Before I get into this, I'm excited to announce THAT I FINALY HAVE INTERNET. That (theoretically) means that I'll be able to stay in touch with y'all a bit more from now on.
Anyway, since arriving in rural India, one of the things that has struck me most is the hilarity of the things that get lost in translations. Alot of the time, what someone means to say and what you hear are two COMPLETELY different things, especially if you don't understand the context it which they're talking. Intead of trying to explain what I mean, I'm just gonna list the top 5 funniest phrases (and questions) that I've encountered over the past 2 months. Keep in mind these people were compeltely serious at the time.
5. "Your watch is very big and shiny. Why?" - Krishan
4. A 94 year old villager slowly enters into our meeting room. Krishan looks at the old man and says "This man is very very old. So what do you do with your dead in Canada?"
3. "Stephen, you look like very sensual boy" - Husn Ara
2. "Being sensual is my favourite pastime" - Krishan
1. "mmm....I'm lonely...very bored..I have nice room....this weekend, you come to my room and rest?" - Sureg
The other thing that has consistently thrown me off is the kind of questions people will ask when first meeting you. What we see as being fairly personal, they see as being normal friendly conversation. Upon asking your name, villagers will usually ask you what caste are, if you're married, what village you're from, as well as your age. If you say that you don't have a caste, they'll stare at you blankly...pretend to understand, and then move on. The concept of a casteless agnostic or aetheist doesn't exist in their concept of the world. I've learned just to lie and say I'm muslim, mostly because I prefer avoiding the awkward silence that would otherwise ensue.