'I value the security here'

'I value the security here'

'I value the security here'

Expatriates love Bangalore for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, salubrious environment, food and people. Farid Akrami, an expat from Afghanistan, shares his experiences here

Farid Akrami, who hails from Kandahar, Afghanistan, has come to study in Bangalore on a scholarship provided by the Indian government to Afghani students. “I am doing my BCom in Brindavan College.

I have come here on a scholarship provided by the Indian government through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Every year, around 750 Afghanis get this scholarship. We do not get to choose the place we get to study in India — but luckily, I was sent to Bangalore,” says Farid.

Coming from Afghanistan, Farid feels that education in Bangalore is of a high
standard.  He says, “Back home in Afghanistan, we have to worry about getting shot every time we go to school — it’s like being on a war. Our life is at risk all the time. I value the security and peace of mind we get in this City.”

Weather is another criterion that attracts most people to Bangalore. Farid is no exception. “I have not really got a chance to go out of Bangalore but I’ve heard that the weather here is better than other places. I enjoy it — it is neither too hot nor very cold, just pleasant,” he says.

He feels that the City has been very welcoming. “I came here a little over two months ago. But I already have made many friends. Initially, I was very apprehensive. I just wanted to run back home. But the more I’m getting used to the City, the more I like it,” smiles Farid.

He admits that he’s still getting used to the food here, though. “Indian food is very spicy and I am still not used to it. The only dish that I have liked till now is chicken biryani,” he says, adding that he hasn’t had a chance to try much South Indian cuisine.

“I am too scared to experiment with food here as I feel it is very spicy. My friends keep telling me about idli, vada and dosa but I haven’t eaten them yet. I will try them very soon.”

Afghanistan has a huge fan following for Indian music and actors. Farid says, “I love Indian music — I enjoy ghazals. My favourite singer is Kundan Lal Sehgal. And when it comes to movies, I love Akshay Kumar. I just watched ‘Oh My God’, and thought it was great. Indian movies are watched by almost every Afghani. In fact, most of the militant leaders, who are otherwise conservative, love to watch Hindi movies.”

Ask him if he dislikes anything about the City and he says, “Bangalore’s traffic is terrible. The infrastructure and road management could be improved. And I feel that Bangalore is too overcrowded for its area. I think Karnataka’s population is much more than the population of Afghanistan!”

Farid enjoys learning Kannada.  He says, “I enjoy learning any new language. Here, I have learnt to say illa — which means no — and ‘I love you’ in Kannada. The problem I face, though, is the accent. People find my accent a little heavy to understand, so I have to keep repeating myself.”

Summing up his thoughts, he says, “I really enjoy this City as it has given me a chance to explore and grow in my life. Having said this, I feel terrible about what people think of Afghanistan. We are known for hostility, but not all Afghanis are hostile. I find Indian and Afghani culture quite similar. We hold the same values and ethics as you all.”

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