Sunday, May 29, 2005
The Tribal Gujarat
Getting water from the well
Outside of the Himalayas, I thought India was a relatively flat land. But all those illusions were dispelled when we had to walk uphill to get to Pindval. In Pindval, we are interviewing a Gandhian author who has written dozens of books and spent the last 25 years working for the tribals. This area has some of the most overlooked folks in Gujarat. Actually it’s 99.9% tribal, according to the literature we read. It’s amazing to see how a 40 kilometer walk can completely change a community’s style of dressing, eating and speaking.
We’re about a few days shy of crossing the border in Maharashtra, where we’ll both have to brush up on our Hindi in order to communicate. So far, Nipun’s Gujarati has kept us very connected to the villagers. It’ll be interesting to be in a place where neither of us is fluent in the local language -- Marathi. Many people also warned us that we won’t find the Gujarati hospitality in Maharashtra and we’ll have some tough days up ahead with the monsoon. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. =)