I guess we’re not in Cambridge anymore…

It’s easy to forget where you are when you travel as much as I do. The hotels, the conference centers, the airports can all blur together. And at an event like the Global Voices Summit where you’re more interested in the people who’ve come together than the setting you’re all in, you can forget for a few moments that you’re in India.


During a coffee break at the meeting yesterday, I walked out into courtyard of the India Habitat Center and followed the sound of pipes to a huge group of snake charmers, performing in one of the courtyards. The performance wasn’t just a cultural display – it was a protest, of sorts. Since India outlawed keeping wild animals in captivity, it’s been increasingly difficult for snake charmers to make a living. These performers, from the Jogi Nath community in Rajastan, are trying to call attention to the knowledge and expertise of snake charmers, which are associated with many people’s image of India even though it hasn’t been legal to keep and charm snakes for many years.


Snakes aside, the sound of a hundred charmers on pipes and drums is a pretty amazing thing – I was happy to get a quick bit of video. And I was very happy to have the reminder that, yes, I really was in India…

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3 Responses to I guess we’re not in Cambridge anymore…

  1. Rachel says:

    Oh, WOW.

    Making me wish I were in India…

  2. Yoo-Mi Lee says:

    Hi Ethan,

    Glad to “see” you in India. This one goes down in the annals of “only in India…”

  3. Ethan says:

    Really sorry I didn’t actually get to see you in India, Yoo-Mi. It was a real whirlwind of a trip… :-)

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