By Sara Canali, School Program participant from Italy, Hosted in Ahmedabad

I have always known theoretically, that prejudices are dangerous or at least useless. In India, I had the reasons to avoid my choice to travel to India.

For example, Since, I arrived in my new country, India, I saw many peacocks without their long tail and I thought that Indian people had cut them to use their colorful feathers. Later, I introspected to which, I found out that female peacocks have just a short tail usually.

India taught me a new concept of respect, especially towards the elders. Now, I feel uncomfortable if a child doesn’t call me ‘Didi’ or if I forgot to say, ‘Sir or Ma’am’, while I am talking with one of my teachers.

At my host family & community, I am learning not to consider my things as my private property. I shouldn’t feel bad if my host brother borrows my portable laptop for a while.

On my initial month, I felt very impolite not to say, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ to any member of my family. Now, I know that one should always help his relatives and it is a kind of a duty. It happens the same thing in a friendship also.

After three months in India, I have taken on my own so many times the public transports such as Auto. In Italy, I have never taken even a taxi and I felt uncomfortable initially to take the public transport by bus alone. Hence, I am definitely more independent here at my host chapter, Ahmedabad.

(Photo Above: Sara holding placard)

Continuing my exchange, I have become more flexible, when something wrong or unexpected happens, I am quite able to manage it because now I try to be always aware of what is happening around me in each and every moment.”