NewsEventsSIGNIS in India: one year ago (IV) 

SIGNIS in India: one year ago (IV) 

In January 2020, nine young communicators from the four corners of the world embarked on a transformative journey to India – venturing into the unknown, stretching their limits, and trusting in God’s will and God’s way. Over the next four months, they attended the Global Fellowship Programme on Compassion and Social Communications, the result of a partnership between our Association and the  Xavier University of Bhubaneswar (XUB)

After becoming the first generation of young communicators to graduate from the programme, our fellows returned to their home countries, carrying with them new knowledge, skills, and lifelong memories.  And so, one year later, we reached out to some of our fellows, asking them to reflect upon the personal and spiritual growth they gained through this experience. 

In this multi-part series, Solange from Argentina, Elena and Sandra from Mexico, Isaac from Togo, Xavier from Cuba and Sumit from India share the most powerful lessons that have changed their lives.

What is the most cherished memory that you recall from this experience? 

Solange: I basically miss the time with my fellows: our nightly walks on the Campus, our chats in the canteen and all the time we shared! I learnt a lot from all of them, and I really miss those days of learning and sharing our lives. We have some Whatsapp group chats, and social media help us to be in touch and know what is going on with the others. We have worked on some projects together with some of the participants as well, so we’re still very close! 

Elena: Without a doubt, dinners and outings on the streets, each moment was a reality shot, as there were always encounters with friends and the culture not only of India but also of the culture of each one of us. Today I might not be talking to everyone daily, but knowing about them with their photos or thoughts through social media makes me feel close to them, and I really enjoy it. 

Isaac: The most cherished memory that I recall is a visit to the museum of Bhubaneswar. The visit to the museum was a unique opportunity to know more about the Logos, the ethos, the pathos, and the Kairos of the Indian people. In specific, the shapes, the structures, the forms, the shadows, the scents, the colours, the contrasts, the materials, the architectures, the art and the design, to cite but a few, present in the museum, observed from different angles and perspectives, have been central in my experience. They brought me to a journey through various eras, religions, uses, costumes, beliefs, civilisations, exchanges, representations of life, conceptions of reality, perceptions of the world, understandings of the existence and considerations of humankind. Thanks to the hard work, the passion, the talent, the generosity and geniality of anonym persons, it has been possible for me to discover a little of the logic, experiences, seasons and character of the Indian people. 

Xavier: There is an ancient battlefield where an Indian king abandoned the way of violence, converted himself into Buddhism and built a sanctuary to pray for peace, called stupa. In that place, there is an old, simple and white temple, above a mountain, were monks recite unknown words to claim for the reconciliation of the world while they play a great drum that makes the ground vibrate. I remember to be there, standing barefoot in front of that monk, surrounded by my friends, and suddenly I understood it: I was in a timeless, breathtaking and sacred land; I was in India. 

Sandra: I got to know Eljay and Amal from SIGNIS and Pr.Nat from XUB, also our dear Indian mates there. They brought me to a supermarket, and I had my first Indian meal and had to listen to Indian music and experience the Indian sunsets. But mainly that one day that all the fellows visited a local mall to buy unique clothing for our presentation and some snacks… but it got dark, and the only way to come back was in a tuk-tuk (rickshaw), all tight together! 

Sumit: I recall this time as a seeker’s journey searching the reality in and around me through encounters of learning, observing and sharing. Learning from world religions and cultures about inclusiveness and dialogue for peace and unity, I became inclined towards inter-religious dialogue. This entire journey for me was a move towards ‘communion’: open sharing and discussion amongst the fellows helped to travel together despite our differences, ideologies and prejudices; lectures by eminent professors and communicators gave me a clear understanding of the humanitarian aspect related to humanity and ecology per se. 


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