The next city I visited and stayed in was Salem. I spent the most time in Salem, nearly 5 days in total. By the time I got here the initial awe of India started to wear off and feelings of deep appreciation and respect were mainly what occupied me. I was insanely curious about everything around me and their culture. I tried to absorb as much of it as I could.
While we were in Salem two amazing events happened. The famous Pongal Festival and a annular solar eclipse in the middle of the day. The Pongal Festival was really fun, it’s harvest festival where people celebrate by putting color powders all over their cows and goats. They also great beautiful pattern in the street by hand with colorful powders.
While here I tried to start focusing on capturing scenes of daily life. Looking for what is different to me is endless. Once I started just appreciating the mundane of India, that’s when the beauty of our differences started to become more evident to me.
Sri Vidya School For The Deaf
I visited a school for deaf children. These boys were at the school, learning how to do Indian sign language and learning life skills to successfully navigate the world while deaf.
All Girls School
I also visited and all girls school, getting to see how India educates the young. The schools seems to be generally separated by gender there. I didn’t have the opportunity to dive into the difference in the education boys and girls get.
ABS Botanical Gardens
An Indian man dipping his hand in the seeds of an Annatto (Bixa orellana) or Roucou which produces a natural red paint used for putting those red dots on the foreheads of Indians known as bindi, tika, pottu, sindoor, tilak, tilakam, or kumkum.
Fresh Coconut Water
A guy climbed up a palm tree and got a coconut then chopped it open and gave it to me. I definitely enjoyed the all-natural coconut water.
This is Pongal Festival. I was fortunate enough to witness and enjoy the festival and admire all the beautiful hand-drawn kolams, which are a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour, chalk, chalk powder or rock powder.
Annular solar eclipse
This is when the annular solar eclipse happened, it was on January 15, 2010. As it was happening the sky darkened a lot in the middle of the day, it was pretty crazy. I pointed my camera up and got this photo of it. Though the actual eclipse was too bright, my camera captured a reflection of it in the lens.
More Photos From My Incredible Trip to India:
- Photos: The Taj Mahal
- Photos: New Delhi & Agra, India – Seats Of Power And Poverty
- Photos: Auroville & Mahabalipuram, India – A Golden Dome and Krishna’s Butterball
- Photos: Puducherry, India – Marriage, Zen, Art, And A Beach
- Photos: Chidambaram, India – A Small Town With A Long History
- Photos: Nagapattinam, India – Beautiful Orphans And A Ring of Fire
- Photos: Velankanni, India – A Small Beach Town With A Famous Basilica
- Photos: Karaikal, India – Meeting Tsunami Survivor K. Pasupathi
- Photos: Kumbakonam, India – Home Life and Fine Silk
- Photos: Mayiladuthurai, Tharangambadi, and Poombuhar, India – First View of the Coast
- Photos: Thanjavur, India – The City of Temples
- Photos: Namakkal, India – All Day Long Celebrations
- Photos: Yercaud, India – Getting Some Time With Nature
- Photos: Coimbatore, India – Small City with Exotic Food
- Photos: Salem, India – From Daily Life to the Pongal Festival
- Photos: Bengaluru, India – The City of Technology and Religion
- Photos: Hosur, India – My First True Taste of India
- Photos: India – Arriving In A Mysterious New Place