I’m currently studying naming practices in 7 countries on a Watson Fellowship. I’m curious how names are defined both by the individuals who bear them and their cultural and historical contexts. The process of naming a child is shaped by considerations that include religious traditions, government restrictions, family history, and cultural icons. I'm interested in how names act as microcosms for societal questions of identity on an international scale.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Downtown MysoreJust another pig on the side of the road.
View of Mysore with Chamundi Hills.
I came to India without much of an itinerary. Because I knew I had contacts to stay with here, I waited to seek their advice and recommendations before planning my seven weeks in great detail. Over the last 24 hours, I've been booking train tickets across India like it's my job. (Actually, it kind of is my job). I've been painstakingly prioritizing what I want to see here and I'm trying to accept that there's no way I can see it all. I'm trying to go to some places that will be interesting for my research and some places that I just have to see (i.e. I'm not going to India without going to the Taj Mahal).
Here's the current plan:
September 21st-October 7th: Stay in Mysore with various relatives of the Natarajan family and continue to do research.
October 7th-October 11th: Stay in Bangalore, mainly for sightseeing.
October 11th-October 17th: Head down south to Kerala (a southern state right on the coast). This place should be really interesting in terms of naming because it's a matriarchal society. And, also, let's be honest, the beaches are supposed to be beautiful.
October 17th to October 24th: Chennai. I'm making some contacts at the University of Madras and also timed my visit for when the Natarajans will also be visiting Chennai. They kindly offered to show me around.
October 25th to October 29th: Hyderabad. I'll be staying with Savithri's generous brother and am really curious to do some more research here as well, especially because of the large Muslim population in the area.
October 29th-November 14th: Going north! I'll be on my own exploring Delhi, Agra (the Taj Mahal!) and am also plotting to go further north to Simla and possibly Manali so that I can see the Himalayas.
For the most part, I'll be traveling on trains. India has an amazing rail system and by traveling on overnight trains (if you book a higher class there's AC, food and berths to sleep in) I'll be getting where I need to be and also saving money on accommodation! The one flight I'm taking is a 2 hour one from Hyderabad to Delhi.
Click on the link if you want to see what this looks like on a map. (Fingers crossed this technology works): View Full Size Travel Map at Travellerspoint.
Hanging lightbulbs for the Dasara festival.
Some shops and the bus station.
More of the Mysore palace.
Another view of the palace, with the balloon on the right advertising Dasara.
On the outskirts of Mysore.
In the meantime, can we talk about how beautiful this place is?