A Tea Break in Dharamsala

Home is Where the Heart Is

21 Jun 2009

In some ways, Bhutti’s village of Salapi is the community I’ve been dreaming of since childhood. I’ve always been a ... read more

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Stories

IndiaIndia

We Traveled Seven Hours To A Sacred Lake To Walk In Circles?

“What are we going to do now?” I asked Bhutti. “Just walking around,” she answered, matter-of-factly. After a harrowing seven hours in crowded Indian buses, we had checked into our ... read more

19 May 2009
 

IndiaIndia

HOW TO: Buy Clothes Like An Indian Woman

I walk into a dim shop piled high with brightly colored fabrics. The Indian shopkeeper looks at me expectantly. “Kurta?” I ask tentatively. He nods and gestures for me to ... read more

16 Apr 2009
 

IndiaIndia

SLIDESHOW: Savory Snacks, Sacred Rivers, and Tibetan Buddhists In India

An Indian snack and sweet shop in Pragpur, Northern India rather ironically wishes its customers good health. While not exactly ... read more

28 Jul 2009
 

Insider Tips

Culture Shock

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Gift giving: don't expect effusive thanks

As I unpacked my suitcase, I pulled out the nice soap and journal I had brought as gifts for my new Tibetan roommate. “Here, I brought you something,” I said ... read more

16 Mar 2009
Fashion

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Scarves and shawls galore!

Indian and Tibetan standards of dress are more modest than American standards. Avoid tight pants, shorts, and short skirts. A shawl or scarf is an indispensable fashion accessory—you can ... read more

16 Mar 2009
Slang

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Sleep Tight, Loose Underwear

“Good night, sleep tight, loose underwear.” The first time my Ladakhi roommate said this to me, I sat up in bed in surprise. “Loose underwear?” “Yes, so funny…” she said ... read more

13 Apr 2009
Religion

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Wake up early!

The mornings in India are the holy times. Sikh temples begin to wake up their holy book around 2 a.m., and really get going around sunrise. You may wake ... read more

15 Apr 2009
Etiquette

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Don't forget your kata!

If you are spending a lot of time around Tibetans, and especially if you are meeting important religious or political leaders, it is a good idea to always carry a ... read more

23 Apr 2009
Being an American

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Hello, one photo?

Traveling in India, expect people to ask you to take pictures of them, or be in pictures with them. I found that Indians wealthy enough to own a camera often ... read more

04 May 2009
Film

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Hooray for Bollywood!

Prepare to hear the lyrics to popular Bollywood songs in shops and taxis all over India, and the faces of the ten most popular Bollywood stars plastered all over advertisements ... read more

04 May 2009
Packing

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Immerse yourself in local style

Pack light and buy clothes there! Even though people told me before I left for India that the standards of dress are much more modest, I still ended up bringing ... read more

11 May 2009
Sports

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Hone your basketball skills

Tibetans love their basketball, and they’re good too. How well you play proves your social status. One day, my Tibetan teacher decided to have a fun class outside and ... read more

11 May 2009
Health

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A drop of water won't kill you

While traveling in India, it's easy to convince yourself that every bite of food potentially contains a strain of death. While it is smart to be cautious about tap ... read more

23 May 2009
Books

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A Passage to India

Passage to India by E.M. Forester, set in India under the British colonial rule, is a marvelous book to read while traveling in India. His descriptions beautifully capture the ... read more

23 May 2009
Food

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Gotta love momos

Do not miss the momos! Small dumplings stuffed with meat, cheese, veggies or potatoes, and fried or steamed, momos are a signature Tibetan food. You can buy them on the ... read more

23 May 2009
Politics

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Be sensitive when it comes to the Dalai Lama

Whether Tibetans support the Dalai Lama’s middle way approach, which advocates autonomy for Tibet within China, or advocate full independence is a sensitive subject. His Holiness is so revered ... read more

23 May 2009
Getting Around

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Buses are the best!

If you’re going to be traveling in the mountains of Northern India, you’ve got to resign yourself to lots of buses on curvy mountain roads. Despite the extreme ... read more

29 May 2009
Music

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Two scenes: take your pick

For traditional and modern Tibetan music and dance, try to attend one of TIPA’s (the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts) shows. For a very different but equally fun and ... read more

29 May 2009
Nightlife

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Dharamsala is hopping in the morning

Nightlife? What’s that? I guess it depends on which crowd you’re hanging out with, but among the locals in Dharamsala, nightlife is pretty nonexistent. In my home-stay family ... read more

31 May 2009
Festivals & Events

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Tibetan uprising day

In the Tibetan exile communities in India, March 10, Tibetan Uprising Day, is the political event of the year. It commemorates March 10, 1959, when protests and revolt erupted in ... read more

31 May 2009
Dating

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Enter with Care

Dating Tibetans can be tricky, due to different cultural expectations. Tibetan women are generally reserved with the opposite sex, but Tibetan men are often very interested in American women. Just ... read more

21 Jun 2009
Must Do

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Take refuge in a Sikh temple

If you arrive in Delhi, or any other Indian city in the wee hours of the morning after an overnight bus or train, head straight to the nearest Sikh Temple ... read more

26 Jun 2009
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