Kerala Volunteer was fortunate enough to have Kate, an experienced 6 year teacher join our program, and here she sheds a little light on why it might be a good idea for teachers to leave their comfort zone and volunteer teach abroad.. I’m at the other end of the spectrum of teachers who get comfortable in a school and end… Read more →
How lucky we are to have another amazing Kerala Volunteer starting our program in November! Meet Meghan: A Yogi, outdoor adventurer, and kid-at-heart! Hey there! My name is Meghan Kramer and I am so excited for this wonderful volunteer opportunity in Kerala, India. I am a 21 year old student studying education, as well as a certified yoga instructor… Read more →
Who doesn’t love a good bit of random trivia knowledge? Here we give you 32 lesser known facts about the ever-Interesting India…
1) India has never invaded any country in her last 100,000 years of history.
2) Chess was invented in India.
3) Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are all studies that originated in India.
4) India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world.
5) The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.
6) The Indian Railways employs over 1.3 million people and has over 23 million passengers each day.
7) The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian Mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians.
8) Until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds in the world.
9) Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over 2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.
10) Islam is India’s and the world’s second largest religion. There are over 300,000 active mosques in India, more than any other country, including the Muslim world.
11) Jews and Christians have lived continuously in India since 200 B.C. and 52 A.D. respectively
12) Varanasi,also known as Benaras, was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
13) India provides safety for more than 300,000 refugees originally from Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who escaped to flee religious and political persecution.
14) His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, runs his government in exile from Dharmashala in northern India.
15) Martial Arts were first created in India and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
16) Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years
17) In the next three years, up to 25% of the world’s new workers will be Indian
18) 42% of the world’s poor live in India. That’s over 450 million people living below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank.
19) India grows 12 million tons of mangoes in a year, the weight equivalent to 80,000 blue whales
20) A bigger movie market than America and Canada combined, India sold 3.2 billion tickets last year.
21) India has 568 million more registered voters than the US — and a better turnout rate too.
22) The village of Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra is known for the fact that no homes in the village have doors- residents do not keep their valuables under lock and key and believe that the god of the famous Shani temple punishes anyone attempting theft. Reports of theft in the village are extremely rare.
23) A teenager by the name of Arshid Ali Khan is believed to be a reincarnation of the monkey God Hanuman and is worshipped by many Indians because of the rare, 7 inch tail he was born with.
24) India is the world’s largest producer of dried beans, such as kidney beans and chickpeas. It also leads the world in banana exports; Brazil is second.
25) India is the largest democracy in the world.
26) The Indian state Kerala is communist..by choice.
27) Many Indians find toilet paper repellent and consider it cleaner to splash water with the left hand in the appropriate direction. Consequently, the left hand is considered unclean and is never used for eating.
28) It is illegal to take Indian currency (rupees) out of India.
29) Bathing in the Ganges in particular is thought to take away a person’s sins. It is not unusual to spread a loved one’s ashes in the Ganges.
30) It is traditional to wear white, not black, to a funeral in India. Widows will often wear white in contrast to the colorful clothes of married or single women
31) India is the world’s largest tea producer, and tea (chai) is its most popular beverage
32) It took 22,000 workmen 22 years to complete the Taj Mahal.
Kerala Volunteer feels so lucky to have Kate as one of the pioneers kicking off our program! An experienced English teacher and traveler, Kate is sure to make a positive impact on the children, and they are so excited for her arrival- which is later this month! Learn a bit more about Kate here…
I’ve been an English teacher for five years and have been lucky enough to work across different sectors, including international, public and private. My main subject is English language and literature, and I teach it at all ages within high schools. This year has seen me teach in the middle school – so much younger than what I am used to – but it was fun! Even though I am actually taking a break from teaching now to return to study back home, my love of teaching, interacting with students and watching them grow will never leave me. I’ve been so lucky to work with numerous types of students, ranging in ages and backgrounds, and so I see volunteering at RRUP as adding another dimension to my own profession. I sometimes feel the art of teaching is being lost in the west given the amount of admin which comes with the job, and so I look forward to being able to make the teaching and learning process much more organic. To me, it’s not all about tests, marking and writing reports; it’s just as much about growing in confidence, enjoying your days and becoming a respectful member of society.
India has always appealed to me, but I felt it important to wait until the time felt right- until I felt ‘naturally ready’, and that time has now come. I’m leaving all I know to enter a world completely foreign to me, yet I already feel welcome. It’s a wonderful feeling and I cannot wait to live, breathe and see it.”
Whether you’ve seen enough of India’s most popular destinations, or are simply keen to discover some less touristy spots, there are some remarkable places to visit in India that are off the beaten track. Discover 12 of them in this article. 1. Kutch Region of Gujarat The vast Kutch region of Gujarat is sometimes described as India’s “wild west”. Much of Kutch… Read more →
**Kerala Volunteer prides itself on being an ethical volunteer organization with no agency fees and extensive volunteer support. Volunteers are never left without support and know the question, “Where is my money going?” needs never be asked. Read more about how to select a legitimate volunteer organization from long-time traveler and volunteer Shannon O’Donnell… When I first left in… Read more →
Have you been putting off traveling with your family due to work obligations, finances, or some other reason? I’m going to show you 5 reasons why travel is good for your family. All of these reasons can apply whether you travel far or stay close to home. The point is…everyone benefits from a little getaway. Break Away from Stress and… Read more →