Indian intern shares cultural experiences with Victory High School students

  • Victory High School intern Tabitha Kumar has been sharing Indian culture with the students on a weekly basis, including sharing some typical foods with the class on Thursday morning. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Victory High School intern Tabitha Kumar has been sharing Indian culture with the students on a weekly basis, including sharing some typical foods with the class on Thursday morning. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/27/2019 6:54:56 PM

A spread of spiced meatballs, saffron rice and a yogurt sauce are a typical Sunday meal for Tabitha Kumar, a little slice of home she shared with the students at Victory High School in Jaffrey, where she’s been interning.

Kumar, of Bangalore, India, is currently working towards her Master’s degree at Christ College in Bangalore. Her father, a reverend, is a family friend of a staff member at Victory High School, and she’s made many visits to the United States and to Victory since she was small – though she never expected to end up fulfilling her internship requirement there, she said Thursday.

Most of Kumar’s internship duties have been administrative, such as grading student work, but once a week, she’s been asked to give a presentation to the students on Indian culture.

“For the kids to have the culture explained to them by someone who is a peer is so valuable,” said Victory High School Principal Heather Furlong. “To have in-depth exposure to other people’s experience is something we need.”

“I learned so many new things,” said student Jackson Bartlett of Jaffrey. “She opened my eyes a little. It’s letting us know what it’s like in other countries. It shows you how lucky you are to have what you have.”

There is a lot to touch upon, she said. The food, the education system, and the expectations around marriage are wildly different.

On Thursday, her mother, Dorcas Kumar, brought in a spread of some commonly eaten dishes.

“I love cooking. Food is something that you can give that satisfies everyone,” Dorcas Kumar told the Victory High students.

The rice is all but mandatory, joked Kumar, although a meat dish might be something a middle-class family would only have once a week, or on special occasions. That’s one of the cultural differences she’s talked about with students, she said.

“We eat rice every day. I’m so tired of rice, that’s why I’m so happy to have some variety,” she said.

One of the biggest differences is education, she said. Children in India are under immense academic pressure, and there is a high value placed on upper-level degrees, particularly in the medical and science fields, something she felt keenly as someone who was strongest in humanities fields.

“The students here are much more relaxed. I was shocked by the calmness they have,” Kumar said. “And they are still able to do the work without the pressure. They have their own individual interests. That is very different than what I’m used to.”


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

© 2019 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy