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Aatish Taseer: A kind of tension starts to settle over this meal. We're in a Brahmin village and I am not of a Brahmin background. I have a Muslim father, but I, in a funny way, am exempt from the rules of caste. It doesn't apply to me, but obviously my driver, who is of this lower-caste background is not exempt from the rules of caste. He comes and sits down and he's chatting and he's sort of enjoying the meal and this tremendous tension, terrific tension, kind of descends over the meal. And I can't figure out what's going on, but a kind of silence takes over and finally this young Brahmin boy leans in and says to me, "You know, we've made this amazing exception to allow your friend to eat with us.

But," he said, "Now, there's something we absolutely cannot do. We cannot wash his plate. Only he is to be singled out to do this thing and we stay exactly where we are, and this one man is to step out and to wash his own plate because it would pollute the entire village if one of the Brahmins was to do it.

Right, well pollution is actually at the center of the enterprise. I mean pollution is everything because the idea of caste is based on the idea of spiritual purity, the purity of the soul of the ages.

Pollution is very real and suddenly this idea of someone's spiritual cleanliness becomes very tangible and very real. No, it's not. It's not like how it was years ago, certainly not how it was and years ago. Well, that's very interesting. A lot of these instances when we're talking about a kind of anti-Muslim hatred, many of those people who happen to be Muslim happen also to be low caste. So there, a kind of double prejudice kicks in. One of the things that's happened in India is that Modi, in exciting an anti-Muslim feeling, has also unleashed an anger against the lower castes and there's been a lot of caste violence.

Now, while Modi could lose the Muslims and still win, he can't lose the Muslims and the lower castes and still win, especially not in a major state like Uttar Pradesh, for instance. Caste lines in these last five years are bristling in a way that can be quite harmful for them or the government. We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. To learn more, review our Cookie Policy. Cross the North Channel to step ashore on tiny Iona. Explore the Inverewe Gardens, a subtropical oasis, and call at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands to discover a series of remarkable Stone Age sites.

Optional Dublin prelude; optional Edinburgh postlude. Traveling with You : Page Knox, an adjunct professor of art history at Columbia University, and a popular Met lecturer. After arriving in Athens, set sail for the Mediterranean from Piraeus. Experience the pristine and uninhabited island of Delos, and enjoy the lively cafes and tavernas of nearby Mykonos. Before departing the Cyclades, discover the island of Folegandros.

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Optional postlude in Glasgow. An engaging teacher and lecturer, Dr. Immerse yourself in the arts during an end-of-summer escape to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Tour Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of acclaimed sculptor Daniel Chester French, where a special reception will be a highlight.

We will also visit Tanglewood, which will have closed for the season, for an exclusive performance and lunch. Accommodations during this exciting Berkshires experience are at the newly renovated and historic Cranwell Resort. An optional postlude in southern Vermont is offered. Join an expert museum educator for a new twist on a classic trip to the magnificent homes and gardens of Ireland. Begin in Dublin for an immersion in elegant Georgian architecture, world-class museums, and sumptuous estates and grounds. In the charming medieval town of Kilkenny, visit castles and a magnificent cathedral, and dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Conclude in Galway to discover Kylemore Abbey, an imposing castle that contains a Victorian walled garden and is surrounded by miles of country wilderness. Optional prelude in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Traveling with You: Alice Schwarz, Educator. Join an expert in Asian art for a journey through captivating lands where artistry, rich cultural tradition, and spiritual enlightenment come together amid the majesty of the mighty Himalayas. Begin in Bhutan to discover stunning monasteries perched on high cliffs, living temples, and massive palaces.

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In the capital city of Thimphu, visit with local artisans who create meticulously designed textiles and admire the throne of the Bhutanese kingdom. Continue to Nepal, where highlights include special meetings with a Nepalese journalist, a diplomat, and a curator.

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In Tibet, visit Potala Palace, the impressive chief residence of the Dalai Lama until , and witness a debating ceremony by monks at Sera Monastery. Optional prelude in Bangkok; optional postlude to Gyantse and Shigatse, Tibet. Traveling with You: Kurt A. Behrendt, who has been at The Met since He has curated more than a half-dozen exhibitions including Buddhism along the Silk Road , Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations , and Cosmic Buddhas in the Himalayas Activity Level: Active.

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Discover the glories of the ancient world while traveling aboard an elegant, three-masted sailing ship. Enjoy a private tour of a baron's Baroque palazzo. Optional Valletta prelude. Her responsibilities include the technical examination and treatment of objects in all media. She was the supervising conservator for the year reinstallation of the Greek and Roman galleries, which was completed in Experience the thrill of sailing around Sicily to Naples aboard an elegant three-masted barque.

Autumn, when the heat and crowds of summer are gone, is the perfect time to discover the countless cultural marvels of this stepping stone between Europe and Africa.

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Highlights include a private tour of a Baroque palazzo with the owner. We will also visit Agrigento, whose Valley of the Temples contains some of the finest Greek ruins in the world, and the 12th-century Palatine Chapel. Optional prelude in Taormina and optional postlude in Sorrento. She is an expert in the materials of paintings and decorative arts, including historic interiors, sculpture, furniture, and works of art from different periods and cultures. Enjoy privileged access to the timeless treasures of Egypt during a night exploration that combines travel by plane and riverboat.

Then, fly to Luxor and stay at the iconic Winter Palace. An optional extension in Jordan includes visits to Petra and Jerash. She has carried out fieldwork in Egypt for the past 35 years and is currently co-director of the Joint Expedition to Malqata, a project for mapping, excavating, and restoring the festival city of Amenhotep III in western Thebes. At The Met, he created video installations for a diverse array of exhibitions and interviewed several contemporary Asian artists for The Artist Project , an online series and related Phaidon publication of his interviews with contemporary artists on how they are inspired by The Met and its collections.

An expert on Asian art, Mr. In the Connections episode Tennessee , he talks about his childhood state and the unusual places it pops up in The Met. Luce Center. She works with nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American silver and metalwork, as well as mid-nineteenth-century furniture.

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Spend five inspiring days in Paris, where we will immerse ourselves in the culture, sights, food, and fashion that make this an endlessly enchanting city. Traveling with You: Page Knox, an adjunct professor of art history at Columbia University, and a popular Met lecturer. Activity Level: Moderate. Experience the art, architecture, and natural beauty of Vietnam and Cambodia on an exceptional program. Admire stunning Halong Bay during an overnight cruise aboard a small deluxe junk boat.

Visit the Imperial City in Hue, former capital of Vietnam, to see how the emperors lived, and marvel at spectacular mountain scenery as we drive to charming Hoi An. In Danang, explore the legacy of the Chams, rulers of a kingdom that lasted nearly twelve centuries, then continue on to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Conclude in Siem Reap in Cambodia, where we will discover the legendary temples of Angkor with a Khmer scholar.

Uninhabited until just five centuries ago, Bermuda offers a fascinating history and stunning terrain that have inspired artists such as Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andrew Wyeth. On this exclusive trip, tour the quaint colonial homes and towns that have been featured in masterworks of American painting.

Experience island holiday spirit during the annual Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout, featuring musicians, dancers, and carolers. View private collections and dine with the founder of the Masterworks Museum, and enjoy a private tour and reception at the Bermuda National gallery. Historic Roman monuments and impressive museum collections affirm the rich heritage of this legendary city. Enter the Imperial Treasury before public hours, watch the legendary Lipizzaner stallions, and enjoy a performance at the Vienna State Opera House. Toast the New Year in imperial splendor at a lavish ball held in the former winter residence of the Austrian Emperor.

During this unforgettable fairytale evening, relive the elegance of Old Europe with a gala dinner, live music and dance, and fireworks. Celebrate the New Year in an age-old place on an extraordinary journey through Egypt. During a trip that combines travel by plane and riverboat, enjoy exclusive access to timeless treasures. An optional extension in Jordan features visits to Petra and Jerash. Traveling with You: Christopher Noey is an art historian, curator, author, and an Emmy award-winning producer of films on art and culture. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he has created video installations for a diverse array of exhibitions.

Join us to traverse a landscape dotted with sacred sites and stunning structures, where colorful rites are celebrated today just as they have been for millennia. In Chennai, see masterworks of bronze and stone sculpture. In the fabled city of Madurai, witness an ancient Hindu ritual that has been performed every night for at least two thousand years.

Conclude in Kochi, with its stunning scenery, vibrant village life, and unique blend of Jewish, Christian, and local traditions.

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Activity Level: Moderate to Active. But Maya culture feels most alive in the countryside. Pearson Curator in the Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and is a specialist in the arts of the ancient Americas. In , she accompanied a Travel with The Met group to Chile. Visit the new Dalloul Art Foundation, a private art organization opening in that will house an impressive collection of modern and contemporary pieces.

Outside of the capital, discover royal palaces in the City of Emirs, and stroll through the cedars at the largest nature reserve in Lebanon. We will also explore the ancient cities of Baalbek and Byblos. Since coming to The Met in , she has worked on numerous exhibitions and related publications. Benzel has participated in several archaeological excavations, primarily at sites in Syria.

  1. In ‘Twice Born,’ author Aatish Taseer explores the impact of caste in today's India.
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  5. Join a Met curator of Egyptian art for an extraordinary new journey that includes the treasures of the West Bank in Luxor. Cruise on Lake Nasser to explore the hidden gems along its shores. On Elephantine Island, the oldest inhabited area of Aswan, visit the ruins of the Temple of Khnum and explore the colorful Nubian villages. Conclude in Cairo, where we will visit the Egyptian Museum, which houses the largest collection of Egyptian art in the world. An optional Cairo postlude is planned. Isabel is known to the Travel with The Met community as an enthusiastic lecturer and travel companion.

    Experience a captivating part of the world where tradition and heritage combine with modernity and style. Visit palaces and museums in Muscat, and travel to the oasis city of Nizwa. The glory of Rome has fascinated travelers since ancient times.