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Humans of CSU: Crossing cultures from the sea to the mountains

Humans of CSU

Editor’s note: Like Humans of New York’s “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets,” Humans of CSU tells the stories of the people who populate our campus. Written by Collegian staff and told in first person from the subject’s point of view, this series aims to make each individual on campus relatable.

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Video by Chiara Garland.

The first time I came to CSU, I was waiting at the corner of the street and there were three cars lined up and I spent five minutes figuring out that they just wanted me to cross the road. That doesn’t happen in India. You just have to ninja your way through traffic. The traffic is less over here, and you can bike. You couldn’t bike in India.

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(Photo by Megan Fischer.)

The preferred mode of transport in India is by motorbike. You don’t see a lot of cars because they aren’t maneuverable. I don’t see a lot of motorbikes here. They’re so rare. It’s like how kids get cars for their birthdays from their parents — in India, you get a motorbike. So that’s different. 

I am from a state in the southeastern part of India. It’s by the coast. That’s what I tell everyone I meet.

I am studying electrical engineering at CSU. I love electrical engineering. In India, everyone is either an engineer or a doctor. Engineering really appealed to me because I like taking things apart and putting them back together. It is one of my favorite fields. I just like how it works.

I feel like the education here is a bit more practical. If you did an assignment, it would have some real-world implications, but it’s not that way in India.

One of the reasons I picked CSU was because of the mountains. Because I lived near the beach my whole life, I wanted a change. I heard a lot about the Colorado mountains.

I like the mountains because they give me a sense of awe. The mountains in India are toward the north. You have to travel hundreds of miles to see mountains, but here, they are right next to you.

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I’ve gone to a different place every week that I’ve been here. It’s better than the beach for me.

If someone says “hi” to you in India, you’ve probably known them for a long time. You don’t say hi to strangers. I mean, you could, but it would be super weird. I’ve kind of gotten used to it here, and now I do it too. I guess I’ve kind of gotten into the culture.

I like the people here. They are friendly. In India, it’s a bigger population. I guess it would be the same in cities like New York. When you have a lot of people living in an area, people don’t stop by and ask you how you’re doing.

At first, you might think the people in India are pretty rude because you are used to people saying “hi” to you, but friendships are more on a people level in India. There are a lot of really close friendships in India. There’s a strong sense of family and community.

With the people from my own state, I talk in my local language Telugu, but even if it is a neighboring state, I can’t use my local language. I have to use English. There are hundreds of languages in India. But every Indian’s first language is English. We learn before we learn our local languages in school. I also know Hindi. Hindi is the most popular language in India.

India is beautiful. It’s chaotic, but I guess there’s beauty in the chaos. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle just completely destroyed, but there’s beauty in it. 

Collegian Staff can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com.

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