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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seen around Delhi…

I had some more errands to run today and as I was walking along with the stroller and the kids, my eyes were drawn to the following scenes:

Urban monkey - just chillin' on someone's fence.

An urban monkey, just sitting on a fence, chillin’.

We’ve seen several of those now but we’ve been warned that they can be vicious. Apparently they bite, steal food and generally do their monkey business all over the place. As I walk around, I see people leaving their windows and balcony doors open all the time and then I see the monkeys and I wonder what’s to stop the monkeys from going in the open window and trashing the place? Who knows? They are protected and revered though. Kinda like the cows. I am pretty sure it has to do with Hanuman, the Monkey God, who helped Ram save Sita from Ravana. (If you are not familiar with the story of Ram and Sita but are curious, you have to watch Sita Sings the Blues on youtube. It’s based on the famous Ramayana story but it’s hilarious!)

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A construction woman carrying sand on her head, in a saree.

We see women like her often. I am fascinated by them and their colorful sarees. To me sarees still represent a special, fancy piece of clothing, so to see women doing hard physical labor in them seems unusual. I now know sarees can be as fancy or casual as you want/need but still…  There were four men around her when I asked if I could take a picture of her. I asked in English and the guys didn’t realize that I knew some Hindi, so they were talking for a while about whether they should charge me for the picture or not. They didn’t ask for money in the end though.

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A street tailor, sewing happily under a tree.

I liked this guy. He has this small, one-man-show operation going and probably doesn’t make much but he seemed so happy. I asked if I could take his picture and he gladly agreed.

6 comments:

  1. I wish I could walk around Addis and take some pictures like this. So many similarities. The women here also work construction and carry huge amounts of sand on their backs. The sand and rock sits in piles in front of the building and they just come out to get more like worker bees. There are also tailors like this. No monkeys but tons of donkeys, sheep, goats, ox and dogs. So neat that you get to walk around and photograph.

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    1. I'd love to see pictures of Addis, Sara! Is it unsafe to walk around town? I wouldn't walk everywhere in Delhi but our neighborhood seems fairly safe. There are beggars and hawkers here too. And people stare at us unabashedly. I wouldn't everywhere though. Not yet anyhow. I have heard that the Delhi pick-pockets are very swift and there are many swindlers praying on foreigners. With the baby, the stroller, the diaper bag and my purse, I would be an easy victim, if I am in the wrong place, so I stay close to home. I'd love to go further because I am sure I'd see even cooler things, but I know it's risky, so I'll wait until we have a housekeeper that can watch Max, while I go with someone. There are many places where it's not wise for a woman to go alone.

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  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to document your move to India. I found your blog on Google while researching this country. I have always wanted to visit but travel is out of the question for me. So I am thankful to live vicariously through you - The India Experience! Your photos are beautiful! I too am fascinated by the sarees. Do you own one? If so, and you have the time... Would you mind posting photographs of how they wrap around and give dimensions of the piece of fabric.
    Thanks again,
    Susan

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  3. Hi Susan, Thanks for stopping by! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog. I'll try not to disappoint. I have two sarees that I actually bought online in the US (sight unseen)before we moved to India. I bought them from www.nakharewalie.com and like them a lot. The only problem is that they came with what's called an unstitched blouse, which means there's fabric for the blouse that comes with the saree. It's actually one long piece of fabric and you have to cut the piece for the blouse from it. The saree itself is about 6 meters long and about 1.10 meters wide although there is some variation depending on the shape/size of he person. The blouse piece dimensions will also vary. The width of the saree is actually the length from your waist to the floor, though you need a couple of inches to tuck in a special drawstring skirt worn underneath the saree, called a pettycoat (I don't have a real petty coat either but I have a basic drawstring skirt I can use). I wasn't able to find a tailor in my area in Virginia, who would make the blouses for me, so I haven't worn my sarees yet (though I have worn a borrowed one). I fully intend to do that here. I need to find a tailor and get the blouses made. Once do that, I'll write a post about sarees and how they are draped and worn. I can't wait to do that. If you need an idea of how to put on a saree, you can find a bunch of videos on youtube - just type "how to drape a saree." Hope this helps.

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  4. Hi Daniela!

    Thank you so much for all the info! It was VERY helpful! Although, I can hardly wait to see your saree post! ;)

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