A date with India

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

A date with India

The 14th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) provided the global student community a peek into the essence of Indianness. No wonder a huge contingent of international student delegates were seen savouring every aspect of the deliberations at the three-day event in the city.

Most of the international students had arrived in India in the last week of December and had toured several parts of the country before arriving in Bengaluru. They were fascinated by what they saw but admitted that what they had read and heard about  India and what they had experienced were totally different things.

The student contingent from Mauritius was excited as this was their first visit to India. Rosy, a student of law, says “I got the opportunity to see and experience a very different India. We always thought India was a land of slums and poor people but this image changed when I arrived here. Also, the people here are so warm and friendly.”

Dillum Charoomatee, another student from Mauritius, informs that the group had the opportunity to visit Kolkata, Darjeeling, Siliguri and a few other places before  touching down in Bengaluru. “The vibrant culture, beautiful landscape and interesting varieties of Indian curries are impressive. One is never disappointed when in India because there’s so much to experience,” says Dillum, in an excited tone.

  The sight of cows, goats and dogs roaming on the streets left Leena Aline Doolee and Adrien from France a little shocked. “In France, dogs are never left to wander on the streets. I was a bit taken aback when I saw it here,” says Leena. Adrien, on the other hand, loved the weather and found people here very welcoming.

“Every part of the country has a different story to tell. The culture, food habits and way of life here is an education in itself,” adds Adrien.

The duo did some shopping as well. “I picked up some colourful earrings. I would also like to buy a sari before I return. Interestingly, here you find tiny shops on the roadside selling interesting things which we don’t have back home,” points out Leena. 

There is a big contingent from Israel as well. Sapir Machluf, engineering student and Ziv Mahluf, an expert on robotics, from Israel, say that they were thrilled to see the laid back culture of people in India.

“Everything is so fast paced back home. It was a pleasant surprise to find people in India enjoying every moment and not rushing even when it comes to the most routine things,” says Sapir.

Ziv was a bit intolerant of the spicy food but made it a point to try as many Indian dishes as possible.

   “The idea is to experience every aspect of Indian culture and understand their way of life,” he says. The duo toured the northern part of the country before coming to Bengaluru. “I shopped for a sari because I was told by my friends to not return without picking up one,” adds Sapir.

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