14

I began my Project Proposal draft last night. It’s really intimidating me so I had a hard time getting started. It intimidates me because it is so big and professional and I have to have everything figured out. I feel like I don’t have anything figured out right now so I sat at my computer for a few minutes trying to figure out my “Statement of Intent”. A friend of mine was in the same room so I voiced my discouragement and she asked me what I want to learn while I’m in India. I gave my basic answer “I want to find out if Tibetan refugees’ diets have changed since they now live in India. And I want to see how they perceive it affecting their culture.” She quickly told me to write it down!! So I did, with a little tweaking and this is what I came up with: I want to study how the diet of Tibetan refugees has changed since their relocation to India and how they perceive this change has affected their culture.

This is a change in my study because at first I wanted to know if their change of diet has affected their health. But by mapping out my ideas and having other people look at them I realized that a changing diet can also change culture. I’m not sure how much it can change a culture, but it’s something I’m hoping to figure out. I also decided to go this route because health is a hard thing to measure. It would be easier to measure if I could take blood samples, but that won’t be possible. I could take height and weight to find out their BMI and Ideal Body Weight, but that won’t give me much in terms of health. I think it will be much easier to ask the Tibetan people about how their change in eating habits is affecting them in other ways. I know this won’t give me an answer I can apply to all Tibetan refugees everywhere, but it will help me get a better picture of what is happening in McLeod Ganj in regards to food and culture.

I’m still working on my Project Proposal draft, but I feel like I can move on a little better now that I have a sturdier Statement of Intent.

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2 responses to “14

  1. Would it necessarily be easier to measure health if you could take blood samples? I think it depends on what you mean by “health.” Western medicine might define health in terms of certain qualities in blood, but is that the only way to define/measure health? What do Tibetans in McLeod Ganj consider “healthy.” What kind of diet do they consider to be a healthy diet? It’s very likely that blood analysis has very little to do with the answers to these questions … and they might be just as significant, or even moreso, than measuring health according to the standards of Western medicine. Just a thought ….

    • Since I am planning to address a Western audience I wanted to include the qualities of blood because that is generally how Western researchers assess health. I could approach health in more…..loose…..terms? I’m just not sure how I would ask people, particularly Tibetans, how they view “health”. And I don’t know if I would understand them if they tried to describe “health” to me. I’ll have to research ways to do this.

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