Sunday, December 9, 2007

Q & A 1: Childhood In India

I´ve been lazy lately with posting new stuff and haven´t taken a pen in my hands for many days. Holidays here always mean too much eating and a greater need for sleep. Anyway I have been pretty screwed up the past weeks and I should start drawing or sketching again, as that lifts my mood.

So Mim asked me a question about my childhood:
"How come you grew up in India? What was your family doing there? Did you love it?"
My dad was a development worker. You actually can not choose the country you are sent to, but he was lucky to be sent to India twice. So 4 years I spent in Kottayam, Kerala (South India) and later 5 years in Alwar, Rajasthan (Northwest India).
I can´t really remember a lot of Kottayam but I went to primary school in Alwar and that time is still very present in my mind. I went to an Indian school (learning English, Hindi and a little bit of Sanskrit) and didn´t have any education in German. The first years back in Germany I had to struggle to catch up. I did love the time we spent in India and but had a culture shock when we returned to Germany. My sister and I were brought up very modest in India covering ourselves and taking care to behave properly as girls. Our brothers on the other side were brought up to be "real" men and that vigilantism was necessary to defend the women. Do you know Charles Bronson - "the archetypal screen tough guy with weatherbeaten features"? That is exactly my dad. He even looks like his twin.

Anyway I remember that I was shocked when we came back to Germany and saw the way girls and women were dressing themselves and that people would kiss in public, etc. and I was pretty sure that I would go back to spend my life in India. It took me only a few months to adjust and now I can´t imagine going back into this "sheltered" life. ;)

It´s hard to write about 9 years in one post. But in case there are any other questions, I´ll be glad to answer them. I´ll post some information and pics of Alwar later.


caseytoussaint said...

Interesting - I'm sure having that experience has contributed to making you the person you are today.

ksklein said...

well, i´m sure it did. but i guess it made me have too many inhibitions. (is that the correct expression?)

Mim said...

K - you have inhibitions????? You're about the free - est thinker I know!
Thanks for the answer, it's so interesting to hear about people's lives in different area's of the world.