It has been four wonderful cities for the contest now, and with each city, some more intriguing stories of Indians finding a connection with Germany emerge. In Delhi, it was remarkable to see many young students learning German from the Goethe-Institut, or pursuing prospects in higher education or research at German universities. There were stories of artistic inspiration, family ties and dreams of finding a professional calling in Germany.
1st prize - Shivanand Bhure
The German Connect: "Science has always been my passion. In the pursuit of it, I studied engineering in one of the best universities in India. As goals evolved, I wanted to learn more and Germany opened the new path. The world class universities in Germany threw options before me to choose the best courses to explore. I was selected for 22nd Summer International Students Programme-2010, which gave me an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing research at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. My two months stay over there opened a new era of knowledge, learning & understanding!"
2nd prize - Heena
The German Connect: "I ended up learning German from Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi. Now after visiting their library and having gone through their culture, my interest towards the language is increasing day by day. A German friend of mine also gifted me two pieces of the Berlin Wall. Now I really want to visit Germany and fulfil my desire. "
3rd prize - Khushboo Mehta
The German Connect: "I am doing graduation in German from Delhi University. It’s my dream to go to Deutschland and my cousins who have studied German inspired me to take this language course. Also, I have a lot of Indian friends who speak German. This language has made my life more beautiful and I really want to visit Germany."
Congratulations to all three! The 1st prize winner, Shivanand Bhure will now be competing for the grand national prize – a free trip to Berlin, come January!
Other stories from Delhi:
"It was a lifetime experience"
My German connect takes me back to school days when I opted for German as a foreign language in 2002. It was in class 8 that I stood 1st in the 'Fit In Deutsch' exam at Max Mueller Bhavan with a 100% score. Then on May 16, 2009 I flew to Germany for 3 weeks through an Exchange Programme organised by my school. I went to Ostbevern and visited the school “Die Loburg, Johanneum Gymnasium”. This Exchange Programme was a life time experience for me as it allowed me a hand on experience of being in a foreign land with different people and culture around. The best part was that I stayed with family of my German partner and it helped me to get a good idea of the life in Germany. Attending classes with my partner, Nina, and interacting with other students and teachers helped me understand the concept of “Exchange”. Towards the end of this 3 week stay, I got emotionally attached to my host family had mixed feelings of happiness and sorrow haunting me.
"My connect started early"
My German connect started with a travel show on Germany which I saw when I was 10. Ever since then it became a goal that I had to learn the language and then travel to Germany before I turn 20. Rest as they say is history. In 2010 my dream came true and finally got a chance to spend 3 weeks in Germany. The fact that I made a couple of really good friends from Germany also helped me a lot as it allowed me to live with a German family which as a regular tourist would not be possible.
"Germany is one of its kind"
For me Germany was just another country till I started learning this beautiful language. I love the German culture, food, people, places, etc. Now that I know this language and the country itself and have personally visited the capital city Berlin, my opinion has changed completely. Germany is definitely not just another country. It’s another world, one of its kind - beautiful, colourful, rich in tradition and culture, full of history and life. It’s just like we see it on TV and books, just like our teachers say and as colourful as its flag is! I have been learning this language since the past 2 and half years and feel 100% connected to this country.
"I have sweet memories of Germany"
I feel connected to Germany in many ways. I have many sweet memories of the times I studied in University of Konstanz. The river Rhine, the Alps, unending meadows, skating, cycling for hours, watching movies in the library all night and sleeping there as well, cozy bars and most of all, my lovely friends whom I miss very much!
"My connection existed already"
I found this connection when I started working 2 years back for German software giant SAP. Recently this year, I got the chance to visit Walldorf, Frankfurt and many other places in Germany. The bicycle trips, sitting river side, having different varieties of breads and salads, the friendly people, the natural beauty are just few things out of my long list which I cannot forget. I love joy and my joy is BMW, again German. I love the punctuality of public transport in Germany.
"Our families are prouid of the Indo-German connect"
When my younger sister Mili announced her decision to marry a German boy, Ralf Witman, our family was more than thrilled. They got engaged in November 2011 and married in February 2012. It was like a union of two cultures where the German family bought Indian outfits and the Indian family got busy knowing and learning German traditions. It was an Arya Samaj wedding in the temple where each German wore an Indian dress. For the Hindu wedding, Ralf converted to a Hindu with the name Ridhvan. To everyone's surprise, the groom's friends had learned to play the dhol for the wedding. My sister has been accepted very well by the German family and the Indian family has accepted Ralf with open arms too. I am proud to have a family in Germany and hope in future the Indo-German ties grow wider and bigger.
"I wore German colours proudly"
The best experience in Germany and perhaps in my life was during the World Cup of 2010. Not only did I wear the German colours proudly but also learnt a lot about the German culture during my Master studies in Pforzheim. Even when I am watching the Eurocup now, chants of "Auf gehts Deutschland schießt ein Tor!, schießt ein Tor Rrrrrr!" (Go Germany score a goal) and "Steh auf wenn du Deutsche sein" (Stand up if you are German) ring in my ears. I remember I used to be the first person to stand up and sing with my fellow German friends and professors. It was as if I saw a completely different Germany there.
"I love meeting & sharing experieces with Germans"
Priti Sehra Sobti
Ever since I left school, I am totally into German. I have done my Bachelors and Masters in German. Now I am working as a German Trip Coordinator with a German travel company based in Delhi, where my heart and soul goes in coordinating the German guests. It’s all about making them feel home away from home and to give them knowledge of our culture and traditions. Meeting them and sharing their experiences and knowing about German culture is what I feel the best.
"Germany is worth living"