Field Work.9:55:00 PM
Last week I started my field work here in India. For those who don't know...I am studying the westernization/modernization/"upward mobility" of the women who leave the Jalari Caste fishing village for work. I've been going into the village almost every day and its nothing short of amazing. My first (and second and third) interview was with a woman named Ushea (Oo-shuh) who left Visakhapatnam at the age of 10 to work for a family in Hyderabad, she came home every three months for a day or two and then went back to work. 10 years old. And she did this for 10 years, up until she was married. Every morning she woke up and helped with the cooking and cleaning in the home until noon at which point she would go to work in a bangles shop. She would return home in time for dinner and help with food preparations, get to sleep and do it all again the next day. 10 years old. 10 years of her life, and all for less than thirty dollars a month, which she never saw a dime of, it went straight to her parents. I cannot even begin to describe how humbling it was to speak with her, to hear her tell her story like it was nothing out of the ordinary, because to her, it isn't. I asked her about her daughters and what she has planned for them, she wants to make enough money for them to go to school and get more education than she did (she completed 5th grade but nothing more). It was just, amazing. Throughout the interview, as I sat and waited for my sweet translator to tell me what she was saying, I couldn’t believe how blissfully happy she was, for a minute I began to think about how much happier she’d be if she had my life; then I looked at her sweet family, and smiled at her sweet father, and looked at her beautiful children and realized that they understand love. And I don’t think they need much more.