Friday, April 19, 2024

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Capturing India on Film

By Jayde Levesque

Photographer Dave Matlow’s talk on India today personally touched members of the Westport Rotary Club because of their connection to country. 

His presentation included a picture slide show of his three-week journey through the country.

Although many people in Matlow’s audience already had been to India, everyone saw a glimpse of another culture through the eyes of a Westporter and a photographer. 

“He was great,” said Pamela Sebastian.  “Everything he said I agreed with.”

Sebastian, whose husband is originally from India, was one of several in the audience to have lived there. 

Some of the photos depicted special moments in Indian culture—such as praying in a Hindu temple, bathing in the holy Ganges River, or the shrouding of passed loved ones in marigolds to be cremated.

Other photos showed mundane tasks of life such as Indian families doing laundry, shopping in the marketplace, each picture equally expressing the beauty of their culture.

“It was much different than I expected,” said Matlow, who is a WestportNow contributing photographer.  “It was more exotic than I had expected.”

As each picture was displayed Matlow included important facts about India’s history, population, and some interesting perspective for Westerners. 

“I don’t think you can talk about India without talking about the population,” he said. “Just to give some perspective, India is one-third the size of the U.S., and there are more people in India than North America and South America combined.”

One of the photos of booming city life in Jaipur showed the mixed traffic of cars, bikes, camels, and horse drawn carts. 

Matlow’s tour of India included the cities of Varanasi, Chennai, Mumbai and Agra.

“No place is like the other place,” said Matlow.  “It’s a dynamic country.”

Some cultural differences Matlow saw firsthand were the groups of men or women he saw walking together and holding hands.

One of the many things the Western culture handles differently, he said is the “exuberant affection.” 

However different the Western world may be, Matlow encourages everyone to experience it for themselves.

“I hope you all consider going if you haven’t been,” said Matlow.

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