Jessica Wilder trip to India
What we did:
Within the university trip to New Delhi in India we visited a range of markets and shopping malls; this was a great experience to witness first hand the huge differences between them all. For example, the first market we went to was in Connaught Place, this was one of the lower end markets which included many stalls and side street shops, as you can see in the pictures below. This was my favourite shopping place out of the whole trip as it was lively and full of people trying to sell products to you, however most stalls and shops had similar products in, for example there were numerous scarf retailers. We also returned to this market at night time when the four of us got a tut tut which is a small automobile which has no doors (see picture below), which was a great laugh as we managed to fit four of us in one which we thought was a tight squeeze but throughout the trip we saw tut tut with many people in.
Another market we visited was called Dilli Haat, this was a more relaxed and products were of higher value, this was due to us paying to get in which meant there was not many people within in this market so we could look at the products in more detail. Dilli Haat was a lot cleaner than Connaught Place as it was in a confined area rather than in the street and down side alleys.
On the other end of the spectrum were the shopping malls we visited. The first mall we went to was called Ambience Mall, this included retailers such as Forever 21, Zara, Mango, Vero Moda, Accessorize, Jack Jones and Tommy Hilfiger. This shopping mall was similar to large shopping malls in the United Kingdom such as Westfield’s in Stratford and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, however they were nowhere near as busy compared to UK malls.
The second visit to a shopping mall we attended was to the Emporio Mall which included designer retailers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Jimmy Choo and Indian retailers such as Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. This was incredibly interesting to compare the differences between the designers’ brands we know to India Couture and how their brand image is different. Despite not being able to afford anything within this mall, it was a great experience and I was particularly interested in the visual merchandising as I have never seen such great detail taken in visual merchandising, such as mannequins hanging from the ceiling and sculptures with human bodies and animal heads and also the windows of the designer stores. http://www.dlfemporio.com/dlf/wcm/connect/emporio/Emporio+Site/Left+Link/Emporio/
During the trip we also went to the Indian Retail School and met with the first year students who we had an interesting chat with and we discussed the differences between our lives and theirs, our university and work and how we are finding it all: we also told them all about Preston as several of them are wanting to come to University of Central Lancashire for a year as they believe it will be a great experience. The four of us got on really well with all of them and they took us for a night out in New Delhi and also took us to the Kingdomof Dreams which was a building which contained different buildings which represented every iconic destination inIndiasuch asGoaand Jaipur. There were also different food outlets for each destination which contained different foods such as different types of curry, the students took us to a great food place where we all had an Indian curry for the first time in India.
However, the highlight of the trip to India for me was excursion to the Taj Mahal as this is one thing I have always wanted to see and it was definitely worth the four hour journey in which we got to pass through a range of places which helped portray the different lifestyles in India as there are many people living in mud huts and ‘slums’ but there are also richer parts where there are built up houses. The journey also took us briefly past the Red Fort which is another iconic part of Indian culture. When we arrived at the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, we met our guide who took us round the Taj Mahal and provided us with the reason why the Taj Mahal was built and interesting facts of the building and how long it took to build. Before going to the Taj Mahal I never realised that there were also two other buildings on either side of the Taj Mahal so it was a great experience to see these buildings as well.
What I learnt from the trip:
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to New Delhi and I am so glad I took the opportunity as I never thought India would be a destination I would like to visit, but after this trip I know I would definitely go back and visit different places such as Goa as the students said this was a lovely relaxed place with beautiful beaches.
Despite coming back from this trip with many unforgettable memories I have also learnt a lot from my experiences and the places we went to. I learnt many cultural aspects and witnessed these such as how cows roam freely as there are deemed sacred. I also learnt how there a large contrast of living within New Delhi and how in just five minutes of driving in a car you can go through a wealthy area where there are many built up houses with trees around compare to mud huts and man made shacks which are tightly compacted against each other. This contrast between living which is mainly down to the wealth or lack of wealth is also portrayed within the retail environment, in which there is a contrast between markets and shopping malls, markets you can bargain with the price and get it cheaper, for example I brought a scarf in one of the markets which equated to only 29pence, whereas scarves in the designer stores could be around a couple of hundred pounds, which is huge difference.