North Indian Folk Life, Musical, and Cultural Heritage
The winter-term study abroad to India is an interdisciplinary course, with a focus on various forms of folklife and cultural heritage of North India, including, but not limited to: learning about the history of Hindu and Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques; reflecting on the architecture, history, and cultural contexts for the creation of these temples. In January 2020, we will explore locations in Varanasi, Sarnath, Dehli, and Jaipur. In addition to visiting historic sites, students will take private lessons from masters of the tabla, sitar, bansuri flute, and/or Indian vocal styles; interview and work with noted internationally renowned sculptors and painters; participate in the religious practice of Yoga; conduct ethnographic analysis of funeral ceremonies at various ghats on the Ganges River; participate as witnesses to an Aarti ceremony; learn about the role of popular music and the cultural influence of Bollywood in modern India.
While visiting the ancient cities of Dehli, Agra, and Jaipur, students complete small written assignments throughout the trip, attend and participate in lectures and discussion sections, and prepare for both an ethnographic research paper and a multimedia-essay assignment. Following the study abroad opportunity, students reflect in written form, their experience and share it in a public forum.
This study abroad course has been offered every other year since 2018. Upon completion, participating students receive credit for a typical 4 credit-hour course at Washington College. This counts towards Fine Arts Distribution, the Music Major/minor, Ethnomusicology minor, and the International Education Experiential Learning requirement.