Chi-Urban Excursion

Building Memories: Saying Goodbye

March 14, 2014 · No Comments

Today, Thursday March 13th, we ventured off to the South Asian district of Chicago. Ironically, it is located on far north side. The South Asian District includes people from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The strip took about 40 years to develop and is now filled with shops that sell jewelry, saris, sharwani, spices, snacks, specific need grocery stores, and salons. While visiting we were introduced to a women who is a prominent leader in the community. She has been on many boards and comities about raising awareness about battered women and other oppressions that people in the community face. She was an inspiration to listen to and as we walked in to different stores, you could tell that she was respected by all. She also knew everyone and would ask them questions to get them to share a little of their story with us.

For lunch we were treated with an Indian Cuisine buffet. The food varied from salads, and chutney, to curries and desserts. I personally was still full from our Mexican lunch, but I did sample their garbanzo beans and chicken curry, both of which were excellent in flavor and spice. Of course, I had several pieces of naan. For desert I tried their milk and rice dish, kheer. It was a lot of fun to eat and socialize with the heroine of the town. After we had finished our meal we were invited back into the kitchen to see how naan was made. When I was a senior in high school I had taken a cooking class and had seen the process before, but by seeing this other restaurants method, I realized there was more than one make to make it.

After lunch, Aleksey, Yusra, Michaela, Marilyn, Elena, and I all got their eyebrows threaded at one of the solons. After getting beautified, Aleksey, Jacquelyn and I went to visit Loyola with Maria while the rest stayed up north until dinner time. Our visit to Loyola was very short but very fun. We went to a sound circle and visited their chapel. Since I have been thinking about law school at Loyola it was a great chance to see the community that I could become a part of. After a brief visit at Loyola we went downtown and Aleksey and I met with the rest of the group at the bean while Maria and Jacquelyn went to reserve our table and order pizza at the restaurant. While at the bean we took more pictures and took at nice long walk. Dinner was Chicago Pizza and it was amazing!

After dinner we came back shortly to charge phones and then went to a play. The play was based on crack cocaine and how it affected different people and the relationships between them and others. The play was so well directed and we even got to tell the director. There was such a strong emotional ties that were developed that I was emotionally pulled in.

Well this week has been pretty amazing. I think I speak for all of us when I say that this has been a memorable spring break. I must say though viewing all of these different cultural parts of Chicago, I am leaving with a whole in my heart. I loved visiting all of the other strips and seeing how they have flourished here in Chicago. The black community, which is a part of my culture, has been greatly neglected. The lack of housing and education in the black community is prominent and devastating. I have grown so much through this whole experience and see that I need to make my life change this world in some way. It has started a fire inside of me that is going to continue to grow. To wrap up, today was filled with a cultural learning experience, a trip to Loyola, and an emotional play.

Janay Davis


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