On our journey to our A-levels we have to study quite a bit, which is not only tiring but, to be honest, sometimes just extremely boring. Therefore, when we studied about India in our English lessons, luckily we didn’t have the standard “read this text and then answer a lot of questions, so we can move on to even more questions” approach. Instead, we learned the creative way.
First, we watched a movie about Gandhi and how he fought for peace in India without using violence and then we talked about it and discussed whether we thought he was a father to his nation but not to his son. The movie showed the caste system in India as well and whilst it was a thing back then, there are, officially, no more castes in India today. Nevertheless, many people still believe in this system, therefore the lower caste is treated poorly to this day.
After that and in preparation for our next exam, we did a mediation with the topics of forced marriage and child marriage. To be frank, what we found out was quite shocking. For example, if a girl gets married off to an older man, she is cut from her social circle, can no longer go to school (if she was allowed to in the first place) in order to become a housewife. Women in common suffer from severe abuse and domestic violence. Overall we learned a lot about women in India which later on also ended up being part of our exam. There we had to do a mediation about a hilarious gang of women dressed up in pink saris that beat up men who abuse women.
However, that is not all we were informed about. Sometimes the best way to learn is to acquire knowledge by yourself. That is probably why we got different stations and had to choose one task of each to do ourselves and then present the results. Therefore, everyone could pick a task to their own liking. And some of those tasks were unique. First, we had a quiz about English words with Indian origin and afterwards we got to hear the Indian national anthem, unfortunately no one was brave enough to sing along. Following that, we had a poll about where our clothing comes from and found out more about child labor and the inhumane working conditions that way. Next, we talked about the poem “Indra, the rain giver” which is about the god of heaven who controls the weather. Finally, we accomplished some creative writing tasks about a chicken or a cow, which are considered holy in India, appearing in Buckingham Palace. The stories were really well written and amusing. Next, we listened to two speeches presented by our classmates about how to solve India’s water crisis and decided who we would support financially.
Of course, the best was saved for the finale when we got to enjoy freshly made naan bread and curry in class. The curry was prepared the day before, but the bread was cooked right in front of our eyes on a camping stove Mrs. Gratzer had borrowed. (Thank you, Mrs. Müller!)
We really enjoyed the food, so I am going to share the recipes here:
Now that we are done with the topic India, we sure hope, there will be something similar waiting for us when we talk about the USA.
Text and pics: Erika Erbes, Q12, E3