‘Enjoyed the Traditional & Cultural Beauty of Kudla-We’ll be Back’- Nine American Ladies, namely Catherine Malcolm; Lisa Deer Li; Bonnie Croney; Rita Ferrao; Emma Roche; Maggie Rast; Anne Patti Trainor; Mary and Kim, who were of Italian, Jamaican, Canadian, Indonesian, Scottish, and European background, after a Memorable Stay and exploring the goodness and beauty of the Coastal City-Mangaluru
Mangaluru: India has intrigued western nations for a long time now. The rate at which foreign tourists flock to India is on a rise every year. You must have noticed foreigners at famous destinations while you were travelling, didn’t you? And for that matter, right here in Mangaluru, after the New Mangalore Port started, one of the destinations for the Cruise ships, the Coastal City -Mangaluru had seen quite several foreigners, either from the USA, Europe, and other countries, and every time Team Mangalorean had interacted with these visitors, they had high praise for India, and also for Mangaluru during their one or two days stay here.
No doubt, India is a truly incredible country and it’s a country anyone can fall in love with for a myriad of reasons. For many of the foreigners who visit India, calling India incredible is no exaggeration, because, for many of them, a trip to India is of a lifetime. Many feel that India is an incredibly colourful country, and can’t wait to be back again and explore more of this magnificent country. On a lighter note, some say Indian traffic is exciting, adventurous and a bit scary to move around. But no matter what, a trip to India for many foreigners is a memorable journey which they cherish for a long long time.
And just recently, Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean had the opportunity to have”Close Encounters of the American Kind” with nine beautiful Angresi American ladies who wanted to visit this wonderful city of Mangaluru after seeing a video ” Memorable Mangalore” made by Mangalorean Ms Shobha Rao “Smilemaker”, a law graduate and a soft-skill trainer which had gone viral on YouTube Channel, around ten months ago. Seeing the video, Ms Shobha’s nine American friends with whom she was then doing an international online course insisted on adding Mangalore to their India visit itinerary.
The nine American ladies were Catherine Malcolm; Lisa Deeer Li; Bonnie Croney; Rita Ferrao; Emma Roche; Maggie Rast; Anne Patti Trainor; Mary and Kim, who were of Italian, Jamaican, Canadian, Indonesian, Scottish, or European background, who were amazed at the rich and diverse Indian culture across our country. landed in Mangaluru, after they had visited Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur Mumbai and made sure to visit Mangaluru, before proceeding to Kerala and Goa. The nine American ladies were given a warm welcome after they arrived in the City by Ms Rao, and a few of them stayed at Hotel Goldfinch; and other guest houses.
According to Ms Shobha, on the first day, the visitors had a glimpse of Pandava caves, Jogi mutt, Kadri temple Jatre, Yakshagana, and Bhoota kola, among others. The Pandava Caves was their first sightseeing spot and later the colourful sights and sounds at the festival of the Kadri temple were terrific for them. They had front-row seats at the Devi Mahatme Yakshagana performance and experienced a unique display of the song, dance, drama, costume, and discourse capabilities of the multi-talented artists. They even watched the performers doing their make-up in the green room!
On the second day, they had a glimpse of rural Indian craftsmen at work at the Pilikula Artisans Village, Gutthumane, followed by shopping at the malls. They got a taste of life in rural India at the Artisan’s village, as they watched potters, basket weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, oil extractors, rice pounders, etc. at work. They visited a recreated community home called Guthu mane and looking at the external and internal layout, the wooden carved pillars, doors, furniture, utensils etc, they got a taste of the typical joint family life of the ancient Mangaloreans.
Back in the city, after shopping, they couldn’t resist trying the world-famous “Ideal Ice Cream” Gadbud, Falooda and Tiramisu, which the ladies said “Wow, this tastes way much better than US brand ” Baskin Robbins”!”. Like I Scream, You Scream, We all Mangaloreans Scream for Ideal Ice Cream” so did these Americans. I bet Mukund Kamath, the Managing Director of Ideal Ice Cream will be beaming with pride, that his brand of delicious Ice Cream was loved by Americans. On a visit to St Aloysius Chapel, they were stunned at the beauty of the painted interiors of the Chapel and the sprawling school/college. St. Aloysius Chapel was built by Jesuit Missionaries in 1880 and its interiors were painted by the Italian Jesuit Antonio Moscheni in 1899, during the Mangalore Mission in 1878. The interior of the chapel is decorated with paintings by Antonio Moscheni (1854 –1905) that cover almost all of the walls, which is unusual in chapels in India, and thrilled the visitors, which was unique for them to see on their Mangaluru tour.
After chilling out with ice creams, it was time to witness the Kambala, where these visitors enjoyed every bit of the race, sitting on the front VIP row, and they felt that Kambala was much more fun than watching the American Rodeo! Heading back home, it was a Bling Bling Indian dress night party at Ms Shobha Rao’s residence. Unfortunately, it was purely local and traditional Vegetarian cuisine consisting of Daal, Naan, Gobi, Paneer etc, and absolutely no Ribeye or Sirloin steaks or Burgers. For a change, the ladies loved the South Indian Kudla Veg delicacies. At midnight they were ready to attend another event called Bhoota Kola, a spirit worship ritual (also made known internationally in the movie “Kantara”). They even accepted the prasadam as blessings from the person who imbibed the spirit of the demi-God called Daiva.
Following is what a few of the ladies had to say about their experience in India and the Indians, that includes Mangaluru and Mangaloreans-
“Indians are super friendly, extremely helpful and thoughtful—fun festivals and celebrations. Extraordinary handicrafts. Mouth-watering and diverse food selection. Breathtaking landscapes. Religious diversity. Heavenly street-side chai and chaat. Cultural and linguistic diversity. People are super friendly which makes me love India so much”
” Welcoming guest is an important part of Indian culture and I met countless locals who couldn’t wait to take a photo with me, ask where I was from, and invite me for masala chai and meals with them. In many Western countries, it’s seen as strange to chat with strangers on the street or on public transport but in India, this is commonplace. From buses to cafes, you’ll engage with locals which makes it easy to learn about their culture, lives, and customs”.
” I would like to highlight two very important characteristics that Indians possess that made my journey easier and happier in India. Indians are extremely helpful and thoughtful. And our friend in Mangaluru Ms Shobha is Rao, a gem of a lady who made our stay here a memorable and pleasant one. It means to me that people pay attention to others, care about their well-being, and put others first when they visit or need any help”.
” India is a Great travel destination for female travellers. There is so much scare-mongering on the internet, on blogs, and even published travel writing about how women shouldn’t travel to India alone or in duos. But that’s not true, my trip along with my female friends was great and my travel here had some of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. I had so many amazing talks on religion, politics, books and history and I feel that I wouldn’t have been able to experience India if not for this trip. Being an incredibly colourful country made me fall in love with India”
” The exciting traffic makes me insanely love India. And what better way to experience the Indian way than to do that in a real Indian Auto Rickshaw? A drive in the hustle and bustle traffic in Mangaluru City was an amazing experience. Just go and ways will open for you! It was an amazing experience and I even love this place more because of this experience. Along the way, we had the best encounters with locals that came to drive next to us for selfies and short conversations!! I love India for all the things that don’t seem possible but are possible if you just go for it!”
” Fun festivals and celebrations are what I love the most about India. If one thing you shouldn’t miss in India is its celebrations! Be it festivals, religious events, public fairs or marriage celebrations, almost every single day something is going on. Loved the Buffalo Race aka Kambala, Traditional Yakshagana etc Indians are very kind and cultural people who treat guests as God! The short conversations can invite you to their homes or for any celebrations in their family! This is why I love India for its diversity, cultural traditions, and celebrations that you should experience once in a lifetime!
“There is a huge variety of colourful crafts available in the markets from tie-dyed saris and turbans, to beautifully painted pottery, elaborately embossed brass work, woodwork, carpets, bamboo works of art and much more. If you like shopping, you will be in heaven! Shopping is a whole experience. Be sure to bargain hard – bargaining is all part of the shopping experience, so relax and enjoy it! They were amazing cultural experiences – and I got to take home even more amazing souvenirs from my trip to India!”
” Mouth-watering and diverse food selection is the reason why I love India. From spicy south Indian curry dishes to Chana Masala and the best Aloo Gobi I’ve ever tasted in my life! And the vegetarian food served at Ms Shobha Rao’s home was delicious and authentic vegetarian. They say that food binds people together and in India, this is nothing but the truth”.
Ms Shobha Rao speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” They were lucky to be in Mangaluru on the day of the famous Kambala bull racing event and even expressed their pleasure to the audience from the stage for their unique experiences in Mangaluru. The finale was a bling-themed party at my residence where they shared their gratitude about being able to have their unique experiences in this Coastal City! Yes, Mangaluru has something different to offer to tourists from around the world. Do visit Memorable Mangalore and keep smiling!”
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Shobha ‘Smilemaker’ G Rao Releases Her Comprehensive Video ‘MEMORABLE MANGALORE’