NZ Fashion Tech has, for the fourth year in a row (unprecedented!!) been awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia. A total of 59 students have benefited from this scholarship and 2017 sees 15 of those students in India for 6 weeks learning about the apparel and textile industry. They will have many field trips that are industry related as well as cultural experiences to really discover what Indian life is all about. Periodically our students will write a blog so that we can enjoy the experience too.
Aimee Hallen writes blog #1.
On Saturday 24 June, full of excitement and the rush of going to a different country, we set off on our journey to India. First stop; Singapore. After a 10 hour flight we arrived safe and sound and were blown away!
Singapore airport is beautiful! Inside and out. We took a 15 min bus ride to Hotel Royal where we settled for the day. Singapore itself is quite impressive for the landscapes and greenery spread throughout the city.
We took to the streets to find a local mall within walking distance where we had a look around and got a bite to eat! We took a relaxing swim in the pool between flights back at our hotel to restore our energy ready for our next flight! We made our way back to the airport and we were on our way to India!
We arrived in India all feeling pretty shattered from our long journey, but we were welcomed with open arms that just completely lifted our spirits. We were greeted by members of the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology (BIT) faculty and given beautiful and fragrant flower leis, a lotus flower and a single rose! Already we were aware that the culture here is so open and friendly!
Through the dark of the night we travelled to the campus and where we would call home for the next 6 weeks.
On our first day we set out to visit some local temples for the Hindu religion. The first temple we visited was the home of Bannari Amman, the Goddess of Strength and the first of her two sons. It was a lovely insight to one of the many cultures that are worshipped in Bannari Amman. The second temple we visited was home to the second son, this we climbed what felt like hundreds of stairs all the way to the top. From this temple the view was breath taking. It was just a whole different type of landscape that personally I’ve never been able to experience before! You could see for miles in all directions. The colours of both temples were unbelievable! I’d never seen anything like it in person! Everything was so bright and bold. We went inside and were able to experience a prayer session. It was absolutely beautiful to see the local people in their religion.
The next morning we were officially welcomed in class by the Heads of the Faculty and introduced to the professors who will be taking our classes and accompanying us on our field trips.
Over the next few days we attended some theory classes and were shown around the laboratories that students on campus have available as their learning tools; these include a spinning lab, a weaving and knitting lab and a fabric testing lab. Among our classes we were fully submerged in new information and lessons on textiles, machinery, processes and everything else to go with it! So far it’s been really interesting to physically see how yarns and fabrics are created.
After seeing the spinning, knitting and weaving processes in small sample scales we were off to see them in large scale manufacturing! This was the start of our day trips! which we were all pretty excited about!
We visited a spinning mill which is a family run business started 3 years ago and is highly successful. We also visited another Spinning Mill where we looked at the weaving unit.
It was a mind blowing experience to see a large scale production factory in action.
Among these trips and classes we have been able to have a taste of the large variety of food and culture which we can’t get enough of!!!
The more we are out on the bus we realised that there are the bare minimum for road rules, if there are any! It’s a really fun and entertaining experience as we overtook motorcycles, trucks and other buses by pulling out into oncoming traffic and slipping back in front to safely as the oncoming traffic flies by!
I came to India totally open minded and have been absolutely blown away! There is so much to take in over here. Although it is heartbreaking to see the amount of poverty that is present through the towns and streets, the people are incredible as they go about their daily lives. They have such open and loving souls! Everywhere we have been, we have been welcomed with open arms! This first week has truly been an amazing experience! I’m really looking forward to what the rest of our time here has in store for us!