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An Indian in Brno

I am not used to such type of climate and the winter is terrible for me. On the other hand, I was invited to mountains and learned cross country skiiing, says Nagender Reddy Panyala. Photo: J. Havel.
My name is Nagender Reddy Panyala. I came from the hyderabad city, AP state, INDIA and my mother tongue is telugu. I wanted to go Europe and specifically to the Czech Republic for my further education because I was told off its high standard of education. I have selected Prof. Josef Havel as a tutor, because he is publishing many publications in my interested field.

My motivation was not only to study Ph.D. here but perhaps also to earn some more money in order to support my family in India. But I have found that it is hard to get any job without czech language.

At the university the learning atmosphere is impressive for me. We had access to all the current events in the research field. Prof. Josef Havel is very supportive and motivated me very well. I have been involved and worked under several projects. I have already published 5 papers and participated in 3 international conferences. I have got Price of Chemistry Section as a best PhD student.

I am not used to such type of climate and the winter is terrible for me. On the other hand, I was invited to mountains by Prof. Havel and one day he taught me and my indian collegue Sachin cross country skiiing. It was exciting experience and we managed 12 km being first time in my life on snow and skiis.

Nagender, his colleague and Professor Havel (from left) after the student ceremony at Masaryk University. Photograph: David Povolný.
I have also visited caves of Moravian Carst together with foreign guests of Prof. Havel and it was exciting to know that before 40,000 B.C. people were living in Pekárna cave, cf., Photo from Pekárna cave with Prof. Victoria. The country has really rich cultural tradition. I spent last X-mas with my Czech colleague’s family as they invited me, cf., Photo from X-mas celeberations with Czech family. It was really amazing experience for me.

People in Brno are polite, gentle, kind and have a good sense of humour. Even though they are sometimes rather conservative, they are intelligent, creative, logical and efficient. However, not only me but also some other Indian students and friends at MU were harassed by some racists in the Brno Centrum. This is hard to understand.

The life style of the Czech Republic impresses me very much. The moral values and family relations are showing similarities with my mother country. People prefer to spend their holidays with their families in the busy schedule also. I am so much impressed with this attitude. But the way of living style is quite different from our culture and life style.

Language is a major problem here. At the beginning I did not know how to buy basic things like food and how to communicate with the people. I know only one word “rýže” for our major food “rice” in India. So I was saying that word and making signs to communicate with them. However, people are kind and they helped me very much. Now I am studying the Czech language and I enjoy being in a society with different culture and tradition. “Dobrý den, jmenuji se Reddy. Jsem z Indie a mluvím jen trochu česky. Moje mateřština je Telugština a tou mluví o 98 milionů lidí. However, after almost two years I am feeling very homesick and I would like to go home during next winter.

Nagender Reddy Panyala,
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University