We went straight to the courts/corporation buildings this morning where the members of the district Panchayat work. Upon entering the building we saw some barristers dressed in suits on a motorbike! (not seen anyone wearing suits yet in India). We met the current Vice President of the District Panchayat, a District Panchayat Secretary, a former President of the Grama Panchayat and a District office official. Subha Kumar who was the secretary spoke English well and therefore asked the women our questions for us and translated their answers.
The male secretary, made an impact upon me as he seemed very open, however I wondered whether in fact he was being 'politically correct' due to the change in the Law in 2010, in order to receive good public relations for the situation of women in Kerala. He was positive that women will bring about revolution in changing Kerala, with the view that this was because of the differences that lie between knowledge and wisdom. He believed that “ladies maintain wisdom, never blow up their face, they are able to smile”. This quote prompted much discussion between our team after the interviews.
Following this we were dropped in the round to meet George at 2pm so we could find a good position to watch the Pulikkali ‘Puli’ means tiger and ‘Kali’ means play. The Pulikkali is a street festival where men brightly painted as green, yellow, orange, and red striped tigers come to the streets. Nine teams are judged on their outfits and dances.. It was supposed to start at 4pm..but typical of the Indian culture after about 4 hours waiting it finally started at 6pm! We only stayed for 2 teams as after waiting for so long we were tired, hungry and not so enthusiastic anymore! The teams we saw were people painted as tigers dancing in the street and there were brightly decorated floats with people on in various costumes.. the streets were completely packed and everyone was pushing to get photos and a good view. The people were all really kind and friendly though and some helped us get through to the front to take photos. We decided to leave the festival around 7pm – I think George was happy about this!
Its almost 1am and we have only just finished typing up our work from today. We are starting yoga class tomorrow and have to get up at 5:15am~! Best go to bed!!x