Girl Guiding In India: Hanging out with the 6th Nivedia Guides

Namaste everyone!

My first week at Sangam is over!  My first event starts tomorrow (Monday), and after that is over than my training will be complete and I will be the official Sangam World Centre Marketing and Communications Intern in training.

I won’t bore you with everything I learned in training, as it is probably only super-exciting to geeks like me, but I just finished the most active part of training, which was joining in a meeting with the 6th Nivedia Guide group, which meets at Sangam every Sunday.

The Girl Guides are from the neighborhoods around Sangam, which are very diverse in income and background.  The group has members from the smallest (Bulbuls) to the oldest (Rangers) and three leaders.  The girls and leaders all speak varying levels of English, some very well and some almost none.  The activity for the meeting was to perform a skit based on the first two parts of the Indian Scout Law.  My group has the second line, A Guide is Loyal.  While they were planning their skit, speaking Marati (the local Maharashtran language) I watched what they were doing and by watching and picking out the few Marati words I know (rupee, das=ten, bas=stop, nahi=no, TK=okay, ha=yes), I was able to pretty much get the idea of what their skit was about.

If we had done this same activity at a Girl Scout meeting back home, which I’m sure has been done, the girls would probably have come up with a very similar skit.  Girls who grew up on the opposite sides of the globe and probably have very few shared life experiences except that they are Girl Scouts or Guides play in exactly the same ways.  Guiding and Scouting gives us a common language, and that’s enough, even if we share nothing else in common.

I took some pictures during the meeting. but they didn’t turn out very well, but part of my job during the next event is to take pictures of Sangam “in action”, so I will for sure have some photos to show you next week.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, this year I am thankful for this amazing opportunity to come back to India, and for all of my amazing friends and family who always support me in whatever crazy thing I get into my head to do.

Talk to you all soon,

Ana Cristina

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ben Holt
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 00:42:00

    I love getting these updates, Ana, so keep ’em coming!

    I have a question: for those of us who are ignorant of such matters, are there any significant differences between Girl Scouts in India and Girl Scouts in America? I’m thinking primarily of the organization and the basic principles of each. Care to shed some light?

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re having a great time!


    • lostflight2
      Nov 30, 2012 @ 02:33:35

      Hey Ben, thanks for reading! The main difference between the Bharat (Indian) Scouts and Guides and GSUSA is that in the US, most troops are run by moms and the leaders move along with the troops as they get older. In India, the troops are mostly associated with the schools, and the leaders are the teachers at each grade level. Also, BS&G includes boy scouts and girl guides under one organization, while GSUSA and the Boy Scouts of America are two totally separate organizations.
      As far as basic principles, the BS&G promise and GSUSA promise are very similar, both including duty to god and country, helping people, and living by the guide/scout law. There is also this thing called WAGGGS, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, to which both BS&G and GSUSA belong, but I think explaining that is a whole blog post in itself!


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