GSD Mission: Beyond Words

As a Senior Operative in the GSD Network, I was given the chance to know a group of girls in India. Not just any Indian teens, these are among the most oppressed teenagers on Earth. Growing up impoverished, female, and at the bottom of India’s caste system, their slum status leaves them with close to nothing.

But by introducing them to you via this reading adventure, they will have the opportunity to stretch their brilliant minds and hearts, and begin contributing to the larger world. Beyond gender, GDP, location, and language, we will cross every barrier constructed between people and come together as real human beings to discuss real human issues. The power of our dialog alone can impact our collective future in enormous ways. And you may never get an opportunity like this again!
Operative Coco
GSD Operative Sarah
Sarah's GSD mission is sponsored by:
KFAI radio
Join the Discussion!
Indian teensApartments in IndiaIndian spicesyoga poseHindu statueIndia on world map
Though I advertised it as a reading program, it is far more. It is the social justice adventure of a lifetime, and a chance to impact one of the biggest issues on earth. Poverty.
-Sarah, GSD Operative
Meet the GSD Operatives from India
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Rutika
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Samruddhi
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Tausin
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Sakshi
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Rubjar
GSD Indian Operative
GSD Operative Sonali
GSD Indian Operative
I think it is very wrong for Betty to compare Iran and U.S. culture. Each country has its own culture, customs,traditions which are very important for the people of that country.e.g. in India women are not allowed to enter into temples when menses are going on. Girls are groomed in this way since child hood and it becomes their mentality throughout the life, and do not oppose it.
GSD Indian Operative
Many people in Western countries believe that women in India are oppressed by the fact that they can’t enter temples and kitchens. Do these women feel oppressed or do people believe they are oppressed because they don’t understand the culture?Are there any American traditions or customs that seem odd to Indians?
American teen participant
Samruddhi, are there other things that your parents encourage or disapprove relating to the Western world?

How does it compare the parents of your friends?
GSD Indian Operative
I like some aspects of western culture like jeans, long skirts, evening gowns. I like to try vegetarian western food like pizza, burger, pasta etc.

Because of globalisation families are becoming nuclear in India, bonding among family members is decreasing, more and more couples are going for divorce, nobody is ready for adjustment everybody wants easy way out.
We can maintain balance between cultures by taking good things from both the cultures. or we should learn where to say no or where to stop.
GSD Indian Operative
In India we worship many gods.One of them is Lord Shankar and as part of worshipping we pour milk on his idol in temple. We offer food to God as ritual. At the end all food and milk is wasted so it can be strange and wrong for an outsider.
GSD Indian Operative
Being Catholic myself, we have a lot of rituals that might seem very strange to an outsider. The most notable of these is the teaching that at our church gatherings, the Mass, where pieces of bread are turned into the actual body and blood of Christ (and we proceed to eat it). Nothing appears different about it when it happens, but the whole concept can confuse people.
This month's book selection:
Check out the highlights ->
About the Book
Betty Mahmoody’s 1984 memoir, Not Without My Daughter, recounts the story of marital culture clash between an American wife, her Iranian husband, and their daughter caught in the middle. Amidst the complex political and cultural upheaval of the Iranian Revolution, the story shares one woman’s struggle to navigate a bi-cultural family trying to hold onto their identity.

For three weeks, Beyond Words amplified the ideas and perspectives of GSD teens in the US and India as they used the novel to explore the influences of cultural identity and its impact on mental health and behavior.