Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Welcome Home from Exec Director Lori Cope

SDARL Class IX has completed their International Study Experience to India. 

The past two weeks have been amazing in addition to experiential, cultural and memorable to say the least. I hope you have enjoyed our blog written by Class members. India is the second most populous nation containing 17.50 % of the world’s population.  

As I reflect on our experiences, I bring home an appreciation for the Indian lifestyle. Throughout India’s history, religion has been an important part of the country’s culture. It is the birthplace of five of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. This is visually evident and demonstrated with decorated Temple’s, Mosque’s and Shrines as a tribute to religions’ importance to their culture.   

We were truly immersed into their daily activities and obvious to all of us is their traditional foods of India with a variety of dishes that included dal mahkni – a butter based lentil gravy dish served over rice as well as curry chicken and tandoori chicken. Spices are at the heart of almost any dish. For centuries, foreigners have vied after the aromatic and flavorful seasonings used in Indian cuisine. The most commonly used spices in Indian food include cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and chiles. Black, brown and white mustard, as well as celery seed, paprika, saffron and tamarind are also frequently used. Depending on the region, dishes may call for coconut, certain types of nuts and onions. Masala is a premade blend of spices used in many main dishes and sauces.  Lamb, Chicken and goat are the most widely used meats in cooking. Culture and Religion influence the foods they eat, thus they do not eat beef but rather lamb, chicken and goat are most widely used.  

Indian people showed all of us great hospitality by greeting us with fresh flower leis and a warm Namaste welcome. Often we were welcomed to tea, juice or water and traditional Indian snacks upon arrival.  As we depart India and return to our families and the USA, the memories and lessons learned abound and we leave with a greater understanding of the Indian farm communities, their culture, lifestyle and their sense of family unity. Aside from our many differences, there are many similarities amongst people across the globe. We were welcomed and shared our love and a smile and in return we received the same.  If you have any questions about our travel experience please contact me. Until next time, Namaste!

Lori L. Cope
Executive Director, SDARL
1905 N Plaza Boulevard
SDSU West River Ag Center
Rapid City, SD  57702-9302
Cell: 605-216-6178

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