Thursday, May 1, 2008
Photos of 3rd week (3 of 4)
Monday we went to Dakshinachitra (Erin, Lily and I are all so impressed with ourselves that we can easily rattle that word off!), which is a 40-minute drive away from Chennai. This place is a re-creation of old Indian houses. A woman with a vision decided she wanted to preserve the various regions of South India by finding houses that represented different regions and occupations, taking the houses apart, and putting them back together, piece-by-piece on some land she purchased.
At this recreated old-fashioned village place, which seems to be focused on educating children, kids can see what old houses in India were like, and walk in them, and also see and do old handicrafts there, such as pottery, henna hand-painting, basket-weaving, block-printing, pounding and grinding rice (and this is all right up the Burke girls’ alley!). Interesting to note that Erin was as tall as the doorways to these old houses, and Dawn definitely had to duck to get through them. Were the Indians long ago short, or did they not mind ducking?
One activity at Dakshinachitra was being able to get your hand decorated with henna. It looked like mud being squeezed out of a tube. The lady worked quite quickly, and seemed to enjoy doing up the girls’ hands so much that she went all the way up their arms almost to the elbow!
The girls had to keep their hand untouched for an hour, waiting for the henna to dry. After an hour, they washed off in some water, and there was a beautiful design on their skin—kind of an orange colored, lacey look.
Heidi, who loves to paint, was in ecstasy when we found a place at the old-fashioned village where she could paint a few paper-mache figurines. She painted two flowers and a Hindu god-like figure.