Maneka Fahrer is Managing Director of Bloom Identity which – as of 2018 – is part of the ERNI Ecosystem. And she is the forth colleague in the series to share her tips about her country of origin.
This episode will be especially interesting – Maneka tells us about India.
Born in a smaller city in the Northern part of India on the border to Nepal, Maneka moved to Switzerland at the age of ten with her parents – her mother originally from Switzerland and her father coming from India. A part of her family still lives in India and so – although recently not that often – Maneka keeps in touch and travels to India time-to-time. Despite having a strong relation to India, she feels more attached to Switzerland and especially Bern in the meantime. Let us take a look at what she recommends to see and try out in her home country.
- Typical food you would advise people to try: Chicken tikka masala = is chicken tikka (chunks of chicken marinated in spices and yoghurt) that is then baked in a tandoor oven, and served in a masala (spice mixture) sauce. A tomato and coriander sauce is common. Chicken tikka masala is served in restaurants around the world.
- Typical drink: Lassi = a creamy, frothy yoghurt-based drink, blended with water and various fruits or seasonings (such as salt or sugar), that originated in Punjab, India. There are many varieties, but most are either sweet or salted.
- The most beautiful place: The backwaters of Kerala = comprise serene stretches of lakes, canals and lagoons located parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea. The backwater regions of Kerala are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Most people who visit the Kerala backwaters hire a traditional Kerala-style houseboat (called a kettuvallam). It’s a quintessential Kerala experience and one of the most tranquil and relaxing things you can do in India.
- Most famous sight: Taj Mahal = meaning “Crown of the Palaces” is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658), to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan, the builder. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.
- Mostly used greeting in the local language: Namaste = sometimes also spoken as Namaskar and Namaskaram is a customary Hindu greeting. In the contemporary era, it is found on the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and among the Hindu diaspora worldwide. It is used both for greeting and leave-taking. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest.
- Typical dessert: Gulab jamun is a milk-solids-based dessert. They are ubiquitous in India — nearly every sweet store in the country serves some version of them.
- Recommended means of transport: India has some of the most spectacular and unforgettable rail journeys in the world. Indian Railway is one of the world’s largest railway network with several types of passenger trains such as Luxury Rail, Express trains, Mountain Railways, Double Decker Trains and super fastest trains.