I am a traveller and really adaptable to new culture and people. After completing my graduation in Spanish in India, I decided to pursue my masters in Travel Journalism in Spanish from Spain. I must tell you it wasn’t easy to be writing exams with the natives. It was consistent hard-work and determination, some bad days and some amazing ones to get through my degree.
In 2016 Feb, I landed in Barcelona, I was anxious, scared but hopeful for a new journey. I knew the language so it became easier to be with the localities. In the whole year I just found it similar to my own counrty and I can proudly call Barcelona my second home and for all the Indians why it is the best place to be for the following reasons:
- Spaniards are loud: I am a Punjabi* and we are loud, so its hard for us to be sophisticated and polite. I remember my first journey in the Ferrocarril (the local train of Barcelona) everyone was talking so loud and really expressive to each other. I didn’t feel any different from Delhi.
- Spaniards Love food: India is famous for the variety of cuisine and spices in the whole world. We Indians love food and for Punjabis its said we live to eat rather than the other way around. So when you are in the La Ramblas (center of Barcelona) you have all kinds of food from all over the world available, be it Thai, Japanese, India, Chinese, Spanish, English, Lebanese, you name the food and Barcelona will serve you. Even for vegeterians Barcelona offers a huge variety, veg. Pizza, Indian food, veg. Paella, many more delicacies.
- Party People: The weekends start from thursday in Spain, they love partying till wee hours of the morning. Being a Punjabi I have a great appetite too. Their Sangria or the wine is so fine that you can’t stop drinking. On the weekends the local trains are running till 2 in the morning, so the whole Barcelona supports the cult of partying. Moreover, the North Indians are famous for two things eating and drinking, so it fits us the best.
- Festivals: All the neighbourhoods in Barcelona celebrate Holi the whole year and its fun to be a part of it. They play it with colors, there are dance performances by the Indians as well as foreigners on Bollywood songs, in place of bhang( our local Indian drink specially made on holi) they have beer, so they have adapted Holi in their own way; you just feel that you are home and the people are so amiable and respectful towards your culture that you love being with them.
- People and Entertainment: It is said people living near the beaches are always warm, why is it said? I don’t know but it is true for Barcelona. As a foreigner they have made me feel home. I remember my first day in the city and how a stranger helped me with luggage, another day a person with routes, I always got help on the streets. I felt warm, safe, happy and welcoming. They release Bollywood movies, the best thing about audience is its multi-cultural, Spaniards, Iranian, Argentinian they all love Bollywood movies.
- Dance Clubs: You have Dance Clubs in Barcelona, you can join weekly classes of Swing, Zumba, Salsa, Bachata, and blend into the culture.
- Football: We Indians have cult for Cricket and they have Cult for Football. It’s amazing to see matches in the local cafe and the enthusiasm of people, which is the same in India for Cricket. I mean the yelling, abusing, hating the other team and hooting your team, its all the same.
That’s why I say Barcelona is the place for Indians. It’s nice to live in another country, explore their culture, blend in it and live like them. Especially a city like Barcelona will always feel like India to me, its busy like Delhi, , Fashionable like Mumbai, beautiful like kerala, Multi-cultural in the way our whole India is and welcoming like Indians.
*The Punjabis , or Punjabi people, are an ethnic group associated with the Punjab, who speak Punjabi, a language from Indo-Aryan language family.