• February 26, 2015

India: Hospitality as an Art Form

by Kelsi Holmes

Upon returning home to Oklahoma, Kelsi pon­dered the lessons she learned during her 14 months mis­sion in India:

“I will never forget India. My beloved India. India is entirely unique in its essence. I feel a pro­found ten­der­ness and kin­ship for her land and her people.

I think, more than any­thing, I have been inspired by the spirit of accep­tance and servi­tude that the Indians posses, espe­cially the women. Most of the women we know in our neigh­bor­hood have been born into or mar­ried into extremely dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances but somehow, they are able to accept and bear it with dig­nity and grace. They tire­lessly serve their fam­i­lies and when we pay a visit, they do the same for us. Here, ser­vice and hos­pi­tality is of the utmost impor­tance and, if done well, is truly an art form. From the moment we enter to the moment we leave, we are waited on hand and foot, our needs often being antic­i­pated and met before we ever speak a word. As we bask in the com­fort of such great care, they tell us about their strug­gles and how dif­fi­cult their lives are. Then they’re back on their feet to finish the cooking and bathe the chil­dren and so on.

Despite it all… they are happy. Of course this isn’t true for all of our friends but for any person to bear the weight of such poverty, such heartache, such back­breaking work with a smile and abso­lute unshake­able faith is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever been priv­i­leged to wit­ness.”

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