'I want my family to experience India in all its forms'

EXPAT ZONE

At home:  Kiran, Andrew, Sina and Roshni. DH photo by Janardhan B K

Though born in India, Andrew Hendrian, the general manager of Leela Palace, has lived in Germany for over 25 years and has a German passport. So when he got an opportunity to work in India, it was almost like homecoming of sorts. Nearly three-and-a-half years ago, he came to Bangalore with his wife Sina, his daughter Roshni and his son Kiran.

Ask them to describe their stay in the City and they say that it has been nothing but pleasant. And they give full credit for it to people of Bangalore. “We have been across the globe but it is in Bangalore that we felt most at home. I have been able to give my children a taste of where I come from and there is nothing more satisfying than that,” says Andrew.

Before coming here, the only thing Sina knew about Bangalore was its pleasant weather. While coming to the country for the first time with her husband and kids, Sina decided to keep an open mind about everything. “We visited Mumbai first and then came down to Bangalore. I found it smaller than Mumbai but much more cosmopolitan. I guess keeping an open mind is the best way to settle in. Today, we have our own circle of friends and get around the City with ease,” she adds.

Andrew goes on to say that it was his children who took time to adjust. Since they were used to a certain environment and circle of friends they were hesitant initially. “But now my daughter has completed her class 10 and she is actually looking forward to going to college here. My son has got involved in many activities and has even taken a liking to football and cricket,” says Andrew. 

When compared to their lifestyle in Germany, both of them agree that there are many things that they had to compromise on when they moved in here. “But they were minor things. We still follow few of the German habits, like we don’t have the concept of dinner out there. And we go to bed early. If there is one thing my wife misses,  it’s driving fast on German roads which she doesn’t get to do here,” says Andrew.

Food has never been an issue with the Hendrian family. Sina says that being married to an Indian for over 20 years, she has learnt cooking dishes like roti, dal and few vegetables. “But I never cook Indian food in India. There’s too much competition and I don’t think I can match up to the standards,” jokes Sina. She does, however, cook few German delicacies.

“Most German cooking is potato based. There are so many different kinds of potatoes out there, here I manage with what we get in the market,” she says. Andrew chips in, “When we were in Germany, we used to eat non-vegetarian food everyday but after coming to Bangalore we have cut down on that and eat non-veg only thrice a week. We enjoy digging into South Indian food like idli, dosa and vada.”

The family, however, avoids going to the malls in the City. “We enjoy shopping in the small lanes in the City. Given a chance, I would head straight to Commercial Street for shopping,” says Sina.

With Andrew’s desire to travel, he has taken his family to many parts of South India like Goa, Kerala and is soon planning to go to Tamil Nadu. “There is so much to see and learn here. I want my family to experience India in all its forms,” he sums up.

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