German girl gets taste of India

German girl gets taste of India

Veronica Stritt clad in a saree, her favourite dress in Manjeshwar.

She was given three options — South America, Asia and Africa, out of which she chose India. In India, she chose Karnataka and in Karnataka, she chose Manjeshwar (Karnataka - Kerala border)!

Why Manjeshwar?

Well. Veronica studied in a school run by Pallottine priests in Germany. When she learnt that Pallottine sisters are serving in Manjeshwar, she immediately decided to come to Manjeshwar.

“All I knew was that there is poverty in India, which is unheard of in Europe. As I started searching the Internet, I was thrilled to know the diverse tradition and culture in India.
The ‘saree’ worn by Indian women too fascinated me,” Veronica recalled the day when she decided to come to India last year, sometime in September. In fact, Veronica is the first person in her family or among her relatives to visit India. Days after she landed in India, her family members, relatives and friends started sending her mails after mails enquiring about India! “Nearly 150 perople were interested to know more about India and I had to send replies to all their queries.” Interestingly, she could not witness biting poverty which she imagined before coming to India.

Speaking to City Herald just before she left Manjeshwar for Germany (after completing her one year stay in Manjeshwar), Veronica said she learnt a lot in India.

 “The people in India are very nice, they are friendly and polite... You can walk into anybody’s house at any point of time...” She said she was surprised to see many house doors open in the region. “In Germany, nobody’s doors will be kept open and you have to take appointment before visiting any house,” she said. Of course, she was little unhappy with the auto drivers as quite a few of them cheated her by demanding much more than the actual fare, she quips.

Language problem

Though initially Veronica found it difficult to communicate with the localites and students (most of whom speak either in Malayalam or Kannada), School Correspondent Fr Harold Mascarenhas and faculty members helped her to communicate with whomever she wanted to communicate.

Indian food

It took some time for Veronica to get adjusted to Indian food.  But, very soon, she started liking Indian food and paraathas, naan and chapathis have become her favourites. She said that she also liked biriyani and egg curry.

In fact, she tasted rice for the first time in her life in India. She was so impressed by the Indian spices, she has carried a huge quanitity of chilli powder, cumin seeds, turmeric and many other spices, which she said are very expensive in Germany.

Indian experience

During her one-year stay in India, she also visited Mysore, Bangalore, Murudeshwar, Honnavar, Goa, Madurai, Vailankani, Trichy and Sri Lanka.

With the Indian experience in teaching, Veronica is planning to take up a 5 year course in education (teachers’ training) as she is keen to take up teaching as her profession.
Would you like to visit India, if you get another chance? “Without any second thought,” she smiles.

Who are Pallottines?

The Society of the Catholic Apostolate better known as the Pallottines are a Society of Apostolic Life within the Roman Catholic Church, founded in 1835 as SAC, Societas Apostolatus Catholici, by the Roman priest St Vincent Pallotti.

Pallottines are part of the Union of Catholic Apostolate and are in 45 countries on six continents. The Pallottines administer one of the largest churches in the world, Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire.

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