19 October 2007

U.S. College Visit

St. Olaf a liberal arts College of the Lutheran Church located in Northfield, Minnesota, USA., is comprised of some 3,000 students representing 45 US States and 18 foreign countries. It is a College that inspires students to act on intellectual and ethical ideas to better the world at home and abroad. The students’ time in India is concentrated on lectures, discussions and field trips to facilitate a better understanding of the history, traditions and contemporary practices of religious expression in this country.

For the last 39 years St. Olaf College has offered a Global Semester comprising a five-month academic program offering five courses in different parts of the world. This year’s group of 28 students, 2 supervising faculty members and their teenage son are undertaking a global trip taking the group on visits to Switzerland (the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva), Egypt, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.

Arrival of the student group to Quo Vadis

The travelling group, currently in the midst of its India Trip, was hosted by Quo Vadis Interfaith Dialogue Center and the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) on October 18th and 19th at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. On the first day of their visit the students performed Arunachala Girivalam on four brightly decorated bullock carts, lunched at ALC Lebanon Compound, visited Arunachaleswarar Temple where a special puja was performed on their behalf, toured Ramana Ashram and enjoyed a cultural programme and dinner at the newly inaugurated Quo Vadis Inter Faith Dialogue Center. On Friday, 19th October, the group participated in a walking meditation on Arunachala Hill before leaving Tiruvannamalai for a short visit to the ALC at Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. After the group’s Tamil Nadu itinerary is complete they will return to resume their study course at the Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore (Whitfield).

The students on the girivalam bullock ride through Tiruvannamalai

After India, the group head towards Thailand for a week’s vacation before continuing their Global Semester in Hong Kong, mainland China and Korea before returning to the U.S. around January 25th, 2008.

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