He adds Indian spice to Spanish Salsa

Spain was Europe’s leading power throughout the 16th century and most of the 17th century. It reached its peak during the reigns of Charles I and Philip II. The unification of the crowns of Aragon and Castile laid the basis for modern Spain. The Spanish Empire was the first empire which it was said that the sun never set. On the west, Spain borders Portugal and Gibraltar on the south. On the northeast, along the Pyrenees mountain range, it borders France and small principality of Andorra. Besides, Spain also includes Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Spain’s identity consists more of an overlap of different regional identities than of a sole Spanish identity. Traditional regional identities within Spain include Castilians, Basques, Catalans and Galician. Spain has a number of descendants of populations from former colonies like Equatorial Guinea, Sub-Saharan and Caribbean countries. Besides, there are also sizeable number of Asian immigrants comprising Chinese, Indian, Filipino, South Asia and Middle East. Germans are also part of immigrant population. Roman Catholicism has been long the religion of the land. However, it does not have official status by law.

Miguel Nombela from the beautiful land of Spain has come to India to teach his mother tongue to the interested adults. He has currently taken up a job at Manipal European Study Centre. Miguel has come to India for the first time and was absorbed in a state of shock when he was exposed to the new world with a large number of people and alien culture. Excerpts of the interview…

What made you to come to India and why not other countries across the globe?

Miguel- I was always inclined towards experiencing other cultures. I am basically a primary teacher who teaches school children back at home in Spain. I was asked by my University to teach Spanish language course in India. I readily agreed as I felt it is an interesting experience both personally and academically. This is how I landed here at European Study Centre. I am here for a period of 10 months.

What is your experience of teaching children in Spain and adults here in India? What do you enjoy most?

Miguel- It is totally a different experience. The participation rate among adults is much higher when compared to children. They are more interactive. For children you can teach to certain amount. However, with adults you don’t have any limitation and you can go further. I am really enjoying teaching the adults as the response I receive is good.  

Tell us some of your memorable experiences after coming to India? What are the major differences you have come across the lifestyle of people here when compared to the people of your country.

Miguel- As I told you earlier, I was very much interested in interacting with different cultures. In the beginning, I felt how difficult it is to manage and I was surprised the way people get adjusted to the way of life. The first impression was a bit of shock. It helps you to open your mind out. You get the experience that there are many ways of life. Right from clothes, food, and traffic, everything seemed to be confusing. Here relationship tends to be different. We are very much personal back at home. We people in Spain get excited and angry too soon. Here people are peaceful and are used to the idea of adjustment.

Back at home, if this was the situation with traffic or any other irregularities, Spaniards are so impatient that they would start screaming making the entire surrounding chaotic.

Did you visit any other places in India? If so which are the places you liked most?

Miguel- I came just a month back and I know only more about Manipal. However, I have plans to spend my vacation visiting other places in India. I have visited Malpe beach.

What do you feel about varieties of cultures practiced over here besides varieties of food items?

Miguel- I find people here live with religion. They are more religious. They do practice it with dedication. Moreover, I am impressed with the family system over here. I was surprised to know that I have to mention my father’s name in the forms that was offered to me. As I don’t have any connection with my father, why should I mention his name in the forms? It is bit amazing. I have been independent and my father has nothing to do with my life or future. However, the system is interesting. Dependency helps to manage conflicts and problems. Support from the family is needed to face problems in life. I am impressed with the dresses worn here. Foods are bit spicy. I love sweet dishes and masala dosa. It is very good.  

What will you tell your friends and neighbours about India? Would you recommend them to visit India?

Miguel- India is a wonderful place with varieties of cultures. Here one can realise that there are many ways of life. I would ask my friends to visit India.

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