24 September 2007

More of Pune

What I did for the rest of my time in Pune…

Watching dance

The local dance group came to do some classical and folk dance for the group at Sangam. The teacher was an excellent dancer. She wore over a kilo of bells on each foot. Some of her dances involved slapping her foot on the floor so it made a loud noise- she said it took her 10 years to be able to make the noise!

Bollywood film and learning to Bollywood dance

We saw a Bollywood film, Bollywood being Hindi language films made in Mumbai. It was called Chake De India about an Indian women’s jockey team. We learnt a bit of Bollywood dance afterwards. It was a lot of fun. I thought it was much like aerobics- good that if you don’t keep up you can just attempt the next bit.

Laughter club

I’d heard of this laughter club being popular around the world. It started in India and an elderly couple ran the session. People get together and do laughing and breathing exercises together to help with stress relief and as a way of making friends. This session was really good. You just do silly exercises then pretend to laugh until it turns into real laughter. Eg pretending to blowing up a balloon and when it bursts you laugh, pointing at everyone and laughing, chanting hi hi ha ha ha ha, laughing when you get on the phone… really fun!

Maharastrian feast

We had a special closing dinner which we all dressed up for. I got my sari back and one of the staff members put it on for me which was good because it’s not very easy to do on a first attempt. It was about two bed lengths long. We learnt how to do rangoli, which is a type of art which involves making patterns on the ground with coloured sand for good luck. We made a rangoli artwork for our setting at the feast. Maharastra is the state that Pune and Mumbai are in, and we had food from that region. We ate with our hands from plate made of leaves.

Ghandi National Memorial
Ghandi was imprisoned in Pune in a prison. They then shifted him off to an old palace where his wife and secretary died. I visited this palace where his ashes are now stored. They had a bit of interesting information about the life of the man but the displays wasn't in very good condition! The palace is quite beautiful though. It's all white and has a big, well- maintained garden.

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