. It has final responsibility for approving the U.S. and foreign individual scholars and educational institutions that will receive the Fulbright grants. U.S. Department of Education (USDE), www.ed.gov, in Washington, D.C., provides USEFI a grant to administer the Seminar Abroad Program for participants chosen by USDE. The Department also funds other group programs in India for university faculty, and individual grants for Faculty Research Abroad Scholars and Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Scholars. Scholars apply through their universities for these awards. U.S. Department of State (DOS), www.exchanges.state.gov, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Fulbright Program for the Near East, Central and South Asia, Washington, D.C., provides the bulk of USEFI’s annual funding. Most Fulbright grants are administered by USEFI in India and by the Institute of International Education and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars in the U.S. Institute of International Education (IIE), www.iie.org, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, administers grants for U.S. graduates and doctoral students, and for Indian students and professionals. Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), www.cies.org, 3007 Tilden Street, N.W., Suite 5L, Washington, D.C. 20008-3009, administers grants for U.S. Visiting Lecturers, Post-Doctoral Research Scholars, Middle East North Africa Central and South Asia Regional Research Scholar grants, and environmentalists. CIES also administers grants for senior Indian scholars and professionals.
Status of U.S. Grantees in India
A U.S. scholar receiving a grant from USEFI has the obligation to accomplish the purpose stated in the grant document according to his/her best understanding and judgment. The scholar enjoys at all times freedom of thought and action in keeping with the ethics of his/her profession and as circumscribed by the laws of the United States and of India. U.S. Fulbright scholars are private citizens and enjoy no diplomatic immunity in India. All legal requirements, including those governing entry, residence and taxation, must be followed. 1.3 a. Networking Opportunities for Fulbrighters U.S. Fulbright Alumni: U.S. scholars who have been to India in the recent past can be excellent sources of information and advice about living, teaching and conducting research in India. USEFI can put you in touch with Fulbright-Hays alumni who are in your field and/or geographic area. Friends of Fulbright to India, Inc. (FFI), an alumni group in the U.S., maintains a listserv of its members. For more details on FFI activities, please visit http://www.fulbrightindiaalumni.org and also see Annexure V. b. Fulbright Association: The Fulbright Association is a private, non-profit organization that supports and promotes the Fulbright Program. For information on membership in the Fulbright Association, visit www.fulbright.org/membership. Indian Alumni Associations: There are 16 associations of Indian Fulbright alumni across India. The associations are eager to meet you and prepared to help with questions in their areas. Fulbright Commissions in Other South Asian Countries: Another network is Fulbright Commissions in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Fulbright work in Bangladesh is looked after by the U.S. Embassy. For more details on these commissions, please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/education/fulbright/commiss.htm.
SECTION II BEFORE YOU GO... Embarking on a journey to a foreign land for five weeks requires careful planning and packing. Here is what we suggest, you may decide to add or modify a few things based upon individual requirements: 2.1 Pre-Departure Preparations
Your best resource before you depart is a former participant. A list of previous years’ Fulbright-Hays participants is being provided to you separately. You may like to give a call to some of them. A. Passports and Visas
Your passport should be valid at least six months beyond your return date to the United States. Photocopy the information page of your passport and carry it with you in a place other than your passport. If you should lose your passport, this photocopy facilitates obtaining a replacement. For obtaining Indian visa for the visit, follow the procedure that USEFI had sent you. You are individually responsible for obtaining the necessary conference visa. B. Plane Tickets and Luggage Requirements
You will be provided with an e-ticket by USEFI from your home town to Austin, to India, and back to your home town. Any increase in the cost due to deviation in route has to be borne by you. You will be flying on a U.S. airline to and from India. This ticket cannot be transferred to another airline. U. S. government regulations require that all participants travel on a U.S. airline as long as there is a U.S. carrier serving the city to which you travel. In addition, the U.S. government places other restrictions on your international travel. You will be limited to two pieces of checked luggage and one carry-on bag. These limits are strict and USEFI cannot assist you with exceptions. Additionally, you will note later on that we suggest you taking only one piece of luggage around India and bringing an empty collapsible bag to carry things that you purchase in India. All luggage should have identification inside and outside that gives your home address and the USEFI address in New Delhi. This identification should be kept there during your travels within India as well as for your international flights. One last note - all participants are responsible for the safe custody of their international tickets, passports and other important documents. C. Health Information
Well before your departure, inform yourself about health issues and precautionary measures, as some immunizations require a series of doses over several months. Visit the U.S. Center for Disease Control website www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm. Other useful websites: www.usembassy.state.gov/mumbai/acs.htm#medical www.usembassy.state.gov/chennai/acs.htm#medical www.travel.state.gov/acs.htm#medical Other informal sources include travel guide books such as Lonely Planet or Footprints. Former Fulbrighters can also provide valuable information on “what people really do.” You may also find the following information useful.
U.S. Embassy’s Health Advice for Short Term Visitor Food: Visitors to India are at a high risk for gastrointestinal illnesses, especially “Delhi Belly.” Careful attention to your choices of food and beverage can help reduce the risks, as does hand washing prior to meals. It does not matter how fancy the restaurant or hotel may be, these are the guidelines: When eating out you should avoid all raw fruits and vegetables, including salads. If the item is one that you can peel yourself, it may be safe, if the peel is intact and washed prior to peeling. Meats, vegetables, starches, should be well cooked and served steaming hot. Bread is usually safe. Beware of food sitting out, especially in buffets. Seafood can be problematic, even if well-cooked. Mayonnaise is too perishable. Foods, such as dairy products that should be eaten cold, should be served chilled. Dairy products should come from a package that shows they have been pasteurized. Fresh fruit juices are trouble unless you know they have been pasteurized (usually from a box). If you scrub your raw fruits & vegetables with dish soap and then soak them in a solution of 1-2 tablespoons bleach per gallon water for 20 minutes, and then rinse them with drinkable water, they should be safe. Safe Beverages: Boiling water for 1 minute makes it safe, so coffee & tea may be presumed safe. Carbonated beverages, beer, and wine are also safe. Bottled water, with the cap sealed is usually safe. The Indian Catch, Kinley (Coke), and Aquafina (Pepsi) bottled waters are certified safe by the NSF organization or US Military. Bottled waters from other high profile companies are usually safe but may be contaminated with pesticides. Iodine tablets for water purification should not be used for more than a few weeks. ICE: forget about it unless you make it yourself from safe water, no matter how fancy the venue. Likewise, forget about popsicles. Ice cream from a closed package, from a major dairy, is most likely pasteurized and therefore safe. By getting it in a closed package (eg. on a stick) you will decrease the possibility of contamination during scooping, and you will better be able to confirm by texture that it has not previously melted. As for the yummy lassi, it may contain ice (just say no). If You Get Diarrhea: Most diarrhea, even from bacteria, will go away on its own in 3-5 days. Usually, letting the diarrhea run its course, especially for the first 24 hours is the best plan. However, if you have meetings, flights, or long drives, you may have to take Immodium. But it’s best to hold off on immodium as it will can diarrhea unless you are on antibiotics. The sooner you start on Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), the better. Go slowly; one sip every few minutes works best. If you are unable to keep down fluids, have a high fever, dizziness, or diarrhea that has persisted for more than a few days, please contact the Health Unit. We will have you collect stool specimens, as the specific treatment for diarrhea will depend on identifying its cause: GI irritation, viruses, bacteria and various parasites. Automobile and Pedestrian Safety: Stay alert crossing streets and intersections, especially at night. Cars often do not stop at red lights. Wear seatbelts in the front and back of your car. Insist that your driver maintain a safe speed. Mosquito Born Illnesses: All persons travelling in India, even for a brief visit, are at some risk from the mosquito born illnesses of Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya. Japanese Encephalitis is not common unless you are in a rural area for a prolonged period of time. One should prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellents with DEET 30% or more concentration on exposed skin. Long sleeves, long slacks, and keeping doors and windows closed will help. Prophylactic malaria medication is advised if visiting a high risk area. Consult with the Medical Office for medications. Dengue Fever tends to be seasonal, coinciding with the wet warm weather (August to November for Delhi). There is no medication for Dengue; mosquito avoidance is paramount. Recommended Immunizations: Tetanus/Diptheria in the last 10 years. One dose of polio vaccine as an adult. Oral Typhoid in the last 5 years, or the TyphimVi shot in the last 2 years. Hepatitis B- completed series of 3. Hepatitis A -completed series of 2, or 1 dose in the past year. Consider the Rabies pre-exposure series of 3 immunizations if you will be here for a few months or more. Rabies is prevalent all over India & kills up to 30,000 people yearly. Avoid contact with dogs, cats, monkeys, and other mammals. Animal
bites need to be reported immediately and scrub the wound with soap and water if bitten! Consider the Japanese Encephalitis series only if you will be staying in rural areas for prolonged periods. Medications: Travelers taking medications regularly should bring enough for their entire stay plus a little extra in case of delayed departure. Some medications are not readily available in India. Bring a supply of your favorite over-the counter medicines, Tylenol (acetaminophen), Ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, Immodium, etc. Carry several days supply (2-3 days) of ORS (oral rehydration salts) in case of diarrheal illness. Adequate fluid and electrolyte replacement is essential. Emergency Medical Services: Check that your regular insurance carrier covers overseas medical care. Secondly, emergency medical care is extremely limited in India, especially away from major cities. Therefore, travelers should arrange for medical evacuation insurance either personally or through their sponsoring agency prior to their arrival in country. One’s regular health insurance does not usually cover medical evacuation; check with your carrier to be sure. Doctors and hospitals do not bill U.S. Insurance companies so be prepared to pay the physician at the time of service and later, file for reimbursement with your insurance company. Please remember that living in India is not the same as living in the United States. The threats to your health are more numerous, and facilities are of a different standard. It will take more work to stay healthy, and it is essential that you are prepared before you get here. D. Toiletries and Cosmetics
A number of foreign brands of cosmetics are available in India along with local brands. Indian manufactured women's sanitary supplies are available in all towns and cities. Indian-made soaps and detergents are sold at reasonable prices. Deodorants are commonly available but you may like to bring your own favorite. If allergic to certain soaps or cosmetics please bring along supplies or your own special preparations. Toilet paper and tissue paper are available in towns and cities, but public toilets will not stock rolls of toilet papers or tissues. It is advisable that you carry some supplies from the U.S., or buy them on arrival in Delhi, to carry on your onward journey. E. Clothing
Bring less clothing, rather than more. The variety and richness of India's textiles and designs offer an exciting experience and you may well want to experiment with Indian fabrics. Tailors (durzis) sew Indian clothes at low cost and can copy a favorite garment or a picture. Ready-made clothes are available for sale. Necessities include a pair of sturdy walking shoes, a swim suit and goggles for swimmers, running shoes and other special sportswear, and a light raincoat and an umbrella for the monsoon. Most general items are available in cities in India. Cotton is more comfortable in the heat than synthetics. Laundry/dry cleaning is available in most towns and in all cities. Many parts of India are conservative in dress. Many Fulbrighters choose clothing that covers both knees and shoulders so as not to embarrass Indian friends and colleagues by immodest dressing. Sleeveless tops are common in large cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad, yet the same clothing may not be appreciated in smaller towns like Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Agra. Also, shorts are not considered acceptable forms of dress for both men and women in any city, unless you are on a playground! No one is expected to wear shorts to walk on the Indian streets or to visit anyone even if the occasion is informal. Women need to cover their heads if visiting mosques and some temples; men and women should cover heads in Sikh gurudwaras. Visitors should be prepared to remove footwear when entering any religious building. Leather is not permitted in Jain temples and in some Hindu temples. During your official engagements including lectures and institutional visits a business-casual outfit will be ideal. Fulbright alumni can advise you on dress customary for professional activities. One piece of advice from a Fulbrighter was:
"Punjabi clothes are both comfortable and acceptable for day-to-day living, including teaching, and more formal tailored clothes work well for more formal events like speeches or seminars...” F. What Else to Pack
Books, Magazines and Journals - Books necessary for work should be brought from the U.S. American and other imported professional publications are expensive and difficult to find in India. American paperback novels, classics and general magazines (Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest) are available. Batteries and Electronics - Check with airlines about restrictions on transport of batteries and electronics. Electric toothbrushes, which recharge on 220 current, are available in Delhi and the metros. An inexpensive alarm clock is handy to have upon arrival but can be purchased here. Gifts for People - There are two kinds of gifts that you will want to have with you. Since you will be visiting schools and other academic and social sites, a group gift is appropriate. In the previous seminars, each participant brought couple of major gifts and many small gifts and they were pooled, wrapped and designated for specific visits. Books on the United States and/or your specific region are welcome gifts. A U.S. flat map of good size, posters, any print material on United States culture, inflatable globes, books of U.S. short stories and poetry, pen stands, and anything that can be used in a classroom without electrical power are all appropriate to gift to schools or school children. You may think of additional things, too. These may also be given to resource persons who come for interactive sessions with you during the program in India. Handicrafts, decorative candles, CDs of songs, scarves, coaster sets, small clocks, hand bags, and other such items of personal use are appropriate gifts for individuals whom you visit at their homes or who meet you in their individual capacity. A caution against bringing dictionaries as gifts; India speaks and utilizes British English, not the same tongue that one speaks in the United States. Thus, spelling and word meaning in the dictionaries in U.S. are not accurate for Indian educational culture. Surely, they can be used, but few schools prepare their students for a trip to the United States. Small gifts are a wonderful way to spread goodwill. Handicrafts, things you have made, music tapes, solar calculators, state memorabilia, art work and books are all suggestions. Cosmetics are great gifts for women; quality aftershave and toiletries are appreciated by the men. 2.2 Checklist of Things to Do before Traveling for Pre Departure Orientation and India • • • • • • • • • I have checked the validity of my passport and visa I have made copies of my passport and packed them away from the original document I have put a copy of the electronic ticket in my bag and packed an extra copy in the luggage I have sufficient amounts of travelers checks with me I have undergone all required immunizations My dental check-up routine is complete I have packed important medical supplies. The medical kit with important supplies is ready I have kept copies of important medical tests done in the recent past, just in case they are required while I am in India I have an extra pair of spectacles or contact lenses for the journey
• • • • • • • • •
I have packed necessary toiletry items An umbrella and raincoat are part of my luggage I have a dress or good shirt and pants for wearing at two receptions in India I have a pair of easy walking shoes I have with me few books/magazines of my interest I have obtained battery chargers and adapters for electricity conversion in India I have some gift items to give to resource persons and schools I have a notebook/laptop to write down and document the journal for my curriculum project I have read the guideline for curriculum projects and put down a first draft of the title and synopsis (changeable as you travel in India)
SECTION III ARRIVAL IN INDIA 3.1 The Day of Arrival
When you arrive at the airport in India, you should clear immigration, retrieve your baggage and clear customs, change some dollars into rupees at one of the bank counters, and look for the USEFI representative carrying a “USEFI” placard outside the customs exit gate. The representative will bring the group to the hotel where your accommodation has been arranged. 3.2 Customs Clearance at Indian Airports
There are two channels for customs clearance at Indian airports. The Green Channel is for passengers not having any dutiable goods; and the Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods. There are different regulations for clearance of personal baggage for tourists and non-tourists. Fulbright grantees are considered non-tourists. Used personal effects such as clothing, a wrist watch and articles of personal use in reasonable quantities may be brought in duty-free. Used equipment, at least a year old, such as cameras, tape recorders, personal computers and typewriters, can be brought. Documentary evidence (bills of sale/invoice to show that the item has been in your possession for at least twelve months) is necessary, failing which duty may become payable on the article. Prescribed customs duty will be levied on articles that exceed the duty-free allowance. Any item, which may attract duty but which you may wish to take back, will be endorsed on your passport. 3.3 Foreign Exchange
The Arrival terminal of the International airport in India will have banks and other foreign exchange offices. It is a good idea to exchange some U.S. dollars for rupees upon arrival at the airport so that you will have funds for incidentals. The exchange rate at the airport bank is the same as downtown. Be sure to obtain some Rs. 10 and 50 notes for making small purchases or tipping. Thereafter for the rest of your travel within India, it would be a good idea to exchange U.S. dollars for Indian Rupees from the travel desk at the hotel you will be staying at in each city. 3.4 Culture Shock
Despite the fact that you may have traveled quite a bit, you may experience culture shock. India is vastly different from United States. You will sense it as soon as you step outside the airport terminal. The scent of India is different. You may even see cows or elephants on the Delhi streets when you travel around the city. The nation permeates your senses and challenges you to react. Culture shock follows a definite pattern. When you first arrive, the excitement is high, in spite of jet lag and your tiredness. Everything is an adjustment, from the hotel and food to the daily schedule. You are accustomed to independence and knowing how to get around, wherever you live. Here you must learn again. At first it is thrilling. After two to three weeks, the novelty declines, you miss your family and everything seems to be a challenge. This is a normal cycle. Of course this does not excuse inconsiderate behavior, but knowing what is happening can help you recognize the pattern in yourself and in others. Even the most hearty and self-assured experience this cycle. What to do? Talk with other participants; go to a restaurant where you can obtain western food; listen to western music; call home. Above all, know that USEFI staffers are there to help. Soon this feeling will subside and the approaching departure will generate many mixed feelings. Your trip seems to have been so short; you realize how little of India you have experienced and want to see more; you want to return to your home, too. The last week is sometimes rushed, but truly enjoyable.
If you are a home creature, take a personal belonging with you that you treasure, an “adult teddy bear” as one participant described it. Pictures of your family help. Make sure that people send you e-mails. Don't be ashamed to admit loneliness. It happens to everyone, and others will give you a hug if that is your antidote. 3.5 Jet Lag
Jet lag can make anyone feel out of sorts. Headache, tiredness during the day, insomnia at night, and an overwhelming weariness are common, and these symptoms can easily affect job performance. Generally, travel from west to east produces more symptoms of jet lag than traveling north to south or east to west. To decrease the severity and duration of jet lag, many experts recommend shifting one's schedule before traveling to the approximate time zone of the destination. Also, changing the timing of meals might be useful. Dehydration, which can be exacerbated by consuming alcoholic beverages, is a common problem after a long plane ride. One should avoid all alcoholic beverages and consume more than the usual amount of other beverages, such as juices and water. Dehydration can also cause constipation; a diet rich in fiber may help avoid this. To prevent tired or sore muscles, do some stretching exercises while sitting in the plane and when you arrive in your hotel room. Exercise is also a way to stimulate metabolism and mental alertness. Sleeping pills should be used with caution; they decrease concentration and memory, and can thus affect performance after arrival. 3.6 Settling Down
USEFI staff and a travel agency representative will escort you from the airport to the hotel. In the comfortable downtown hotel, each of you will have the company of one other participant with whom you will share a room, a sure way to feel good and talk about your forthcoming time in a new land. The academic program will start at 2:00 p.m. on July 05, 2008. We strongly urge you to rest and ensure that your body and mind are refreshed and ready for the opening discussions. Take a light meal on the first day, and be sure you drink/brush teeth with bottled water to avoid chances of getting ‘Delhi belly.’ Drink plenty of fluids to relax tired muscles, listen to some soothing music and enjoy the setting of the hotel. You will receive a detailed schedule before the pre-departure orientation. On July 05, a coach (bus) will collect you from your hotel at 1.30 p.m. and will bring you to USEFI for day’s program, which includes a reception-dinner in the evening. At the reception-dinner, USEFI will invite its Delhi-based educational contacts including representatives from Indian Fulbright alumni and U.S. Embassy officials, to interact with you.
SECTION IV The Program in India The seminar will provide an opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle and secondary school teachers to observe the process of curriculum development, its implementation in the classroom, the training of teachers in general knowledge fields, including the humanities, mathematics and the sciences, student participation and achievement. The program will also explore some of the unique cultural, social, religious, and historical issues defining the country, the economic/political participation of its people, changing status and emerging problems, and community involvement in education resources. The seminar will help visiting educators understand the modern Indian education system against the backdrop of its ancient history and culture. 4.1 Program Schedule
The program consists of two phases, namely, academic study and field visits. The one-week or so of academic program in New Delhi will involve formal lectures, interviews, and discussions with prominent scholars and public personalities using multi-disciplinary approach. The focus in Delhi will be to provide you with a broader understanding of the different aspects of Indian school education especially in math and science. The field visit phase of four weeks will expose you to local issues in the geographical and regional diversities of the country. This phase will include travel to Kolkata (Calcutta), Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Agra. The seminar is designed to enrich your knowledge by combining academic and cultural experiences. Visits to schools, colleges, museums and rural areas will be interspersed with demonstrations of Indian dance and music. Visits will also be arranged to NGOs working on multiple educational issues in both rural and urban settings. Within the group’s program, time will also be allocated for you to pursue your individual academic interests and work on their respective curriculum projects. The academic portion of your program is of very high quality. The presenters are senior university professors and administrators, senior Ministry officials, and prominent individuals in the professions. USEFI will arrange special request visits to schools, museums, educational boards at the national and state level just about anything that is of interest to you and is reasonable. USEFI works hard to fill all special requests and the people in India are willing to give their time to help you grasp the nation's richness. Do take time from this hectic schedule to roam the streets, to talk with your compatriots, and to reflect on the experience. India is sometimes overwhelming! 994.2 Accommodation and Meals
You will stay in hotels with air-conditioned rooms and private baths. The cost of accommodations and meals (breakfast and lunch) are included in the program. Meal allowances will be provided for dinners to be taken on your own. This is been planned to give you an opportunity to explore and observe the cities and their dining options more independently. You will also have the chance to taste the varieties in food that is available in India. USEFI staff will provide you with various options for dining in the cities you will be visiting. Bottled water will be available in the coach at all places. Do not forget to pick up your bottle or two before disembarking from the coach at the end of the day. The bottled water in hotel will be expensive and USEFI will not cover the cost if you purchase water from the hotel. As mentioned above, breakfast and lunches are included in the program and are usually taken in the hotel. This does not include a room-service meal. You are responsible for paying for any other extras like soft and hard drinks, telephone calls, laundry, internet, and the like. Please settle individual bills at the time of checkout at the end of your stay in each city. Any tip for room service should be directly given to the server.
Miscellaneous Comments about Hotel Dining “Taste it carefully at first, as the spices can be overpowering.” Gently break into spicy Indian food, as it can upset your stomach. “Indians eat dinner later than we do in the U.S., about 8:30 p.m. Sometimes this can be to your advantage, as you can have a restaurant all to yourself if you eat early!” “Maitre d' and chefs are happy to explain the food to you and are even happier to give you recipes.” Food and Beverage Suggestions • • • • 4.3 Pure fruit juices at the hotels you will be staying are safe and great. Food and fruit are different from what we get in the U.S. Try them. South Indian food is good, and different. Coconut and chillies are used. Plain rice, Indian breads and yoghurt are used to moderate spicy food. Your Travel within India
Most of your inter-city travel is by plane. Security is very tight at airports. You and your carry-on luggage will be searched thoroughly. A word of advice - put your Swiss Army Knife and batteries in your checked luggage. That little useful tool can cause immense trouble if it is in your carry-on. You may be personally frisked at some airports prior to boarding the plane. The extensive searches are for your protection. While on the subject of airports, the monsoon can create long waits at airports. You may want to take along a deck of cards, a good book, or Sudoku to pass the time. Postcards and stamps can be purchased at most airports, so it's a good chance to write to people at home. Baggage - Passengers are entitled to carry, free of charge, 20-30 kg (44-66 lbs) of checked-in luggage and one cabin bag. The allowed volume on checked-in luggage varies from airline to airline. One overnight sector of your travel will be covered by train and one sector by bus. The buses for the local transportation are luxury coaches. When exploring a city on your own, taxis and auto-rickshaws (three-wheelers) are reasonably safe to use, though we suggest you travel in pairs or groups. It is better to negotiate the cost with the auto-rickshaw driver before starting the trip or make sure that the meter is functional. Better to establish yourself as a savvy person than a naive tourist. When you are on the road, you will want to pack in your carry-on those items which are essential to your living should your luggage be misplaced. Lost luggage is an uncommon occurrence, but it can happen. A light nylon backpack or foldable overnight bag is extremely useful for day trips as well as overnights. For the travel portion of the program, you can plan to leave your large suitcase, locked, at USEFI, Delhi. You will thank yourself for deciding to leave things behind. However, take along your foldable nylon bag for those things that you purchase along the way. Maybe you will be fortunate enough to have a lifetime ride in an auto, in or outside the city. It will be a ride you will talk of for a long lime. It's a thrilling experience for those of us used to something else. Driving in Boston seems tame by comparison.
Managing the Group
In previous years, groups have selected a leader who acted as the spokesperson for the group. This helped in coordinating the program activities well, and without any confusion. In addition to selection of a leader, the previous years’ groups had subcommittees to take care of the gifts and tips. After each academic session or institutional visit, it is expected that one member of the group would thank the speaker or the host, as the case may be, on behalf of the entire group. The group will be expected to tip the hotel staff in each hotel and the bus driver(s) and driver’s helper(s) in each city. Indian rupees 350-500 per day from the entire group would be ideal tip to the hotel staff. Indian rupees 150-200 and Rs. 100 per day would be ideal tip for the driver and helper respectively. You can pay them on your last day in a city unless you have ascertained from them that the same persons won’t be serving you on all the days in a city. Please note that in one or two cities, due to traffic congestion, you will be commuting in smaller vehicles, so in those cities more than one driver will be engaged, there won’t be any helper. Individually, you should tip after you have received a service either in the hotel or in an outside restaurant. This is not mandatory but preferred. Also, in India there is no norm to tip the taxi, auto-rickshaw, or cyclerickshaw person; hence you could treat this as optional. 4.5 Shopping
While this trip is not a buying excursion, shopping is one of the great experiences of visiting another country. Try to visit the non-tourist market areas, the small single-purpose shops, those that allow the visitor a glimpse of the 'real' culture. You will want to purchase so many things during your trip. A former participant advised, “If you like, buy it; you may not see it again.” Shopping in India is fantastic! There are exquisite crafts, fabrics, marble, jewels, brass and silver. Icons, music, pictures, clothing, incense, goddesses and gods, books and gifts are things you may consider. Shopping on the street is a marvelous treat. You will want to bargain, however, for anything bought from a hawker or a street seller. Once you are quoted a price, your response should be no more than half of what you were quoted - or even less. You will quickly catch on to the system. Of course, you will also want to keep in mind that hawkers don't earn a great amount of money, so you may settle for a few rupees more than an Indian normally would. 4.6 Writing your Journal
While you are enjoying all the learning along the way, it would be a good idea to keep putting down notes, for ease of remembering and using later in your curriculum project. Free time has been built into the program. The free time is meant, among other things, for putting together your journal and writing down your findings and interactions. Your group may be willing to pool notes at the end of the trip. Many times participants feel at a loss if they have forgotten to note an interesting piece of information that could prove important to their curriculum project.
SECTION V GENERAL INFORMATION ON INDIA You will benefit by knowing something about the wonderful land called India. The information below will prepare you for your first interactions with its climate, surroundings and its people. India covers an area of about 3.3 million sq. km (1.3 million sq. miles), about one-third the size of the U.S. As the seventh largest country in the world and lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland extends between latitudes 8°4’ and 37°6’ north and longitudes 68°7’ and 97°25’ east. The country measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the mainland and the islands is 7,516.6 km. (India 2002, A Reference Manual, Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India). 5.1 Physical Features
The country comprises five regions, namely, the great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region, the southern Peninsula and islands. 5.2 Climate
The climate of India may be broadly described as tropical monsoon type. There are four seasons, winter (December-February), summer (March-May), rainy south-western monsoon (June-September) and postmonsoon (October-November). There are extreme variations depending on the latitude and the altitude. India has some of the coldest regions of the world - the Himalayan mountains – and some of the hottest – the northern plains during the summer. To an American, one remarkable feature of the Indian climate is the monsoon, the season of rains, spanning three to four months from June to September. The south-west monsoon blowing from the Arabian Sea brings rain to most of the Indian landmass. The north-east monsoon affects the south eastern coast and brings rain to this part of the country between October and January. Winter begins in the North in October and can become uncomfortably cold, but in the South it means only a brief respite from the heat. Summer begins at the end of February in South India, and towards the beginning or middle of April in the northern plains. Temperatures at the height of summer are high, in some cases with added high humidity. The northern plains are dusty in summer, and the landscape barren, until the monsoon arrives in the last week of May or early June and gradually moves up to the northern plains. A temperature chart for a few major cities in the four main regions of India is given below. This can serve as a guide to Indian weather. Life in the city of Mumbai comes to a standstill at least for one or two days every year during the monsoon, with an annual rainfall of 120 inches concentrated between June and August. On some days it may rain as much as 20 to 25 inches in 24 hours. Delhi temperatures in May and June range from a maximum of 42º to 45º C (108-113º F) and a minimum of 30º to 32º C (86-90º F). In the winter the minimum may fall to 3º to 5º C (38-41º F) and the maximum may rise to 10º to 15º C (50-59º F). The cold weather may continue for several weeks. The port cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are hot and humid almost throughout the year, and the winter is only just cool. The monsoon in the coastal areas is naturally severe. On the other hand there are cities such as Bangalore (now called Bangaluru) and Pune with largely uniform climate through out the year. (India 2002, A Reference manual, Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India).
APPROXIMATE TEMPERATURE CHART FOR FEW MAJOR CITIES (in Fahrenheit) Jan Delhi Max. Min. Hum. 71 43 68 Feb 75 49 71 83 67 74 84 59 82 88 68 83 Mar 95 57 55 86 72 76 93 69 79 91 72 80 Apr 97 68 40 89 76 78 97 76 76 96 78 74 May 105 79 39 91 90 77 96 78 77 101 82 63 Jun 102 83 56 89 79 82 92 79 82 100 81 59 Jul 95 80 77 86 77 86 90 79 86 96 79 65 Aug 93 78 80 85 76 86 89 78 99 95 78 71 Sep 94 76 74 86 76 88 90 78 86 94 77 75 Oct 93 64 58 89 76 84 89 74 85 90 75 83 Nov 83 52 53 89 73 76 84 64 79 85 72 86 Dec 74 45 67 87 69 73 79 55 80 84 69 87
Mumbai Max. 83 Min. 67 Hum. 73 Kolkata Max. 80 Min. 55 Hum. 95 Chennai Max. 85 Min. 67 Hum. 87
Although India occupies only 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area, it supports over 15 per cent of the world’s population. Only China has a larger population. Almost 40 percent of Indians are younger than 15 years of age. About 70 percent of the people live in more than 550,000 villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and cities. The following are the Census 2001 figures: Population Decadal Population Growth (1991-2001) Density of Population Sex Ratio (females per 1000 males) Literacy Rate Language(s) : : : : : : 1,027,015,247 (1 billion) 21.34 percent 324 persons per sq. km 933 65.38 percent (M-75.85, F-54.16) The Constitution of India has recognized Hindi as the official language of the Union. But provision is also made for continuing the use of English in official work. Other than Hindi, twenty one languages have been scheduled in the Constitution.
Religion, caste, and language are major determinants of social and political organization in India today. Although 82 percent of the people are Hindu, India also is the home of more than 120 million Muslims — one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. 5.4 Type Independence Constitution Branches Government : : : : Federal republic August 15, 1947 January 26, 1950 Executive — President (chief of state) Prime Minister (head of government) Council of Ministers (cabinet) Legislative — bicameral parliament (Rajya Sabha or Council of States and Lok Sabha or House of the People) Judicial — Supreme Court Administrative subdivisions Political parties : : 28 states and 7 union territories Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress (I), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of IndiaMarxist, and numerous regional parties. Universal over 18
The Indian rupee is divided into 100 paisa. Coins commonly in circulation are of the denomination of paisa 50, Re. 1, 2 and 5. Bills, known as currency notes in India, are in denominations of Rs. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. The dollar-rupee exchange ratios fluctuate within narrow limits. For your information, on May 13, 2008, the conversion rate was about $1= Rs. 42.16. Insist on obtaining official receipts for all conversions at banks, stores, hotels or others authorized to accept foreign currency, and retain them carefully. 5.6 Indian School System
For information on Indian education, please visit the websites of the following institutions: Ministry of Human Resource Development, www.education.nic.in: Federal government ministry in India. National Council of Education Research and Training, www.ncert.nic.in: The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an apex resource organization set up by the Government of India, with headquarters at New Delhi, to assist and advise the Central and State Governments on academic matters related to school education. Central Board of Secondary Education, www.cbse.nic.in: The Central Board of Secondary Education was set up to achieve certain interlinked objectives to: 1. prescribe conditions of examinations and conduct public examinations at the end of Class X and XII. To grant qualifying certificates to successful candidates of the affiliated schools. 2. fulfill the educational requirements of those students whose parents were employed in transferable jobs. 3. prescribe and update the courses of instructions for examinations. 4. affiliate institutions for the purpose of examination and raise the academic standards of the country. National Institute of Open Schooling, www.nos.org: The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) formerly known as National Open School (NOS) was established as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 1989. NIOS mainly caters to the educational needs of the out of school children in general and those belonging to school drop-outs and socially and economical backward section of the learner population. It started with academic courses at secondary and senior secondary levels. Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, www.kvsangathan.nic.in: The Kendriya Vidyalayas have a four-fold mission to: 1. cater to the educational needs of children of transferable Central government including defense and para-military personnel by providing a common program of education; 2. pursue excellence and set the pace in the field of school education; 3. initiate and promote experimentation and innovations in education in collaboration with other bodies like the CBSE and NCERT; and 4. develop the spirit of national integration and create a sense of "Indianness" among children.
Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, www.navodaya.nic.in: the objectives to:
The Navodaya Vidyalayas were established with
1. provide good quality modern education to the talented children predominantly from the rural areas, without regard to their family's socio-economic condition. 2. ensure that all students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas attain a reasonable level of competence in three languages as envisaged in the Three Language Formula (English, Hindi and the local language of a state). 3. serve, in each district, as focal points for improvements in quality of school education in general through sharing of experiences and facilities. National University of Education and Planning Administration, www.nuepa.org: The National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is a premier organization dealing with capacity building and research in planning and management of education not only in India but also in South Asia.
Glossary of Educational Terms Indian Postgraduate Staff Faculty Vice-Chancellor Marks Paper Main Subsidiary Compulsory paper Optional paper Reads a subject First, Second, Third Division or Class Mark sheet Gives an Exam Passing out Convocation Lectures (go to lectures) Games/sports 'Pass' and Honors Intermediate/ Pre-University Key, Guide Hostel Syllabus Reader Get a seat Number of seats Rector Pro Vice-Chancellor Term Co-curricular activities S.S.C. Matric Public School Government School American Graduate Faculty School (e.g. of medicine) President Grades Courses, examination Major Minor Required course Elective course Takes a subject A average, B average etc. Transcript Takes an Exam Graduating Commencement Classes (go to classes) Sports Refers to bachelors’ study Junior College (approximate freshman and sophomore years) Cram book Dormitory Syllabus or Course outline Associate Professor Get admission Number that can be admitted Provost Vice-President Semester/quarter Extra-curricular activities High School Diploma Ten Years of High School Private School Public School
Telephones and Internet - PCO (Public call offices for local calls), ISD (long distance international) and STD (long distance within India, direct dialing) facilities are available commercially almost everywhere. Most PCO/STD/ISD centers in big cities also offer fax facilities at moderate rates. Tips for making calls from one city to another within India: Example: if you are in Delhi and calling someone in Mumbai: Landline to Landline: Dial the Mumbai code (022) followed by the eight digit phone number from a phone with STD facility. Landline to Mobile: Dial ‘0’ from landline with STD facility, followed by the mobile number from a phone with STD facility. Mobile to Mobile: Dial ‘0’ followed by the Mobile number Mobile to Landline: Dial the city code (022) followed by the phone number Visit http://phonebook.bol.net.in/ for telephone directory and city codes in India.
Internet cafes are common with download speeds that range from good to slow. E-mail services like “Hotmail”, “Yahoo” and “Gmail” can be operated in India using local Internet service providers. Internet and e-mail services are available in almost all major urban centers. However, being connected to the service through a phone line can be frustrating because the lines could be busy or faulty. Laptop computers – USEFI recommends that you bring a laptop with you if you must use a computer for your work or for Internet/E-mail access. India’s power supply runs on 220v. Check to make sure that your battery can be charged by an outlet that runs 110-220 volts. Be sure to bring adapters for electric sockets and plugs. You will also need power converters and surge protectors, which you can buy in India. Bring the latest virus protection software with you. Postal Services - www.indiapost.org The Indian Postal and Telegraph Department offers the following services: Postal Services; Telegraph Services; Telephone Services; and Fax Services. Mail can be sent by ordinary mail service, registered mail service, and speed-post. Wherever air services exist in India, mail is carried by air. 5.9 Traveling in India
The following travel-related details are for your information only. All travel aspects which are part of the Program will be arranged by USEFI. Interstate travel can be done by rail, road or air, the most predominant means being the rail. India has the second largest railroad network in the world. Rail Travel Most parts of India are connected by rail, except the mountainous regions. There are two main classes of travel on Indian Railways - first and second. There are the "express" or "mail" trains for intercity transport, and "super-fast air conditioned" trains connecting Delhi with state capitals and most major cities. On some trains, air-conditioning is available in both first and second class. On long-distance trains second-class sleeper accommodation is also available. Sleepers may be arranged in two or three-tiers. First class berths and all air-conditioned seats or berths are padded; there may still be a few trains with hardboard berths. First class AC, 2-Tier AC and 3-Tier AC travel on Indian trains is comfortable. Pillows, blankets, bed sheets and towels are provided by the attendant on first/second class air-conditioned berths; for 3-tier berths, these are available on modest payment. On long-distance trains, meals are provided on board; on some special trains, the cost of the meal is included in the ticket cost. Solo women travelers generally prefer Second Class 2-Tier AC, in which sleepers have curtains, over First Class compartments, which enclose four people and lock. For details about train schedules, reservation status and internet booking, visit www.indianrail.gov.in. Bus Travel A bus can be a convenient and inexpensive form of travel for short distances. Some major cities have bus route websites. City buses are often crowded. Most cities are connected with inter-state bus services; there are three kinds - air-conditioned, deluxe, and ordinary - with air-conditioned buses being the most expensive and comfortable. Book a reservation in advance for an air-conditioned/deluxe bus.
Metro There are metro train systems in Delhi and Kolkata. They are inexpensive and function very well. There is 15 kg weight limit on baggage in the Delhi metro. For more details on Delhi metro visit, www.delhimetrorail.com and for Kolkata metro, visit www.kolmetro.com. Air Travel There are daily scheduled flights between major cities and most medium-sized towns. Air India http://airindia.com is managed by the Government of India. There are several privately operated airlines; websites of some are provided below. Jet Airways: Air Deccan: Spicejet: Kingfisher: www.jetairways.com www.airdeccan.net www.spicejet.com www.flykingfisher.com
All reservations must be confirmed ahead of time, and an 'OK' endorsement obtained from the Airlines on the relevant flight coupon. A flight coupon marked 'RQ', which means 'requested' must be confirmed and the endorsement changed to 'OK' in ample time. E-ticketing is gaining popularity in India, especially in metros. Internet booking is another trend that has emerged in the recent past.
SECTION VI CULTURAL CUES AND CLUES FOR THE AMERICAN IN INDIA 'If I only knew then what I know now. . . ‘is a statement often heard from Fulbright participants about to return to the United States. The benefits of many experiences are passed on to you. 6.1 Cultural Learning
On the whole, you are likely to be more warmly welcomed if you are sensitive to the traditions of the country. Newcomers to any country are likely at times to find themselves in baffling or embarrassing situations as a result of their ignorance of local attitudes and customs. When in doubt about customs watch Indians and follow their behavior. It works 99% of the time. The remaining 1% gives you an opportunity to apologize and make a new friend. Throughout the whole experience, it's important to remember that different is not wrong, it's just different. People in India think and move in a different manner that is often perceived by Americans as disorganized and illogical. Keep in mind that it is a different way of perceiving the world. Read everything possible about India. You may wish to purchase books on travel, history, Indian culture, geography and governance. A list of suggested readings has been put on this website. Highlight and absorb as much as possible from what you read. Discuss and share your findings amongst your Seminars Abroad group. Indian people are always eager to enhance your experience and help you understand the 'real' India. Their warmth and welcome is genuine. 6.2 Your Role as a Cultural Ambassador
Participants in a Fulbright program have an obligation to enhance international understanding. Individuals who "best present the social and cultural character of each nation" are suited to engage in cultural exchange programs. In a way, that places heavy responsibility on each of us who has accepted the offer of participation in a Fulbright program. Because you are a Fulbrighter, you will be accorded the utmost respect. You will be viewed as a learned and honored individual. Concomitant with this respect lies a perception of cultured behavior that a representative of the United States should display. The expectation is no different than one would anticipate from educators in the United States. However, people in a different country may see as ‘strange’ some of your behavior that is very different from theirs. Be, therefore, careful to represent your country, the Fulbright program and your institution well. When in doubt, ask questions. Perhaps you wonder what kind of behavior is ‘correct’ and which is not. Participants during previous Seminars Abroad Group have commented: Be polite and informative, in a most unbiased manner. Defensiveness is difficult to understand. Be enthusiastic and don't complain if things are not what you are used to; India isn't the United States. Most people are well aware of their own country's limitations and do not have to be told by visitors. Learn about India; sometimes that will mean you should keep your personal, religious and political views to yourself. Expect that people may have stereotypes of Americans. One Indian high school girl said, "I never met an American before. I thought you were all rich, snobby tourists. How wrong I was."
Please note that punctuality for all programs is expected. Your being late may jeopardize the entire group’s program - be it catching a flight, visiting a site, etc. In academic programs, the speakers are prominent individuals who have agreed to enhance your experience. You show your respect by being on time. 6.3 Customs and Etiquette
Indians are often remarkably tolerant of the (accidental) rudeness of foreigners. Here are some easily observed rules of conduct that will help you avoid some of the worst faux pas. Avoid holding food with your left hand. If passing it to someone else, try to avoid touching it, and always use your right hand to pass a plate. In country places try to avoid putting used dishes near clean ones. When sitting on the floor, never point your feet towards another person or a religious image. Men generally avoid physical contact with women. Even shaking hands is regarded as rather forward in some settings. A traditional Indian greeting is much to be preferred – fold your hands in front of you and slightly bow your head as you say “Namaste.” Conversations can be surprising. You will often be asked what appear to be rather impertinent questions about your financial or family circumstances. These are not meant to be rude. Do not forget that Indians reveal a lot about themselves to each other simply by their names and the way they dress. You do not automatically provide that information, and if people are interested, they will ask. 6.4 Purity and Pollution
Both Americans and Indians generally feel that they have a highly developed regard for individual cleanliness, but convention plays a large part in determining the implementation of that ideal. A number of western habits seem unsanitary to many Indians, e.g. sitting in the water of a bathtub, using dry toilet paper, carrying around a used handkerchief, and eating without having taken an early morning bath. A more sensitive matter than that of sanitation, however, is the question of purity, where more than cleanliness is involved. The avoidance of contamination or pollution affects many areas of Indian life. Reverence for animal life has traditionally relegated butchers, tanners and shoemakers to a very low social position in India, and contact with shoes is generally considered defiling or degrading. For foreigners, an extremely important recommendation is that shoes be kept on the floor or the ground. If putting your feet up on chairs, tables, beds or train benches, first take your shoes off. Always remove them before entering a temple, mosque or tomb. Shoes are worn inside many Indian homes but it is safest to follow the example of your hosts. Some people leave their shoes at the door; others remove them before entering certain parts of the home such as the kitchen, dining area and worship room. If you accidentally touch anyone with your shoes, be sure to apologize. Be especially careful in climbing down from an upper bunk on a train, as to touch a person's head with your shoes is a very serious offense. Some Hindus are usually very sensitive about the pollution of food when it is touched by anyone outside their caste or religion. When drinking from a water container used by others, avoid touching your lips to it. In an Indian home it is best not to help yourself from a water jug or a common dish of food, waiting instead for it to be served to you. Don't serve leftovers to guests or offer a person anything from which a bite or a sip has been taken. The left hand is another source of pollution, understandably so since it is used for toilet purposes. When eating with your fingers, use only the right hand. Whenever possible, the right hand should also be used for giving and accepting things, and for making the gesture of greeting and farewell. If the gift is too large for one hand, both may be used, but never the left hand alone. Women during their periods are also considered unclean in some sections of Indian society. They usually do not take part in social gatherings or in preparing food, and avoid touching plants or other living things. So a western woman should make no mention of her "condition," and one should not press a man for details if he says his wife is "not well."
Muslims consider the pig unclean and do not eat ham, pork or bacon. They are not supposed to eat other kinds of meat unless the animal has been slaughtered according to Islamic ritual. Most Indians, and especially Hindus, do not eat beef, because of their special reverence for the cow. Other animals with special sanctity are snakes, monkeys and peacocks. Many Hindus are complete vegetarians, which means that fish and egg dishes (including baked food containing eggs) are precluded. Jains and some Hindus avoid even onions and garlic. 6.5 Women in India
In urbanized Indian society one can find many women as active, independent and forthright as their western counterparts. In general, however, the qualities traditionally most admired in women in India are modesty of manner, shyness and self-effacement. American women, especially if unmarried, should be aware that their appearance and behavior may be misinterpreted. A woman will often be given preferential treatment in India at such places as ticket counters and other queues. At meals, though, the men are usually expected to go first. Many American women report that they attract fewer stares in an Indian than in an American dress. A sari needs to be draped with great care though, and the accompanying blouse and footwear should be appropriate. For young women in India especially, the salwaar-kameez may be more comfortable and practical than a sari at first. When wearing western dress especially in rural areas, it is probably wise to create a more modest impression by using a head covering, sleeves, and skirts below the knee. Jewelry is worn by women in most parts of India depending on their economic status. Married Indian women almost always wear some jewelry, usually including glass bangles, when they go out. Widows, however, wear no make-up or jewelry. The dot on the forehead of a woman does not necessarily mean that she is a Hindu, and has nothing to do with caste. It is used primarily for decoration, and in some parts of India, shows that the woman is married. A red line down the parting of a woman's hair is the most common and definite indication that she is married. When visiting a traditional home, men ordinarily should not expect or ask to meet the women of the house. They will appear when and if it is proper for them to do so. The wife (and sometimes the host also) frequently eats only after the guests have finished their meal. If women are present in a group, you need not worry if they are silent or seem to be left out of the conversation. Except among very urbanized Indians, do not comment on or praise a wife's or daughter’s beauty - you may be understood as suggesting an improper interest in her. Any public display of affection between the sexes is likely to be frowned upon in India, and westerners would do well to show discretion in that regard. Even married couples in India would usually not hold hands in public, and kissing in public (even kissing goodbye at a railway station) is out of question. Men do not appear naked in front of each other, even in swimming-pool dressing rooms. Whistling under any circumstances is generally thought to be impolite, and especially at a girl or in the presence of elders. 6.6 Friendship and Hospitality
Americans should be aware that Indians have strongly defined concepts of friendship and hospitality, and to be a friend or a guest in India is a less casual matter than is often true in the U.S. Indian tradition lays great stress on the respect due to guests. When visiting Indian friends, one should be aware that his/her hosts will probably feel obliged to pay expenses. Generally, though, one will find it almost impossible to pay cash for expenses incurred while staying with an Indian family. Only in the larger cities has the idea of a paying guest begun to be adopted. Contributions can, of course, be made in other ways than cash - by giving small gifts, for example. When proceeding from one city or region to visit people in another, one can please hosts by taking them fruit and sweets which are specialties of the place from which one has come.
This does not mean, of course that you should deny people the pleasure of extending simple hospitality to you. If you suggest a movie, meal or trip, don't later place your friends in an awkward position by expecting them to "go Dutch". The person who makes a proposal is usually expected to pay. In case you invite a scholar to meet you in your hotel while in India, always offer your visitor something to eat or drink. If nothing else is available, provide at least a glass of water -- with apologies. Tea is generally served, always accompanied by milk and sugar, which are usually added and stirred by the host. Indians always serve the milk heated, so as not to cool the drink. Other edibles that can be kept on hand easily for unexpected visitors are aerated drinks, lemon squash (concentrated lemon) or other salty snacks, nuts, biscuits (cookies) and sweets. When you offer refreshments to a visitor, never take the first refusal as final. Many people feel that courtesy requires them to say no the first and sometimes a second time. A third refusal can be taken seriously. In arranging food for visitors, one needs to remember the great variety of dietary customs, some of which have been mentioned previously. You need to know not only what your guests will eat. Don't hesitate to ask people in advance about their food preferences. When in doubt, offer a strictly vegetarian snack. Orthodox Brahmins can only eat food prepared by Brahmins. Many vegetarians will not eat anything if a meat dish is present on the table. For people with very strict dietary regulations, you will find it easier to offer an invitation to tea in the afternoon. Indians do a lot of entertaining at that hour, often reserving lunch and dinner invitations for very special friends. Both salty and sweet refreshments are usually served with tea. When food taboos are a problem, you can safely serve fresh dried fruits, wrapped sweets, and nuts. The tea is usually served after food, rather than with it. Many Indians feel that eating hot and cold foods together injures the health. So coffee or tea is almost never served along with ice-cream; and ice water would not be served with a hot meal. Coffee and tea are not usually served with lunch or dinner, but there would be no objection to your doing so. Because of the custom of afternoon tea, evening meals in India are usually served later than in the United States If the scholar you have invited smoke, it is customary to provide cigarettes for them, but never offer cigarettes to a Sikh or Parsi unless you are sure that he does not follow the injunctions of his religion. Except in very sophisticated circles, cigarettes should not be offered to ladies either. Indians often expect your permission, and may ask for it, to leave your presence. If someone says "May I have your permission?" he/she is inquiring whether he/she may go. People of servant status may wait around for you to tell them directly that they can leave. In visiting others, the best visiting hours are usually between 10 a.m. to 12 noon and between 5 and 7 p.m. Naps are usually taken between 1 and 4 p.m. so those hours should be avoided. When visiting an Indian home for a meal, you are not expected to take a gift for the hostess. Nor are you usually expected to write a note of thanks afterwards, though there would of course be no harm in doing so. Appreciation is expressed at the time, but in showing that appreciation, it is best not to gush over every dish or every act of courtesy. People expect you to have anticipated cordial hospitality and good food. Excessive praise or wonder may sound insincere or make your hosts feel that you had not expected to be served properly. A certain amount of flattery about home, clothes, food and such matters, though, is as common as in the United States. As a guest, you should not expect to tour the house or ask to do so. Wait for the host and hostess to make any such offer. Be particularly careful not to enter the kitchen unless you are specifically invited to do so. The use of the right hand for eating has already been mentioned. Except in parts of South India, people try to keep food about the middle joints of the finger. Of course in many homes the hosts do not use cutlery, in
which case you could always eat with the fingers. Unless you are absolutely sure that you are expected to help yourself, it is best to wait for the food to be placed on your plate or in your hand. Remember that others may not be able to eat food that you have touched. If you are clearly expected to serve yourself from a common dish, don't touch the serving spoon to your plate. Americans may at first be astonished by the huge quantities of food that appear on their plates, and the urgency with which further helpings are pressed. The assumption is that you will be bashful or hesitant to take as much as you really want. Eating liberally is of course a compliment to your hostess, but don't feel that you are obliged to finish everything. In fact, leaving a little food on the plate is a good way to suggest that you have had enough. When you are satisfied, or if there is some particular item that you would rather not eat, the most firm and gracious form of refusal is the namaste gesture, or you might just hold your right hand over your plate. If someone belches during a meal, don’t be surprised -- in unsophisticated circles this is generally regarded as a tribute to the meal. People may also rinse their mouths while at the table or wash their fingers in the drinking water. After eating with your fingers, you will be offered a place to wash your hands and rinse your mouth. If nothing seems forthcoming feel free to inquire. A guest should of course ask permission to smoke unless others are doing so. Many Indians consider it a sign of respect not to smoke in front of their elders or superiors. If the host offers cigarettes, smoke those rather than your own. To say that you prefer your own brand might suggest that the host has been negligent in his duties. At the end of a meal or a visit, you may be served a paan, a stringent combination of nuts, lime and spices wrapped in betel leaves. Many westerners learn to enjoy a paan, but there is no obligation to take it. If you are experimenting, make sure that the paan contains no tobacco. If given a choice, you would probably prefer the sweet variety, and with less lime than usual. The whole thing is put into the mouth at one time. Once paan has been served, you are generally free to leave, asking permission to do so. An American who says "Well, I guess I'll be going" is likely to sound boorish. If you are in a house-guest, there are a few other Indian customs with which you should be familiar. Most Indians at least brush their teeth before having anything to eat or drink in the morning, and bathe before the meal. In most bathrooms, particularly in rural areas, you will not find bathtubs or showers. A bucket or open faucet indicates the bathing place which may not be divided off from the rest of the bathroom. Water will drain out through a hole in the floor. For toilet purposes, one should either carry tissue with him or adjust to the use of the left hand and water. Public facilities are less common than in the U.S., but hotels, large restaurants and movie theatres are the most likely places to look for. Ask for the lavatory, toilet, latrine or the bathroom, not for the washroom, restroom or men’s/ladies room. At public ceremonies and performances, including ones at which you are speaking, don’t be offended by the casual attitude shown by the audience. Strict silence is seldom demanded at such functions and members of the audience generally feel free to walk in and out during the program. Hand-clapping has been adopted relatively recently as a sign of appreciation. If garlanded at a public function, the guest usually removes the garland from his/her neck at once as a sign of humility. Of course he/she does not throw it away or give it to anyone else. 6.7 Respect and Status
Attitudes and behavior tend to differ more according to age, status and profession in India than in the United States. Visitors who wish to live "in the Indian manner" may find it difficult to decide just what that "manner" is, even in a particular region. In questions of housing and dress, the most satisfactory solution is usually to follow the pattern of your Indian peers.
Age, university degrees and professional ranking are among the factors that determine status, and degrees and titles are mentioned more frequently than in America. The ranking of occupations differs somewhat from American ideas. In small cities, government service is usually at the top of the list and private business considerably lower. Being foreigner may give the newcomer unexpected status at times, but one should not count on that. It is not surprising that Americans sometimes find themselves treated as important people or V.I.P.s. They are usually far wealthier than their Indian counterparts and can afford to stay in better hotels, eat in more expensive restaurants, and travel in more luxurious style. Conveniences that you expect as a matter of course may be largely unknown in India. Your relative standard of living is likely to be considerably above what it was at home. This can become a source of difficulty if you start automatically expecting special treatment or if your attitudes suggest a feeling of superiority. Appearances are deceptive at times, but the Gandhian ideal of modesty, humility and self-denial is highly respected in India. As a result of the attention given to status, one is likely to find less give-and-take between employers and employees, teachers and students, parents and children, than in the United States. 6.8 Communication
More subtle than some of these patterns of behavior are problems of communication. A few things are quite obvious though, such as the likelihood that Indians will appreciate your learning at least a smattering of the local language even if you could manage or get by with English. Learn the polite forms of expression first, and don't hesitate to use the language even if you are at first not an expert in its nuances and diction. Common courtesy suggests that you learn to pronounce the names of people and places correctly. One should be aware that many Indians understand English even though they may be speaking in an Indian language. So be very judicious in your comments wherever anyone, including servants, might be listening. Indians, like most people, tend to be extremely sensitive to criticism or ridicule. Generally you will find people in India even more aware of their country's problems that you are, so little is gained by pointing these out to people with whom you are only casually acquainted. Criticism, even asked for, is generally not appreciated. Many Indians are very self-critical themselves; but until they are sure of your friendship and goodwill, they may resent any agreement with their local problems and give advice without realizing how difficult it is to implement change. What works in America is often not feasible in India, and an attitude of listening and learning is generally more helpful than one of advising or reforming. Although you may be asked all kinds of personal questions, it is best not to ask such questions yourself till you know a person well. There are differences, of course, in the American and Indian view of what is personal. Indians will frequently ask the amount of your income and the price of your possessions, but will usually not inquire directly about your wife. Children and family matters are freely discussed, but married couples who are childless are likely to be sensitive about the fact and avoid the subject. A traditional wife does not refer to her husband by name, speaking of him as "Sita's father" or just as "he." A person doing research on sensitive topics like the caste system, poverty, corruption, etc. should seek the advice of Indians on the scene before making surveys or distributing questionnaires. People will naturally be pleased if you are generous in praising things you like about their country, and especially if you appreciate cultural achievements, food, clothing and traditions. Embarrassing apologies for the lack of conveniences in India may be answered by pointing out that there are certain amenities, such as servants, which are less available in America. Comments on high salaries in the U.S. can be tempered with examples of the high cost of living. Since most Indians have not learned their English from Americans, they may have difficulty in understanding your accent and some vocabulary. It is helpful to speak slowly, distinctly, and with a standard vocabulary that avoids idiomatic usages, until you know the proficiency of your listener. In spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation, the British example is usually followed in India. You will gradually learn the differences. A glossary of the daily-usage terms is as follows:
British Lorry Tram Bogie Taxi Petrol Lift Flat Compound Shop Chemist Cash-memo Torch cell Waterproof Dressing gown Bush shirt Frock Counterpane Serviette Napkin Reel of cotton Bottle Tin Parcel Pocketbook or purse Biscuit Sweets Duster Elastic band Rubber Drawing-pin First floor of a house
American Truck Streetcar Railway car Cab Gasoline Elevator Apartment Yard Store Pharmacist or druggist Receipt Flashlight battery Raincoat Bathrobe Sport shirt Dress Bedspread Napkin Diaper Spool of thread Jar Can Package Wallet or billfold Cookie Candy Dish-towel Rubber band Eraser Thumb-tack Second floor of a house
The adjective 'dear' is commonly used for ‘expensive’ and homely is a complimentary term, describing a person with domestic skills or a place that is homey. Indians frequently interchange ‘too’ and 'very' as these words are not clearly distinguished in some of the languages. Keep this in mind if someone says, ‘I am too educated' or 'You are too rich’. Numerical dates are written in India with the day proceeding the month. For instance, May 14, 2008 is written as 14/05/08. Introductions are usually not made as thoroughly in social gatherings in India as in the U. S. (which, by the way, is usually known as America). So feel free to introduce yourself. People desiring to meet you may ask, 'What is your good name?' or 'May I have your introduction?' -- phrases translated from vernacular expressions. Since titles are valued highly, remember and use such ones as Professor and Doctor. People are usually not referred to by just their first or last names. Use ‘Mr.’ or ‘Shri’ for men, and ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Shrimati’ for women to indicate respect. Gestures vary widely in India. One of the most confusing at first is the toss of the head indicating ‘yes’ which resembles somewhat the America headshake meaning 'no'. Nodding the head to mean 'yes' is usually not understood. Beckoning is done with the palm of the hand turned down rather than up, and pointing is often done with the chin. Snapping the fingers is likely to produce a servant. Back-slapping is not usually regarded as a sign of affection. The word ‘no’ has harsh implications in India. Evasive refusals, being more polite, are common. So people may say ‘yes’ in order to please you, but have no intention of performing any corresponding action. This
should be interpreted as polite refusal, rather than as a sign of unreliability. When giving instructions to hotel attendants or shopkeepers, it is wise to repeat them several times, preferably step by step, and then check to see that the instructions have been really understood. Otherwise the person may say he/she understands, out of politeness, and leave you with false expectations. You should not assume that a person is ungrateful just because he/she receives courtesies or gifts silently or with a simple namaste gesture. 6.9 Sightseeing and Shopping
Travelers in India can wander through bazaars and alleys, though we strongly suggest you go in pairs or in groups, never alone. Visitors can be stared at much of the time, and will often be followed by curious people. Try to accept this as a sign of interest and curiosity rather than rudeness. Bargaining is the common practice, both for goods and services. Details can be learned only by experience. One usually bargains, though, for a ride in any vehicle without a meter before engaging the vehicle. In other matters also, it is wise to negotiate and settle the price of service in advance, but to pay only after the service has been rendered. In almost all curio shops except government ones, it is best not to accept the initial price. Special bargains can sometimes be obtained early in the morning, as the first customer of the day is considered auspicious by many shopkeepers, and for him to go without buying would be a bad omen. Avoid displaying large sums of money -- many Indians already have an exaggerated opinion of the wealth of Americans. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers, but a small extra charge may be made for heavy baggage. In restaurants, ten per cent of the bill is generally a substantial tip. Even at hotels where a charge is made on the bill for service, servants are likely to expect a cash tip, as does the boy who calls your taxi and the doorman at the temple you visit. Count your change, and don't accept even slightly torn bills, as others will not accept them from you. In preparing for travel or sightseeing, collect loose change and small bills. Taxi and rickshaw drivers and coolies (porters who carry your luggage) should not be expected to provide change, though occasionally they will do so. Ask permission before entering places of worship. When visiting temples or shrines, leave your shoes at the entrance. You may also be asked to leave leather bags and even belts outside. At certain places of worships you may be asked to cover your heads. Ask permission before taking any photographs inside a temple. To be offered Prasad (food that has been presented to the deity) in a temple is an honor. If you wish to show your appreciation, take some and either eat it or pretend to do so. Most of the above suggestions also apply when visiting a mosque or tomb. Ladies are occasionally not admitted to mosques. When they are, they should be sure to cover their heads -- a handkerchief for men and a scarf for women will do. No music is permitted inside a mosque, so don't sing, hum or whistle. In a Sikh gurudwara, men and women must have their heads covered (again, a handkerchief or scarf will do), and cigarettes must be left outside. Although Indians generally like to be photographed, especially if they are promised a copy, some discretion is advisable. Remember that you might resent foreigners taking pictures only in the slum/ghetto sections of American cities; and you would probably be startled or suspicious if a group suddenly appeared and began taking pictures while you were mowing your lawn or sunbathing in the patio. People in India may be offended if they see you photographing unpleasant scenes. For various reasons, particular caution should be taken in photographing burning ghats, bathing scenes, altercations, women, sadhus, beggars, and some festivals and processions. Government security precautions are likely to be fairly strict, with bridges, dams, railway stations, airports, views from planes, and government buildings being among the forbidden subjects. If you have any doubts, ask permission from the person you are photographing, or from a policeman. In any case, do not take pictures where photography is forbidden.
Encounters with beggars may be very disturbing to newcomers. Begging is being discouraged in India, but it is not generally considered as reprehensible as in the U.S. When accompanied by sincere ascetic renunciation, begging has traditionally been highly respectable, and the giving of alms is a way of obtaining religious merit. The common beggar, though, has made a business of haranguing people, and the most ingenious or urgent pleas do not necessarily indicate the greatest need. Whether you give or not is entirely up to you, and you can be as firm as you wish in refusing. These 'cues and clues' may sound long, involved, and intimidating to a newcomer to India. It is not necessary, though to keep all these recommendations in mind when you first arrive. People on the spot will be glad to give you advice and help. Moreover, the sensitive person who sees people as individuals, respects their feelings, and tries to understand why people feel and act as they do, and why conditions are as they are, will soon find adjustments occurring quite naturally in his/her speech and behavior. Remember that visitors coming to the United States have also to make many adaptations. Although people do not expect foreigners to imitate them exactly, they naturally appreciate interest in and consideration for their way of life. Some Americans in India, when faced with particularly awkward situations, have found it useful to say, 'I’m sorry, that's not our custom'. Indians appreciate the importance of custom. In general, however, your stay will be happier if some of these patterns of behavior do become your custom while you are in India.
SECTION VII WHEN YOU RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES 7.1 USEFI Report
Within 30 days of your return to the U.S., your group needs to submit a report on the group’s learning about India, especially focusing on the aspects of math and science teaching and student achievement. This 20page or so report (include some nice photographs) should not feature logistical arrangements and sightseeing. Your feedback on logistics and sightseeing will be taken separately. Start planning to discuss this reporting aspect when you meet in Austin or even before, via emails. Send this report to Dr. Girish Kaul either as an email attachment or as a spiral bound copy by September 10, 2008. 7.2 Curriculum Project
A curriculum project and sharing of your experience are part of the contract you made with the U.S. Department of Education when you accepted the offer of participation. We all have ideas before we leave and usually have even more projects in mind when we return. The enjoyable discovery is securing resources while we are in India and obtaining materials in the United States. These materials will help you in putting together your curriculum project. Once completed, please send your curriculum project to USEFI (both soft and hard copy) on November 30, 2008 by the latest. The guidelines for making the curriculum projects will be provided separately. Recruiting future Fulbright participants, while certainly not a responsibility, is one activity you all can undertake upon your return. Spreading the word about the program and its opportunities to enhance international understanding, as well as the educational programming in the United States, is essential. Who can accomplish this better than participants? You may wish to do two other things upon your return. Several groups which we know of have started an informal newsletter, "published" intermittently. Through this communication, participants keep in touch and share their projects, slides, and resources. They also share their homes with each other as people travel the nation. Also, talk of forming Regional Summer Fulbright Alumni Groups has occurred, but has not really materialized. Of course, we are all very busy people, but getting together once a year to relive the experience, keeping in touch and sharing can be a restorative process to the soul, as well as keeping Fulbright alive. We urge you to facilitate this concept in your state or region. We guarantee that it will keep India in your soul. The final culture shock component occurs when you have returned to the United States. Your experience will be understood by only those people who have been on such a program. Your family has been following their normal routine, with all its ups and downs, and you have been off on one of the greatest experiences of your life. You want to share all of what you've seen, heard, tasted, touched, and smelled. Don't be offended if they listen for a day or two and then lose interest in your talk. It hasn't been their experience and they want to get on with what needs to be done right then. Yet you will be on a 'high' that is indescribable. Call someone who went with you; call a former participant; find someone who has been to India and talk with them. Begin immediately to give presentations on your experience. You will want to share it all, so explore ways that you can do without incurring the wrath of your family and friends. It takes at least six months for you to process what you have accomplished in India. It is an incredible experience, and you will find that you re-live much of it as the next summer approaches. Continue to share with new participants, too, as that will extend your pleasure.
Part of the philosophy behind this seminar is to assist you in learning of the true India, with the intent of sharing it with others. Try to go with an open mind and see its beauty, its rich spiritual heritage, it’s wonderful culture, and its ‘difference’ as compared to your own set up in the U.S. You might see some things that may displease you, but you may also see those things in any city in the world. They aren't unique to India. We "see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear." We hope that you take back some of the splendor of India, and not the misperceived concepts portrayed in the media. That is your challenge - and we hope you enjoy it.