NAMASTE   11 comments

Namaste: the divine presence in me acknowledges the divine presence in you — hands pressed together with a bow.

Such a beautiful greeting, and such beautiful people to greet. I wish everyone could travel and discover there really is no “other.”

One of our earliest stops was the Qumwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Delhi.

I won’t risk reporting too much history — definitely not one of my strengths — but according to our guide, the Muslims decided somewhere around the eighth century to go beyond plundering forays into India and just move in. One of the fascinating things to observe is the apparent intertwining of Hinduism and Buddhism. In the beginning, rather than a military effort to replace Hinduism, Muslim invaders appealed to what seems to be partial conversion, or  a comfortable blending, with individual differences, of dedication to Hinduism and Buddhism. So it was that we spent time appreciating the sites representing both religions — sometimes, it seemed, at the same time.

Notice the “namaste” greeting in this photo as we first entered the Mosque. And that’s where it started — selfies with Mona. Apparently the Indians like little old American ladies. It started with a group of young people, but soon there were groups wanting selfies with me. Thanks to David Osmundson, one of the members of our delightful Smithsonian group, I have this photo of folks taking photos. Oh my goodness, aren’t they beautiful?

Off to the right of this photo, another woman in our company was entertaining her own group asking to be photographed with her.

But it didn’t  end there. Joyce and I found a quiet place to sit while the photographers among us were exploring possibilities. Again, it began with the young folks, but grew to a regular stream. I did get one man to take a photo on my camera so I could have a record of the love and joy I felt.

And besides. It proves I was there.

There’s more. Doug just sent me a few from his camera. Raw and unedited, so a real gift from him who is so professional.

Now I’ve started. I hope it won’t be too long before I’m back with more for our fabulous days in India and Nepal



11 responses to “NAMASTE

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  1. Mona! they recognize your Indian soul – you’re one of them:) isn’t that quite lovely – what a great experience for you ( and them :))

  2. as far as I’ve read and seen, your Indian voyage has been interesting, enriching, and quite an experience… India and Nepal are supposed to be stunning!!! Thanx for sharing your nice pix, Miss Mona! ❤ 🙂

  3. I was really surprised by the Indian people who wanted their picture taken with me. After all, I have brown hair and brown eyes. I could understand why they wanted photos with the blonde/blue-eyed folk.

    • Obviously it’s not the hair. (By the way, did you describe me as blonde? Oh for the good old days.) I think they saw your character. Truth is, I think all of us really liked — maybe loved — the folks we met. I definitely see it as a compliment.

  4. I so appreciate your responses and photos. It was fun to go on a virtual trip with you.
    I am not in a position to travel as you do, but I can tell you that the opportunity to experience that there is no “other” exists right at home, too. It just takes a little more effort and involvement with diverse groups. Perhaps my view is based on city living. There are so many people of various backgrounds and religions. A small mosque across the street, a majestic Catholic cathedral a block away, likely a fundamentalist church of some kind right in my back yard. And the people! So many diverse people engaged daily in the lives that they choose to live. My opportunity to cross paths with them enriches me.

    Nancy J Gustafson
    • Thanks for this. We need to be willing to wipe “other” from our thoughts if we want to see the true beauty and worth of people not like us. Just the other day I told someone he should travel more after he expressed some stereotypes about “others.” But, as you say, we can all make the effort.

  5. Great pictures! I enjoyed being about to enjoy India virtually via this blog. Your trip looks awesome.

  6. Beautiful pictures!


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