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Global spice

African lingo, Afghan sighs, Ugandan hoots, Iranian jokes... it was international students' night out at Osmania University.



PICTURE PERFECT: Foreign students chill out at Osmania University campus during 'At Home.' Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

IT WAS an African cry, all right. War cry? Nope. It was more of a plea to the rain god to send in some showers to the parched lands. Traditional Somalian song and dance for rain should hopefully work for our water-starved capital city.

African lingo, Afghan sighs, Ugandan hoots, Iranian jokes... international flavours were overbearing at Osmania University on Saturday night. Verdant official residence of its Vice-Chancellor was shining under floodlights, so was the watered green grass on the near summer night and so were happy faces of the varsity's international students.

All in the family

Bewildering hairstyles and traditional costumes, made a colourful sight as senior academicians of the university, including the Vice-Chancellor, Mohd. Suleiman Siddiqui, sat with their international students.

For several years now OU and its affiliated colleges have played the host to students from about 41 countries like Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.

A significant number of 500-odd students pursuing various courses in different colleges gathered at the VC's house for a get-together and dinner just before the examination fever takes over. Prof. Siddiqui felt it was an honour for OU to become home for students from such diverse regions of the world.

"Hyderabad's culture is such that it embraces everyone into its fold. Please take advantage of your stay here to learn the languages," he reminded them and also urged them to take part in the sports and cultural activities. Somalian students certainly took the VC's advice pretty seriously and gave an entertaining programme(s) after the official speeches.

While the songs by Abdul Rashid lived up to the rhythmic African beats, the play by Basher, Osman and other Somalian friends, a take-off on the "Hyderabadi treatment" was hilarious.

Though it was meant to be a joke, it reflected some of the feelings of the students especially Africans are treated here.

"I think you people are arrogant. Your accent is tough to follow. Food is too hot but education standards are good," chorused Justine from Uganda and Wema from Tanzania.

Connecting it right

Good things were said too. "It's a blessing to be here. I have a deep connection with this country as my forefathers came from India. I am having a good time," said Lakshmi Singh, from Trinidad & Tobago of West Indies. Agrees Sun Lin from Myanmar. "The language was little difficult, the culture is different and the food is very spicy. I sure like it here," asserted the research scholar.

By V. Geetanath

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