India & China Teacher's Guide

May 10, 2000 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:

Abeja - Endangered: The Ancient Communities of the Narmada River

The team goes to the Narmada River in Western India, and visits native, tribal "Adivasi" communities slated for submersion by the Sardar Sarovar Dam that is being built. An interview with activist Medha Patkar teaches the history of the people's struggle against the dam, and the current state of affairs. Subjects include social and environmental issues associated with development projects.

Damns are powerful things and can (and have) performed great services where they are built. Have students do research about a similar damn building experience (as in this dispatch) in their town, city or country, that was carried out to the great detriment of neighboring communities and people. How do students feel about this? What do they think about the ultimate sacrifice that Medha Patkar is willing to make?

Jasmine - The Lovely and Legendary Ms. Suneeta Rao
Kids' Version Available

While in Bollywood (Bombay), India's pop-culture capital, home to the Hindi film industry and its most important cosmopolitan port, the team visits Hindi Pop star Suneeta Rao. We peek into India's upper-class lifestyle and get a behind-the-scenes view of the rising Hindi pop music industry.

Have some fun with this one and get a hold of Suneeta's albums and play them in class for students to listen to. Do they like what they hear? Would she be a pop star here? Who's better-Ms. Hill or Ms. Rao? Have them look at her lyrics and decide if the themes or words are particular to her Indian upbringing, or whether they touch on universal themes.

Monica - Development That Works

The team speaks with the founder of Dakshinayan, a program that links volunteers with small-scale development in rural Indian villages.

Siddharth's philosophy of life is worth repeating: "Nothing is forever. You don't know what will happen next. Live in the moment. Follow your nature, and conditions will work in your favor. If you try and follow what other people are telling you to do, things won't work'll end up unhappy." Monica challenges students to think about his statements and how they relate to their lives. Ask students: "Are you doing what you are meant to be doing? Or are you doing what somebody else wants you to be doing? Are you living your own life? Or are you living someone else's?" Have them write down their answers and save for a later date to compare against.

Andrew - I Don't Care if that Croc Is Vegetarian - I'm Still Not Swimming With Him! And Other Forms of Refreshment in Udaipur

Andrew sleeps under the stars with friends in Udaipur and visits the City Palace. Includes information on chai tea, Rajastan and Hindu and Muslim architecture.

Since this is the trekker's first update from India, and since Andrew does such a tasty job of describing the local hospitality, why not have students prepare some of the local food and drink? (Dispatch includes: chai (Indian tea, with milk and sugar), dal (lentils, a type of bean) rice, cooked vegetables topped off with yogurt, and chapati bread (kind of like a thin tortilla). Enjoy your Indian feast!

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