'People here are more accepting'

Expat zone

'People here are  more accepting'

Japanese couple Eric Namikata and wife Mayuka have been in the City for sometime now. They said that Bangalore offers them a chance to explore its various facets.

Eric, who is a chief sales engineer with Brother International (India) Pvt Ltd, says,“I’m the first Japanese in my network to come and work here. I wasn’t married
at the time. So, when I was alone, my colleagues tried to help me out, especially in domestic matters. The people here are very cooperative.”

Eric feels that it’s very easy to work with people here. “In Japan, people focus on immediate deadlines. But here, I see that people have long-term goals, which is very
encouraging,” he says.

   Eric says that here deadlines are promised but never met and that is something which is amusing but difficult to adjust to.

   “Either, things don’t happen on time or they don’t happen at all. In Japan, that is just unacceptable,” he says.

Eric travels a lot throughout the country as part of his work.

   “Most of the time, I travel to cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Delhi. But I should say that Bangalore has the most beautiful weather in the country. It’s one of the best places to live,” says Eric.

Both Eric and Mayuka feel that Bangalore is an expat-friendly city too.

   “It’s very convenient because you get everything here. Also, people here are more accepting and do not stare at you. In other parts of the country, people seem
to be extremely amused when they see us,” comments Eric.


   Having dealt with people in the North and South of India, Eric says that he has made some observations. “People here are more expressive. In the North, they are more reserved,” he adds.

While Eric is busy with his work, Mayuka takes care of their home. She’s also learning kathak and yoga.

   “In our country, rapid dance movements like in kathak are a strict no-no. Elderly people would be shocked to see me do fast swirls and thumps like those used in this dance form.”

“Landing on one’s feet with such pressure is considered very harmful and
unacceptable as an art form back home,” she says.

   “I also learn Bollywood dance,” Mayuka quickly adds with a smile to which Eric comments, “She dances for me at home and we really enjoy Bollywood music.”

Mayuka’s biggest challenge while learning kathak was that she was often told by her guru to use her eyes to be more expressive.

“Flexibility and using my body for different movements was also another issue. But with
practice, I think I’m doing pretty well,” she smiles. 

Initially, Mayuka was a bit apprehensive about coming to India, but after coming here she realised that there is so much to learn and explore.

   “The country is so vibrant and colourful. I love the City so much that I’ve been telling Eric that I don’t want to go back,” Mayuka says.

The couple says that they have noticed the importance of family in Indian culture. “This I can clearly see even at work. Back in Japan, work comes first unlike here, where family is the priority,” opines Eric.

Whenever the couple get time together, they explore new places and restaurants in the City.

Their favourite spot is the Jayamahal Palace Hotel. “The ambience there is so pleasant — so calm and quiet — unlike the fast bubbling city that Bangalore is,” says Mayuka.

So, have the couple had a chance to have authentic Japanese food in the City? “Matsuri in The Chancery Hotel and Harima on Residency Road have great Japanese food,” they say in unison.

Butter naan and butter chicken are Eric and Mayuka’s favourite Indian food. “We love the different dosas with the chutneys. I also love puri sabji,” says
Eric.

They have lots of praise for people in the City.

  “The people here are always giving and ready to help you out. Also they are very generous while offering food — it’s one of their biggest mediums to express their love and care,” details Mayuka.

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