Get A Taste Of Indian Culture -- From Home

Mar 17, 2021

Two organizations from different sides of the world are collaborating to highlight a particular culture during Women’s History Month.

Womanspace of Rockford and Jhoole, a nonprofit in India, are working together for “Experience India.”

Shiraz Tata is a board member of Womanspace. She said the community has the desire to learn about other cultures.  

“And a group of my friends and I were actually just going to do a program at Womanspace,” she said, “like many other programs that are offered there, with a few of us sharing some aspects of India.” 

Tata said she then met Hannah Warren, the founder of Jhoole, and that encounter gave birth to the fundraising experience. 

Warren said the first “Experience India” fundraiser took place in 2019 but it didn’t happen last year due to the pandemic. This year it’s virtual.

“The event actually has a wide variety of free programs that highlight the beauty and diversity of Indian culture that anyone can access,” Warren explained. “And then we've created a lot of fun, interactive ways for people to actually support us financially as well.” 

Warren shared that the emphasis of the collaboration between the two organizations is about a mutual respect and learning about the beauty of other cultures. She added that the pandemic has shown how interconnected people are.

Tata mentioned that Indian women deal with some of the same expectations as their female counterparts across the world.

“I think what was more common and probably is still fairly common is that, you know, women, even though they are sometimes even expected to contribute to the household income,” she suggested, “are still also expected to play a more major role in terms of household chores and rearing of children.”

She said this phenomenon is slowly changing.

Warren explained that finances from the event will help women achieve economic independence. 

“Experience India” is available on Jhoole’s website through the end of the month.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.