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Namaskara, Nīvella Hēgiddīri ! Spanish Woman Stuck in Kundapur due to Lockdown Learns Kannada

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Namaskara, Nīvella Hēgiddīri ! (Hello, How are you all!) Spanish Woman Tresna Soriano Stuck in Heranjal Village in Kundapur Taluk due to Lockdown Learns Kannada, and enjoys Village life, Culture, Ways and also learns farming

Mangaluru: Since the nationwide lockdown came into effect, people have been stranded across the country, but some of them are farther from home than others, especially tourists, students, from other countries. Since 22 March 2020, many foreigners are stuck in hostels – in tourist destinations especially like Goa and Delhi – where they are making the most of the communal life, while socializing at safe distances. Some have whipped out their musical instruments – ranging from ukes to guitars – and are making merry with music. Of course, the lockdown has forced everyone home and into the kitchens and even foreigners are learning how to handle Indian produce, and try to prepare Daal Tadka or Chicken Mughlai, rather than their hometown cuisine of Lasagna, steak and burgers! But all of them are waiting, even though the lockdown has ended in some destinations, but waiting for their embassies to take them back home, and airlines to start the flight service!

Due to Flights cancelled and borders of the nations sealed, amid this situation, we came across many interesting stories, like a German man making Delhi airport his temporary home. In another incident, stranded foreigners in Goa were cleaning beaches and tending crops. One among such foreigners is a Spanish tourist, who had arrived in Kundapur district in March 2020 and since then has been stranded because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has been enjoying the village life, learning the local language, culture and ways- and also the fun of village-style of farming. And this Spanish tourist, Ms Tresna Soriano, aged 34, who is an industrial designer from the Spanish city of Valencia, Spain. Staying at a friend’s house in Heranjal, a village in Kundapur District, since March, Tresna has learnt quite a bit of Kannada language- and this is her FIRST-time visit to India.

Speaking to a reporter she had said “I was lucky to be in a rural area during the lockdown. Compared to cities, people are safer in the villages. We have more freedom to enjoy and involve ourselves in the natural environment. I like to learn and live new experiences. In Heranjal, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in various activities: peanut cultivation, milking cows, transplanting paddy, fishing in the river, collecting leaves from the forest, creating rangoli patterns and preparing brooms from coconut fronds.” Tresna has also learned peanut cultivation and paddy transplantation. Apart from these, she gained some knowledge of traditional rangoli patterns too. The best part is, she can now speak and understand certain sentences in Kannada.

It is learnt that Tresna had planned her trip to India, after hearing lots of good things about India from her brother, Carlos, and his colleague and friend, Krishna Poojari, who hails from Heranjal. Even though she landed in March with plans to tour India and Sri Lanka with her boyfriend before flying back in the month of May 2020, unfortunately, due to the sudden pandemic all her plans were messed up. Sadly, her boyfriend, who arrived in a different flight, could not leave Mumbai airport because of the nation-wide lockdown and therefore, he returned back to Spain. Tresna who was stranded in Kundapur received love and care from Krishna and his family, who had offered her to stay with them since March.

During her last six months stay in Heranjal, Tresna has learnt about the Tulu culture and farming with the help of Krishna’s mother, Chikkamma. “Learning Kannada is difficult, but it’s a beautiful language. I try to converse in it a little bit with the local people. My first experience in India has been amazing. People are friendly. I now have an Indian family, which welcomed me like a daughter. I’m very grateful to them.” had said Tresna while interacting with a reporter. Krishna said “I’m happy we could help her in this tough situation. We admire the way she has utilized the time here to understand the local cultures and customs,”. Having enjoyed the beauty of Coastal land and savouring the coastal delicacies, Tresna plans to visit the sun-kissed beaches of Goa and tour that state for a few days, before she returns to her hometown, Valencia-Spain, when International flights start operating. It is rightfully said that positivity leads to joyous outcomes. The story of Soriano is the perfect example of the statement. Her creative efforts made her holiday a productive one, even with the difficulties of the pandemic in place.

“Espero que hayan tenido una agradable estadía en India! Que tengas un buen viaje de regreso a España pronto” in Spanish meaning “Hope You Had A Nice Stay in India! Have a Safe Journey back to Spain Soon”!

Inputs from TOI

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