There has been a lot happening and God is working. Each of the speakers in the South Asian track are from South Asia (India and Nepal) and they are relating very well. Last night 40 South Asian professionals from Atlanta came to have dinner and spend time with students. There was a panel of South Asian professionals who shared that they were Christ followers and they were more interested in having purpose in life and a job they loved than making money. And that families and relationships were a high priority. Students were asking how they made the decision to follow Christ or when there are so many gods how do you know which is the right one or what does it mean to be a Christ follower? We heard of one student praying to trust Christ after the dinner.
At my table of five Indian and one Nepali student (two are believers) they enjoy sharing about their lives and they haven’t missed one meeting.
I’ve learned about IST – Indian stretch time. If the meeting “starts” at 5:00, lndians will show up at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, etc. However, at this conference we are starting on American time. If the meeting starts at 5:00, you are expected to be there at 4:55! Students have shared that they appreciate how friendly Americans are and are surprised that a complete stranger will wave to them. (these students study in the south.) They’ve also noticed that someone will ask them how they are doing, but not listen to the answer. I told them that “how are you?” is a greeting, not a question.
I found that the first night I could not tolerate the pepper in the Indian food so I’m finding food elsewhere. I did join in the dance competition the first night (no one was exempt) and it was fun for everyone. Actually, no one in my group was particularly good at Bollywood dancing, except one girl, and she put together a one minute dance for us. One boy from Nepal begged to be exempt and I told him I wanted him to be part of our group and that he could hide behind me. The next day he told me it was a good experience. South Asians are highly relational and the family groups make them feel welcome and safe.
Pictures are of one of the dance groups and the whole South Asian group.