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Students bridge continental gap

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2009 09:29 IST
Pranav Dixit
Pranav Dixit
Hindustan Times
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It was an evening of cultural camaraderie at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday.

More than 25 African students studying at the university, staff members and delegates from the Ethiopian Embassy gathered at the School of International Studies.

This was the second India-Africa Meet organised by the JNU Foreign Students Association and the Rotary Club of Delhi (South).

The event was organised to promote “exchange of ideas, thoughts and cultural traditions between India and Africa through close, personal interaction among the student community”.

“It’s funny how a lot of Indians associate any black person with South Africa,” said Bobby, a post-graduate student from Nigeria who has been staying in India for the past five years.

Participants from Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria and Sudan, dressed in their traditional clothes, sang songs and talked about their countries. They also discussed their relationship with India.

“We were amazed with the hospitality of the Indian people,” said Khalid Abdalla Abdelwahab, president of the Foreign Students Association of JNU.

“We were able to quickly adjust to the Delhi lifestyle despite facing food problems in the beginning.”

However, he also spoke of the rampant racial discrimination that Africans faced while renting apartments in areas like Munirka in South Delhi.

The participants also drew parallels between countries like Nigeria and India in terms of the cultural diversity and the number of languages spoken in both the nations.