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Jan 28

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Thursday, January 28, 2010

One of my newly arrived Indian friends from Kerala recently told me that she was surprised that the weather that accompanied snow would be so bone-chilling and unbearably "chilled" (cold).

She told me that in India she saw photos of landscapes with snow. Homes and evergreens covered with snow, and from the windows of these homes lights illuminated the outside, and through windows, one could see fires burning and families inside drinking hot chocolate around the stove. This romantic version of snow I think is what people pray for when going to a ski resort, but some of us who have lived in it our whole lives prefer it different. I like the family gatherings and hot chocolate- but the reason everyone is inside around a fire is because it's cold out! And not just cold, but so cold that your breath can be seen exiting your mouth, your nose hardens and clogs (or runs, uncontrollably) and the wind can travel through your body and cause you to shiver like you have never experienced it before.

I thought, later after she told me this, maybe another reason this scenery seems 'warm' is because of the 'homely' or 'family' atmosphere it creates in the viewer of such photos. And, in some parts of India being 'homely' is and admired quality.

Later, I further thought of yet another reason she may have thought it was not going to be so cold. Indian movies - Bollywood- has played a trick possibly on her and billions of other unsuspecting Indians who live in the hot parts of India- that the weather accompanying snow is indeed warm- it must be- because the ladies are dancing in saris in the snow! Can't be too bad, right?!!

To get an idea of these Bollywood tricks, check out these Tamil (Kollywood) songs, especially in scenes near the end of Enakoru Snekidei Priyamanavale and in the movie/song  Chandramukhi - Konja Neram.

Here are scenes of snow, blowing snow, and shivering voices (me, mainly!) sharing my snowy experiences (1.5 minutes).

Snow- It's cold, it sticks on your pants, it crushes your neighbor's roof.... from Authentic Journeys on Vimeo.

Here is an American English cultural lesson on "Black Ice" - a phemenon that usually coexists with wintery, cold weather. Be careful not to slip!

Thanks for spending time on my site!!


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