Thugs in a Temple!? WTF!?

Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Interesting experience. I met with a Brahmin priest upon my arrival who informed me of the rules: as a foreigner, I must pay an entrance fee and I am also not allowed in, since I am not Nepali nor am I Hindu. My friend, who is Nepali and Hindu, got in for free, that sucka. Haaha.

Here is a link: http://www.pashupatinathtemple.org/

I went down to the area for a prayer and a puja. I asked for the courage and bravery to continue being fearless and to remain consistently on my path—intellectually and spiritually. Funny, shortly thereafter, the priest bids us good-bye and we started walking towards the cremation area and we were assaulted/almost robbed by two tourists-scammers right in the temple area!? The audacity of these bitches! Because my friend is Nepali, as I previously mentioned, he has an awareness of the landscape and can spot out the good ones from the rotten ones. With intuition and strong-will, we exited with only a small altercation—who expects thugs in a temple?! Ugh, I guess human dignity has left the building. I would chalk it up as the divine just testing my ‘bravery, courage, and fearlessness’ since that was what I channelled during my puja—what do you think? This world keeps me on my toes! The complexity of being at a temple and having such an experience only highlights the absurdity of existence (Camus). What better way to celebrate the sacred and the profane—I think every ethnologists has encountered something of this nature, it is part of the territory I guess. Now back to the puja/prayer/mantra ceremony. It was quite an experience to be there, with this priest and my friend having this moment and being present. He (the Hindu priest) asked if I would like to extend this love and compassion to others like my family and I said yes, obviously. We took a few photos and exchanged e-mail addresses and he said that he will e-mail the photos to me since I am sans a mobile device and a camera (travelling like a gypsy, obvi).

On our way there and back, we stopped to watch a group of males playing cricket! I was so excited because I was my first encounter since being here—not even in India did I have the pleasure to see a full game in action. We return home and planned to hit the swimming pool because it is hot/humid today and we walked for an extended period of time. Instead, we used the water-hoes and had a splash pad/chase in the backyard/garden/side lawn area which was fun and a good form of exercise for the day. It was a nice way to end the day and take our minds of the two dweebs who attempted to ruin our day.

Yesterday, I attended the Darnal Award for Social Justice. I am a Research Associate with ICI and I worked on this event for the past year. Here is a link: http://www.darnalaward.org/event/2015-darnal-award-social-justice-special-event

This is just the beginning of great work to be done—an estimate of five schools will be built to help in the post-earthquake reconstruction. It is such an honour to be in the presence of such great and formative minds, people working passionately to better themselves and the communities they are exposed to/serve.

I am not sure what I will be doing for the rest of the day. I intend to edit my final reflection on Bhopal and have a post within the next few days….I will keep you posted.   

Video of the Annual ICI Conference – Environment in India & China

The India China Institute is proud to present that the video of it’s annual conference is available online. To access the videos of the panels and the commentaries please visit our youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/icinstitute. You can also find videos from our fellows and lectures given by the academic directors of ICI.

The Environment in India and China

Video recordings of the conference hosted by the India China Institute at The New School, New York on November 30 – December 1, 2012:

Session 1 – Ecology – Part 1

Session 1 – Ecology – Part 2

Session 2 – History – Part 1

Session 2 – History – Part 2

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Session 3 – Innovations – Part 1

Session 3 – Innovations – Part 2

ICI Sponsored Fall 2011 Courses

India China Institute is proud to announce two upcoming Fall 2011 courses sponsored in part by ICI. Students interested in South and South East Asian politics, history, and ecology are encouraged to join. Space is limited!

India and China: ULEC 2710
Professor Sanjay Ruparelia, former ICI fellow, will teach an undergraduate level course on the relationship and history between India and China.

Ecology in the Himalayas: UENC 3707
Join ICI’s post-doctorate fellow, Georgina Drew for an Independent Study course on the intersection of religion and environments in the himalayas. Instructor approval required for enrollment. This course is part of the Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalayas initiative, sponsored by the Luce Foundation and ICI.

India China Institute Fellows Program

The Third Cohort of ICI Fellows

The India China Institute’s signature India China Fellowship Program features a two-year fellowship for emerging leaders from India, China, and the United States, including academics, entrepreneurs, policy experts, politicians, artists, and journalists. Three cohorts of Fellows have participated in these programs over the the past five years. The programs include at least three intensive residencies of one to two weeks each, held in the United States, India, and China, that focus on the study of specific global issues from a trilateral perspective. These residencies aim to stimulate intellectual exchange and knowledge building, with the goal of producing jointly researched policy papers and building a close-knit community of reflective practitioners and active scholars.

In addition to these residencies, fellows of the program actively exchange ideas and information through the pages of ICI’s publications, on its interactive web space, and at roundtable discussions and conferences around the world. The fellowship program thus provides a sustainable mechanism of interaction for its core participants—scholars, practitioners, and decision-makers—through academic, financial, and professional support. It provides them the academic space, the information, and the tools needed to formulate reasoned and effective policies.

Director's Message

Ashok Smiling_2013

Welcome to the India China Institute website!

On this site, you can access information on our programs, including public events and resources from the ever-growing ICI community.

Since our founding in 2005 with the generous support of the Starr Foundation, we have continued to enrich our commitment to critical inquiry and collaborative scholarship. This site is not just a place for us to announce our initiatives and events, it is also a space for both our fellows and visitors to discuss and share information on a wide variety of topics.

Along those lines, please drop us a line if you have a suggestion or comment, and remember to sign up for our mailing list to receive updates.

Sincerely,

Ashok Gurung
Senior Director, India China Institute
Faculty, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School

Director’s Message

Ashok Smiling_2013

Welcome to the India China Institute website!

On this site, you can access information on our programs, including public events and resources from the ever-growing ICI community.

Since our founding in 2005 with the generous support of the Starr Foundation, we have continued to enrich our commitment to critical inquiry and collaborative scholarship. This site is not just a place for us to announce our initiatives and events, it is also a space for both our fellows and visitors to discuss and share information on a wide variety of topics.

Along those lines, please drop us a line if you have a suggestion or comment, and remember to sign up for our mailing list to receive updates.

Sincerely,

Ashok Gurung
Senior Director, India China Institute
Faculty, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School

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