Oh Incredible INDIA ! “Meryem’s life changing summer in India”
Meryem Rhaiti is a 20 years old Moroccan student who went on an exchange program to Jalandhar, India. After two months, she came back as a “global citizen”, ready to share the amazing experience that she’s had.
With bright nostalgic eyes, she remembers how she had made up her mind choosing India as a destination.
“Why India? I have never been abroad. Most of all, I have never imagined myself traveling alone, since my parents are a bit too over-protective. When the AIESEC opportunity came along, I practically manipulated them! I told them that is was a unique offer that only few people could get, and they ended up falling for it.
I sat with myself, thinking where I should go. Then I decided to go somewhere I would never go to on my own. I won’t say that I chose India for a specific reason other than that, because actually, I didn’t look it up on Google, didn’t read about it, didn’t search amazing places to visit nor the risks I could encounter. Nothing! I decided to just go, experience the culture shock and just deal with it. I wasn’t disappointed. India turned out to be the perfect destination.”
Asking Meryem about the best thing about India seemed to be unfair “ I won’t be able to tell you THE best thing about India. she said “ I will probably say that India was the best thing that happened to me. How can I put it? Too many amazing things about that country. as I like to describe it; India is not a country. It’s a freaking continent. You’re in one state, you get used to the landscapes, the language, the food, the weather.. Then you go to another state, and it’s completely different! Another skin tone, another language, other traditions.. Astonishing! Richness of the culture was probably the best thing about India.”
What was the worst thing in your experience?
“Except that coconut juice, there is no worst thing about India … I seriously can’t complain about anything. Let’s just say that leaving the country and all those beautiful people was the most painful experience I’ve ever lived.”
How did the experience change you ?
“I’m childish, crazy, Muslim, wearing a veil, different. None of the eyes gazing at me had a tiny bit of judgment. You got to love this about India; No matter what how you look like, what your skin tone, religion, language are, NOBODY judges you. I finally learnt to be myself, to act like myself, and fully enjoy life. I learnt to never hold onto the first impression of people, to get to know them as I might learn something if I got to know them.I really can’t put it into words; my experience was amazingly amazing in all aspects.I made forever-lasting friendships, made a home out of a land, thousands of miles away.
India held a piece of my heart that I will never get back.”
Meryem made us travel to a country which has a spirit ! Incredible India with all its smells, its colors, its beautiful people .. we felt this warmth in her story, and with the same wandering eyes she makes the soul travel one last time through a one of a kind experience : the golden temple.
“The Golden Temple visit is a Sikh temple situated in Amritsar, Punjab; and it was by far the most astonishing experience of my life. As I entered, it took a minute for my eyes to adjust, because what was in front of me was spectacular. The temple was literally golden, standing in the middle of some sort of a lake, and there was this religious music and these lights everywhere. I just sat there, and my life paused. I was literally thinking about nothing.”
Meryem knew how to seek the beauty of a new country, how to absorb all its positive vibes, and most of all she came back ready to fill the world with this amazingly crazy energy, spreading her good feelings everywhere.