The French connection

The French connection

The City’s bubbling cosmopolitan nature and booming international presence has brought many expatriates to the City.

And this is how Lionel Peuch, his wife Aurelia and daughters Marion, Lisa and Kim, who hail from the south-east of France, close to Avignon, came to the City.

It was  Lionel’s job as project manager at Volvo India Private Limited that brought him and the family to Bengaluru, and the family says that the experience has been nothing less than adventurous and enriching.

They have stayed in the USA, Sweden and Japan because of Lionel’s work and so is used to travelling around. They feel that Bengaluru is a learning hub. “We have been living outside France since 15 years now. I have worked with the same company in different destinations. And each experience has been different,” says Lionel.

“Everything happens in a structured format in Japan. When I was living there, I used to come to India and have found that things work in opposite ways here. There are rules for everything in Japan and thus everything seems easier there. Even a foreigner can adjust easily there.” He adds that in India, there’s a feeling of freedom compared to Japan. He adds, “It may seem like there is huge chaos in India, but one can do things in their own way here. This is refreshing.” 

“Before moving to Bengaluru, we had heard that Bengaluru is a booming city with construction work happening everywhere. We already knew some people who were in the City, before moving. And, all the people that we spoke to mostly shared positive feedback,” says Lionel.

His workplace has many Indians and he talks about working with Indians. “People are very motivated. They really want to learn and acquire new skills. They are willing to go further and are very enthusiastic.”

People at work have been accepting and welcoming, says Lionel. “Bengaluru reflects the diversity of the country. I’ve been able to understand the culture of the country since people from all across India are there at work,” he says. Aurelia adds, “People are very friendly. Bengaluru is a melting pot and thus one gets a chance to meet all sorts of people.”

They say that one of interesting things to note here was how one could get domestic help at affordable rates. “This is something we wouldn’t be able to afford elsewhere. Also, it was a surprise about how we had to accommodate the help, in our personal lives,” says Lionel.

The family has travelled to several places in the country like Rajasthan, Kerala, Hampi and Pondicherry. “Pondicherry is like a mini France. It was funny to see Indians speaking French there,” he says. When the family has some time, they love to hang out in places in Indiranagar. “I also go shopping at Commercial Street sometimes. I have started sewing and I get material from there,” says Aurelia.

Aurelia says that as a mother of two teenage daughters, she doesn’t find the City very safe. “In Japan, if I went back home at even 1 am in a short dress, no one would come to question me. But, I’m apprehensive about doing that even near our home here,” she says. She feels that this is an encroachment into her space and that empowering women is important.

Their three daughters go to Stonehill International School. Marion, who is 16-years-old, says that she loves the fact that she has been able to play more sports at school.

“It is easy to make friends here. We have friends here in the area that we live in,” she says. Lisa, who is 15-years-old loves her teachers. “Everyone gets along well here. The people are very kind-hearted and that is a blessing,” she says. Kim, the youngest, who is eight-years-old, says that she has a lot of friends from everywhere in the school. “My school has a lot of international students. I love everything about my school. I also love the restaurants and the area we live in,” she says excitedly.

The family agrees in unison that the City has a youthful spirit to it. “Anything is possible here,” Lionel sums up with a smile.

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