'Here, people speak so many languages'

Last Updated 27 February 2011, 13:07 IST
'Here, people speak  so many languages'

He didn’t think he would come to India for his studies even in his dreams. But his father’s consistent pressure brought him here. After three years in the City, Hamisi Fupi, a Tanzanian student studying at Acharya Institutions, does not seem to have any regrets about choosing India.

Hamisi’s father Swahibu Fupi, who has a mining business in Tanzania, always wanted his son to graduate from an Indian college. After seeing an advertisement of the Acharya Institute in an African newspaper, he decided to enroll Hamisi for a management course. “I wanted to go abroad but India was not on the cards. I dreamt of UK and US universities. When my father suggested India, I was shocked and was sad. I had no choice and had to board a flight to the Garden City,” says Hamisi.

His struggle began from the airport itself as he could not converse with the taxi driver. “All I knew was that my destination was Acharya Institute. I did not have the complete address at hand as it was inside my luggage. But the taxi driver wanted the right address. As I had no clue about how big the City was, I felt the driver was troubling me.’’

He stayed in the college hostel in the beginning. However, he could not adjust to the food. So Hamisi convinced his parents and shifted to a flat. “I found Indian food too spicy. In Tanzania, we don’t use chilli and spices. For every student who comes from Tanzania, food is the biggest problem. That’s why I started cooking on my own. Now I can cook some Indian food as well, like parathas, fried rice and chicken biryani, he says.

The quality of education here has impressed Hamisi who has now fallen in love with the City and the people. “In Tanzania, a student can earn good marks only if the teacher is partial to you. If a teacher does not like you, then he or she can make your life a hell. But in India, the lecturers take us as their responsibility. They always wish for our success and encourage us in every way,’’ he says.

Hamisi finds the City and the people here peaceful and progressive. The cultural diversity of the nation surprises him very much. “In Tanzania, wherever you go, people speak Swahili, our de facto national language. But here, in my class itself, people speak so many languages. To make my life easier in Bangalore, I learnt Kannada, mainly to communicate with auto drivers and vendors. Last year, when we had been to Goa, I spoke to people there in Kannada thinking that this language is spoken everywhere in India. I can speak a bit of Hindi as well but most of the time I get confused between Hindi and Kannada,” he smiles.

Hamisi is not a movie buff. Still he likes Aamir Khan a lot . “One of my classmates took me to the movie ‘Ghajini’ last year. Although I didn’t understand most of the dialogues, I liked Aamir. Hence, I watched  ‘3 Idiots’ as well. It is an awesome movie,” says Hamisi who wishes to help his countrymen after returning to Tanzania.

“As ours is an agrarian economy, I have plans to start a food processing business to help our farmers. It will not be surprising if I join politics after some years. I am determined to utilise every bit of knowledge I gained here for the betterment of my people,” says Hamisi as his eyes shine with a new hope.

(Published 27 February 2011, 13:07 IST)

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