HeritageINDIA student Riya Bhalla reflects traveling in India

HeritageINDIA student Riya Bhalla reflects traveling in India

July 28, 2019 | Author: Riya Bhalla, HeritageINDIA 2019 cohort

Coming to India for the first time, I did not know what I was expecting, traffic wise when on the main roads. In the US people drive passively and use horns rarely however, in India everyone drives aggressively and use horns to alert others they are coming or passing. The traffic that is already existing in India is worsened when people honk their horns and drive aggressively but, this created chaos because some drivers are not used to this which holds up the lines. For example instead of having three lanes, separated by lines, Indian drivers created a fourth lane, moving traffic slower. Many people travel on motorcycles which makes your travels faster yet more dangerous. It is possible for a motorcycle to weave in and out of cars, to get to their next destination faster which is why these are very popular in India.

On another hand, traveling helped bring me closer to others on this trip. Because we will be spending much more time together, it is important to become friends right away and by spending that day and 1/2 traveling together helped. Traveling in general, not just in India encouraged me to get to know my peers and I do not think that I could have been as close with them and gel together as well if we had not flown on the plane together. One factor that played an important role in coming closer with others was the fact that traveling can be chaotic but traveling with a group makes it less stressful. When you can communicate your feelings and crack jokes and have someone to talk to is always a good way to relieve stress.

Traveling anywhere can change how you view a region and how effective their road travel is important as well. For example, in India their form of travel is mostly by cars, bikes or autos/rikshas while in New York City, most people travel by car or bus/public transportation. People in both these cities walk to their destinations but it is more common in New York City because the weather is permitting.

Riya is one of 8 students in Indiaspora’s inaugural HeritageINDIA Program. A unique, immersive, 3-week summer program, this initiative gives high school students of Indian descent the opportunity to connect to their ancestral homeland. Students experience and engage with India’s rich and diverse cultural history by completing hands-on projects, participating in stimulating discussions, and building friendships with a cohort that will share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. With the exciting theme of India’s Riches: History, Culture, Diversity, & Democracy, students visit three areas of India that are geographically and culturally diverse, yet all very much represent India: New Delhi, Gujarat, and Kerala.