‘Every place is your home town and everyone is your kin’. This was said 3,000 years ago in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, India. Located in South Asia, this amazing country is the birthplace of the oldest civilization. It is also Kamal Prasad’s homeland, software engineer at a computer company in Macedonia. In 2013 Prasad, a young man from the Indian town of Ooty gets the opportunity to work in a country other than his, but as he told Republika, with the most hospitable people in the world. He enjoys the beauties of Mavrovo, Popova Shapka, Vevcani, Matka, Skopje Ohrid …. He loves Macedonian cuisine, customs and traditions and he loves to dance on Macedonian music.
When did you first cоme to Macedonia?
Prasad: My first day in Macedonia coincides with a very special day that is celebrated around the world. It was Valentine’s Day, 2013.
You come from a country with different culture and tradition than Macedonia. How did you manage to adapt to the life here?
Prasad: Our cultures are so different but if you dig a little deeper in to the purpose of any custom then you will soon find a connection between them. Adapting to the new culture was quite easy for me as my friends & colleagues used to tell me about all the customs and rituals followed here. Moreover I come from a place where it was said 3000 years ago that “யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்” which means, every place is your home town and everyone is your kin.
You country has interesting wedding traditions and customs. Are there any similarities with weddings in our country?
Prasad: As I told earlier they look different but there are similarities. Just to mention a couple of customs, the newly married bride carries loaves of bread and small containers with wine while she enters the groom’s house for the first time after the wedding and she is not supposed to spill the wine or drop the bread. This custom resonates so much with our tradition. The music in wedding, especially the beat of the bands is so much like our weddings. It brings out the dancer in me.
Do you speak Macedonian?
Prasad: I should admit that I have been very poor in speaking or understanding. I could ready and pronounce words correctly but it’s all in vain as I don’t understand them. I know very few words. Better late than never, learning Macedonian is a priority for me.
Do Macedonian people provide help when you need it?
Prasad: A big YES, they have always helped me even before I asked for it. Be it for ordering in a restaurant or in an emergency, they have really helped me a lot. I really tell this from the bottom of my heart and I should thank them all for their hospitality. They really made me feel comfortable in an alien land.
What is your opinion about the Macedonian people?
Prasad: Family first, is one thing that is so easy to notice. Macedonians have a perfect balance between family, profession, leisure, exercise, etc,. They are a model for this world to follow. It would be unfair if I don’t mention Mother Teresa while answering this question. I see her in every Macedonian’s love and affection.
How much free time do you have to travel across Macedonia? What do you think, which are the best places to visit in Macedonia?
Prasad: I do get to travel on weekends and long holidays. It’s really hard to pin down to best place here as all are unique in their own league. Still I have some favorites and they are Vevcani, Mavrovo, Matka (Not to forget the trail), Popova Sapka, Ohrid, Skopje Center and the list goes on…..
India is known for the amazing food. Do you like the Macedonian cuisine?
Prasad: I am really fond of a few selective ones like the lake fish, ajvar, pincur, shopska and rakia. You know what? The tomatoes in Macedonia are the best in the world. There hasn’t been a single meal of mine without it.
Do you miss your home country?
Prasad: Yes, I do miss my country, family and friends. I have plans for few of them to visit Macedonia.
What are your plans, are you staying in Macedonia?
Prasad: My profession brought me here and I would be more than happy to be here as long as possible. This question already kindled my mind to think about how I would miss Macedonia and it’s people while I leave for good.