IEM Project India
At end of July this year 25 enthusiastic IEM-Projectors were heading towards India. Delhi was the starting and ending destination of a cheerful, colorful and busy trip. When arrived at the airport there was no time to relax or fresh up at the hotel; the first company visit was directly scheduled. In the bus, we met our guides: Prithvi G, Siddaq and Deepak. Prithvi was a full-time tour leader, but Siddaq and Deepak were students of Thapar University. The company visit was at Hero motor corporation, which produces all kinds of motorbikes and scooters. We had a warm welcome there with multiple lunches and met three IEM-Projectors which had arrived from different locations. Due to the long trip and lack of sleep, some people could not manage to keep their eyes open during the presentation of Hero. Thereafter a great show was offered to us at the Kingdom of Dreams. The second night in India ended in a bar where the birthday of Bart Yellow was celebrated with a rietpijp. The Indian guides were greatly impressed by this Grunings habit. The following days in Delhi were spend visiting a NGO which made electricity from garbage. Furthermore, cultural activities as the Qutub Minar and the beautiful Rail Road museum were visited.
The first impressions in Delhi were that India is a very, very crowded, hot and dirty as well (yes, the prejudices were confirmed). What was also noticeable, is that everybody on the streets would stare at us, unashamed, not for a blink but for seconds and seconds. But it was time to leave Delhi and head to Chandigarh. This was done by train. From the train, we had a great view on a field in which multiple local people were shitting. The ‘Delhi Belly’ started to work and once arrived in Chandigarh people got the real India experience. Chandigarh was also the home town of Siddaq. This offered the opportunity to meet his parents in their house while having some beers. The parents were deeply impressed by the amount of white people that showed up in their living room. Kasauli was next on route, a small mountain village. This was a good place to get some rest. Then, Amritsar was visted after a long trip in the bus with Radio ‘de Heilige Koe’ and the ‘INDIA IEM-Project’ Spotify list on the speakers. The highlight of Amritsar was without doubt the Golden Temple, one of the most beautiful places of India. Moreover, the Wagah-border ceremony in which soldiers from India and Pakistan show their strength was a unique experience.
After a first week, full of culture and a busy program we flew back to Delhi and moved further to the South, to the Rajasthan –land of kings- region. In Delhi, there was still an appointment at the Dutch Embassy where finally some good quality coffee was found and we could ask some questions. Dechu and Pushkar were the next destinations. Here we stayed in luxury forts with swimming pools and did some adventurous activities as riding a camel and riding a jeep. The hometown of Prithvi, Jodhpur, was next in line. This appeared to be a cozy city with good restaurants. At daytime, some forts and castles were visited over here. After visiting Udaipur and Jaipur, the end of the trip was near. There were only two things left: the Taj Mahal in Agra and Rishikesh, a quiet mountain place. The Taj Mahal was as stunning as expected. The weather made cancel some of the activities the first day in Rishikesh, but the day after people had the opportunity to choose for water sports, a massage or hiking. This was for most people a very pleasant end of the trip, followed by a good night of drinking and heading back to the Netherlands.
Do you want to see more of our trip to India? Check out the aftermovie Emile Cornelissen made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYV9feHleDM&feature=youtu.be
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