A ‘Helter-Skelter’ Ride through Madurai
The smell of chai and the taste of spicy dhal. The sight of a painted cow and the feeling of adrenaline as a bull charges during a jallikattu. The sounds honking horns during a white-knuckle auto rickshaw ride.
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In first-person accounts from his second sabbatical in India, Mary Baldwin College Professor of Philosophy Roderic Owen describes what it is like to be immersed in a rich culture nearly 9,000 miles from home. He is spending 10 weeks in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, to help strengthen ties between MBC and the all-women Lady Doak College, between which there is a student exchange program. He is also enriching his own research — working with a faculty member at Lady Doak and with a friend at the Gandhi Institute, and giving a few talks and presentations on ethics and conflict resolution.
In his first missive , Owen describes his arrival in Madurai, which presents a fusion of old and modern India, as well as his impressions of a serene and lush Lady Doak College. Owen’s second travelogue provides a vivid description of Pongol, a holiday akin to our own Thanksgiving.
Shekira Ramdass and Tyla Stormes, MBC students in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership are also in India on student exchange through Lady Doak.