Vidya Devi Jindal School
Hisar Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
My first thought of the school was of being over-whealmed. It wasn't the fact that it was particularly impressive of its size or anything like that... don't get me wrong, it was HUGE, but I didn't discover this until later, it was simple because of the welcome we receieved.
We had been warned, that the girls would be putting on a "bit of a show for us" and I had been told off a lot by my teacher for not wearing a tie when we were going in, she acused me of letting the side down. But I think with what happened when we got there it was the last thing anyone would have noticed. When we walked through the doors everyone started clapping and cheering and we had wreaths of orange flowers thrown around our necks! After that, it starts to get slightly hazy.
Ourselves, and our bags, were then taken to the different dorms we would be staying in with the girls. Mine and Miriam's dorm was the furthest away so we gotten taken in the school 'car' which was actually one of those things you get on golf courses. On the way there we saw most of the school, including their ice skating rink, gardens and swimming pool! I was very impressed by the facilities they provided the school... but was quick to realise that the girls' parents were paying a lot of money for them!
Most days at the school were spent working on the shanty house in the mornings, then different activities in the afternoon.
I think that was what made me dispise the school so much actually. I started to feel homesick, and just longed for some food that wasn't spicey or some normal tasting water!! The rich tea biscuits I had brought ran out quickly.. and I really did miss my bed! All I needed was a proper night's sleep maybe... but after being woken up every single day by the school "alarm" - (IT WAS ACTUALLY AN AIR RAID SIREN!!) and by the dorm's matron coming into our room banging pots and pans in my face at 5am I started to get a bit stressed. We asked them to stop waking us up so early when the others got to sleep in until at least 8am everyday before breakfast.
The attitudes of the girls didn't help either really. I know that obviously they hold different values to us, but it did start to grate a bit when I had to listen to them insult every person possible, including gay people, the chinese, the capitalist West... the list goes on. I thought it would be interesting to question them about their beliefs, which was probably my fault. I wanted to know why exactly all these different people were considered "evil"... and I got some varied answers.
The other thing which most annoyed me about the school was their claim that it provided equal opportunities for girls and boys in India - all well and good! I'm all for the chance for girls to have an education. It was just that none of the girls there particularly cared, or were intereste in this education. They all studies for their exams hard and were all intelligent, but only aobut 3 of the girls I spoke to actually wanted to go to university... the rest were all just waiting for their husband, or their arranged marriage. This just seemed too backwards for my liking.
Moving on... I did have a good time at the school mostly, usually when I was left to my devices. The show we had to put on for the school was hilarious. They wanted to see tradionally English things, so three girls did some modern dancing, while we acted out the poem "The Highway Man" and sang our school song. We also had to do the Indian dance and songs they'd taught us. The girls thought this was particularly hilarious... I suppose it was really. Most of us had two left feet and when singing the song our accents were all wrong we were probably saying some pretty stupid things!!
I was glad to leave the school though, and see "real India" rather than this little capsule the girls were living in.