Times of India -- Our ears shall list thy story From bards who from thy root shall spring And proudly tune their lyres to sing Of Ethiopia’s glory...
Dressed in white, rows of ebony-skinned men and women move their shoulders to the rhythmic beats of the traditional ‘gharba keyaaki’.
Momentarily, they are transported to their faraway homeland — Ethiopia. But soon, it’s back to reality for the 100 plus Ethiopian student community in Bangalore, all pursuing dreams to empower their countrymen when they return home.
'Bangalore way guruhbadan'as they say in Amharic, Bangalore is beautiful, says 23-year-old Nasra Ahmed Horoso, who studying business management at a private college. Compared to other cities in India that she has visited so far, Nasra feels Bangalore’s cosmopolitan nature is a welcome environment. "Nobody bothers us here and it is easy to mix with the locals while maintaining our identity."
Emerging localities of Bangalore South with an added attraction of malls and multiplexes are the natural choice of residence for these students, comfortable in western outfits. "Most people living in Koramangala and J.P. Nagar have lived in other parts of the world and they are quite accepting when it comes to foreigners," says a bubbly Sarah Tadase. On the entertainment front, there seem to be no complaints. "We enjoy watching Hindi movies, especially Shah Rukh Khan movies," says Sarah.
The word-of-the-mouth reputation about Bangalore’s educational infrastructure has invited more students here. For instance, Nasra followed her sister’s footsteps three years ago. As the numbers increased, they formed their own Ethiopian Students Association, providing the sole support system to the young community members.
"With subjects as diverse as computer science, biotechnology, pharmacy, medicine, microbiology and business management, students have a varied choice. Good education is affordable here and we believe that education is the key to progress for any country. Our aim is to return to Ethiopia, armed with professional degrees," says Huda Ahmed.
"Everything would be perfect if only we had some Ethiopian restaurants for some home food," feels Kahamal Mohammud. "We don’t get our masala here," he continues.
Their favourite dishes include 'daafi'(dosa like stuff, made with wheat), 'shuura'(made with corn) and desserts such as 'halwa’, 'dahmiya’ and 'harisa’. Since these dishes aren’t available here, these students relish.
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