Port City, a home away from home for NE students

Port City, a home away from home for NE students

Which aspect of Mangalore attracts the umpteen number of students from the North East here? A dozen of students to which this reporter spoke, were unanimous in their answer--safety.

“I give more than 90 per cent credit to the safety environment of Mangalore. It never looks us with a suspicious eye,” said Kanu, a MBBS student of A J Institute of Medical Science here, hailing from Assam. If you persists that whether the infamous incidents of moral policing in Mangalore have not created panic among them, pat comes the reply, “We never came across such incidents.”

NE students galore

Currently, Mangalore is home for hundreds of students from the seven states of North East (NE), viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Mizoram. They are pursuing professional as well as other courses in more than 15 colleges scattered in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. In DK district, Alva’s institution has the highest number of students from the north-east stages, pursuing degree as well as many other courses.

Most of them select the Port City as their education destination going by the word of their friends or relatives who had studied here. “Here, the course fee is less compared to Assam. But the monthly expenditure is bit exorbitant....,” chuckles Ruby, a Manipuri student pursuing BA at St Aloysius College. 

Food is not at all a problem for these students as there are sufficent number of Chinese restaurants in the city. A few of the college canteens also have Chinese dish on their menu. Regarding their festivals, students have to satisfy with being a part of New Year celebrations only. “We cannot expect to celebrate our local festivities here. But still, we try to arrange get-together functions and have a nice time on such occasions,” remarks Ruby. 

North East students neither confine to themselves nor desist from interacting with other students in colleges. Kanu says that he has more Kannada and Malayali friends in Mangalore than those from North East. “For me, it is an opportunity to mingle with others, to know about their culture, region and lives. I have gained a lot through such interactions. It’s a give and take policy,” he noted.

NE students are also the active members of their North East organisation which is prevalant in most of the colleges. The North East and Overseas Association at St Aloysius college has 62 students, of which 55 are from the North East. “North East students have a lot of respect for elders, they are fun loving and harmless,” observed Sara Nirmala Muliyil, English Associate Professor in a City college. 

Their major grievances are related to the inability in comprehending the local languages. “When we go outside, it has been puzzling to handle Kannada or Tulu. The main problem arises while conversing with autorickshaw drivers or street vendors. But somehow, we adjust with Hindi and English,” Riwanka, a Manipuri student from Nitte institute of Nursing Science said. 

And how often they feel homesick in Mangalore? “Nothing of that sort. We are very much feeling at home here. The jovial ambience at hostels too add to this. We usually visit home on vacations only,” quips Jonah, another student from the NE pursuing MSW. 

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