After the urban crawl in the shopping mall yesterday, today was a contrast. It was a welcome return to nature: the calm, soothing backwaters of Kochi.
This is probably the most touristy thing I’ve done on the trip going by the number of Western tourists. It was helpful to talk to other travellers to hear their experiences in other parts of India, especially those I’m thinking of going to.
Our trip consisted of a boat trip along some of the rivers and canals of Kerala. When we reached a village, we saw coir making, used to create some carpets. The coir rope making was simple – the woman started with fibres of coconut and tied them to a rotatable hook. She then added more fibres and moved back, away from the hook. As the hook rotated and she moved back, adding more fibre, a string was formed. She actually weaves two strings at a time then twists them together to form a rope.
We finished the village visit with lunch.
I enjoyed talking to a well-informed Bangalore family about Indian politics, society and culture.
India, it seems, is going through the same challenge as Europe and the US – increasing intolerance to others. In the case of India, it’s not foreigners but those who live in other states or are of a different religion. Politicians are a significant source of stirring up this intolerance, as they try to divide and conquer – they overplay differences at the expense of commonality. Some things never change 🙄
It turns out the Indian pragmatism I’ve noticed that gets the job done, sometimes with few resources, has a word: jugaad! It’s even become a management technique!