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Our stay in Pune December 2015

We went to Pune from December 6th to December 21st 2015. We left from Brest and landed in Mumbai the next day. We arrived safely in Pune after an overnight flight and a three-hour journey by coach, accompanied by our penfriends.

If you want to know more about our trip there, you are welcome to browse and have a look at the selection of photos underneath.

Enjoy your visit!

Marie Dollo

Copyright Google

Just a few words about Pune:

Pune is situated in the state of Maharashtra. It is a thriving city of about 4 million inhabitants which has been attracting many research institutes and firms. Hence students and professionals from all over India and abroad come to Pune to study and work. Pune is India’s most important automotive hub hosting companies as Land Rover, Wolskwagen, Daimler Benz… and is home to many IT companies. It also hosts many universities, among them Symbiosis College.

DAY ONE: Our arrival in Mumbai

Monday 7th December

DAY TWO: KOLWAN VALLEY, about 50kms away from Pune: we were given an overview of the area. Then, after a typical Indian breakfast, we visited Zilla Parishad Primary School in Nanegaon village, a school for 4 to 9 year-old children run by a governmental organisation. 2015-12-08 07.36.52

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We performed a breton dance for the pupils and they also sang for us in Hindi.

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We had lunch at Gomukh‘s center, which is a farm producing organic food using sustainable methods. Below right, our guide for the day, Ashwin.

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DAY  3: SYMBIOSIS COLLEGE: we attended a few lectures and particurlaly one about the icons found in Buddhist caves. We were also shown some typical dances and songs.

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DAY 4: Early rise with a yoga session on the hills of Pune, followed by a presentation of Indian textiles and a « French girls’ fashion show » :

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After lunch we headed to the Kelkar museum by rishshaw, a ride full of (scary) emotions, and ended the day by a visit to Vishrambagwada and a bit of shopping at the SMILE Non- Governmental Organisation whose aim is to help women in distress.

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DAY 5: FRENCH DAY at Symbiosis College! We displayed posters about French culture and landmarks, commented upon our slideshows and promoted French fashion and cuisine.

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The highlight of the day was our show so much awaited for and I am proud to say that it was a real success! Congratulations to the students!

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DAY 6: We presented our work on Indian and French paintings and dance to each other.

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We also learnt Rangoli with Sanika’s mother, Mrs Gandhi. Patterns are created on the floor using materials such as coloured sand, flower petals or coloured rice.



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The jury
The jury

DAY 7: We spent the rest of the weekend with our host families. Some of us went sightseeing, others went shopping or/and met the whole family.

WEEK 2, DAY 8 and 9: Hilda Davis organised a seminar entitled « Symbiosis, Understanding French art, literature and culture » . Various personalities and teachers from around the country gave some lectures.


P1070211On DAY 9 we took part in a Warli workshop organised by Utsav’s mother, Mrs Shah

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DAY 10,11 and 12: we left to Aurangabad with our correspondants for three days where we visited Ellora‘s and Ajanta‘s impressive caves. Ellora’s caves were built between the 5th and 10th century. Ajanta’s date back to the second century BC.

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We stayed in a training centre in Aurangabad financed by Tata where young people from rural areas can learn the various tasks to work in a hotel or/and restaurant. P1070336



We put up a small party:

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We climbed to Daulatabad Fort at dawn:

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DAY 13: After a day with our host family, our correspondants’ families organised a last get-together where everyone had to wear Indian clothes.

Very smart, guys!
Very smart, guys!
Camille made a speech in Hindi.
Camille made a speech in Hindi.







Some of our hosts... thank you!
Some of our hosts… thank you!

DAY 14: We travelled back to Mumbai with our correspondants. We had lunch at Insiyah’s mother’s nursery school. Mr and Mrs Breton who helped us organise this exchange joined us and were our guides for the afternoon:

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A few sights of Mumbai:

The Gate of India
The Gate of India





Our last good-byes at Mumbai‘s airport: