The UOS Times
Opinion
Travel to India, A chance for My Spiritual Growth
Yoon Suk-ryul Junior Reporter  |  myddongfly@uos.ac.kr
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[0호] 승인 2006.06.23  
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Here is a man who carried out a plan that most people did not dare to do. His name is Go Sung-min, a sophomore of the Dept. of Life Science, who traveled around India for six months.

I ndia has the second largest population and the seventh biggest land area in the world, as one of the BRICs, a prospective super-powered coalition of regions, Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Despite the large number of beggars and chronic Caste System, India has grown up to be a strong country of IT software, thanks to Indians’ eagerness for study. You can confirm possibility of India’s development through Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, which is comparable to MIT. It is interesting to take a look at changes in India.

There were three reasons for selecting India. First, I wanted to go somewhere alone, where prices are low so that I could stay for a long term. India has a quarter cheaper exchange rate than Korea, and it attracted me. Second, I desired to challenge an unknown country. Finally, I was looking for a country in which English is generally spoken. India is an English-spoken country.

Although each region has an each dialect, Indian people use English in communicating with people from other regions. In other worlds, the first language is Hindi, but the second one is English.

Therefore, I decided to go to India. It gave me not only knowledge of India but also thinking power about the world. Spirit of India, “No problem” Korea is captured by a word, “success.” And one of the Koreans’ favorite words is maybe “bbalribbalri,” indicating “Do it quickly.” Under these competitive circumstances, it is not easy to find happiness, even making a ceaseless effort. But in India, the most frequent word you can hear is “No problem.”

For example, even though a car accident occurs, Indians say just “no problem” to each other. Why do they nothing but say “no problem” when they are faced with a terrible problem? Because this word contains a paradoxical meaning, “optimistic in suppression” Thanks to the Caste System spread all around India, Indians always behave according to their class.

However, each class must be happy by accepting and recognizing their place in society. Under these suppressed conditions, Indians never give up their positive attitude. In this situation, “no problem” reflects their belief well. Therefore, we can give a name “no problem” to the spirit of India.

New World and Diverse People I realized many thing through seeing a new place and meeting various people. In arriving at the New Delhi Airport, I was surprised that it was so clean and well-organized. Also, contrary to my expectation, India was not dirty and soiled, but it had newly-built-high-rise buildings in several places. My perception about the South Asian countries must have been wrong. I have been to Bangladesh and Nepal, but they were more advanced than I expected as well.

After all, my view about India as a developing country, not an under-developed or a grubby country, faded away. Also I was astonished once again by a deaf and mute girl. She confidently traveled around India. In the past, I was a mere passive traveler bound by my own limitation although I have a sound body. I swore by myself that I wouldn’t be scared against the unknown world. I wanted to broaden my perspective by traveling around the world and meeting many kinds of people.

That’s why I went to Nepal and Bangladesh. At that time, all I knew was the price of a room. Overcoming English I used to work for a university newspaper press of the school that I went to for two years, so I thought I could speak in English up to a certain level. But I was wrong. Colloquial English was different from formal written English. At first when I spoke with Indians, they took me as a fool.

I did not know how to respond when I understood what they asked. But I made desperate efforts to communicate with Indians, because that’s the only way to figure out how to get food and lodging for the night. Six months later, thanks to struggling for survival, I found myself fluently conversing with others up to a certain level. Cultural Assets India has many cultural treasures such as Kail-lish temple, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Ellora Caves.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can discover a treasure everywhere in India. Before I traveled to India, I appreciated huge-artificial buildings in Seoul. However while traveling around India, I realized that natural power surpasses the human skills in scale and harmony. Kail-lish temple was special in that it was made by cutting down from a rocky mountain that has a similar scale to ¡®The 21st Century Building of UOS.’

I was envious of Indian remains that are used to attract people all around world. Although we also have existing cultural properties, most of them have been rebuilt with new materials as they were made unsound timber. In fact, it’s difficult to give a vivid feeling of the original beauty. Meanwhile Indian remains still look dynamic as the originals must have been too.

Cultural Differences I have noticed there are significant cultural differences between Korea and India, especially in terms of religion and climate. What surprised me the most is the Caste System. When a car of a high-in-rank came by, and a car of a lower-in-rank broke in, a police officer ruthlessly punishes the lower-in-rank with a whip. It is a unimaginable scene in Korea.

In addition, the low latitude of India created distinct customs. For example, Indian rice is not as sticky as Korean rice. That’s why they grab rice with the hands in India. It sounds strange, but maybe we grab the pizza with hands because it’s handy for pizza.

Every experience I have felt in India gives me insight to a new world. An Indian who says “no problem” with a broad smile taught me an Indian mind, and the girl’s courageous confidence reminds me that I can do everything if I want. Getting along with Indians under the strict Caste System and eating rice with hands together with them, I obtained the power of understanding cultural differences.

I shall not forget the period of time as I stay in India. I am so grateful to the people I met, I hope I can travel to India again soon.
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