When cultures meld, we often compare.
Bengaluru city welcomes people from all over the world to experience its rich culture and heritage.Robert Mair is an immigrant from Germany and has lived in India for a while. He interned at National Institute of Design in multi-cultural environment and moved to Bangaluru four years ago. In this article, one can explore Robert’s journey of food,festivals,wildlife conservation and cross-cultural exposure. His talent and curiosity brings a lot of eclecticism to the Indian context.
Let’s begin interviewing Robert!
Q: How would you describe Germany in terms of culture?
A: Germany is popularly known for Coffee drinking culture. The beverage is an all time favourite among all ages. The coffee drinking is popular all through the day as morning coffee, afternoon coffee and alike. The interesting fact about coffee is it’s supposed to be consumed with water as it is very dehydrating.
Q: A famous proverb among Germans is “Who goes where the Pepper grows” .So! tell us a story about Pepper .
A: Pepper is salt’s exotic cousin! It would appear that this pairing was favoured as pepper was considered the only spice that complemented salt and that the two did not overpower the true taste of food. Pepper has tickled German taste buds for centuries and Germans don’t know where it grows, so in casual gossip sessions people tend to say “Go where the pepper grows” meaning send someone to hell!
Q: Exotics fruits you miss from Germany?
A: India has ample supply of a variety of fresh fruits like mango, pineapple, coconut and banana. These are imported in Germany. I miss the berries and nuts mostly. Grape and Apple cultivation is widely developed in Germany.
Q: German Salad recipes are widely consumed both raw and blanched. It’s very different from Indian cooking, which relies on immersions of spices.
A: In Germany, we cook one meal a day and are fond of raw salads all through the day. I like lettuce, broccoli and olives, and shop at Namdari here. Can I make salad? Yes! With just 3 ingredients!
Q: How do you commute in the busy city of Bengaluru?
A: I enjoy riding a bicycle. I don’t have to wait for a signal or parking.
Q: Tell us something about the festivals in Germany?
A: I find the holiday calendar fascinating as they change every year over here in India. In Germany, a fixed date calendar is followed over the years. I celebrate Christmas with family and friends. It’s an annual gathering and there are decorated Christmas trees and trade fairs all over the city.
Mr Robert works with many non-profit organizations in India and he finds the education system in Germany is more practical .The students in India gain practical knowledge much later after their graduation.He is a nature lover and visits botanical gardens for routine exercise and enjoys the cultural milieu of Bengaluru!