News and Events

2012-06-04 00:00:12

Indian Prof. Hosts Erasmus Students at Good-bye Dinner

turkbratstudents June 4th, India Studies Centre Prof. Raj Sekhar Basu from the University of Calcutta, hosted Erasmus students for a farewell dinner at his residence.

Sometimes, Prof. Basu explained, "you need the professor to come down from the pedestal" and mingle with students in an informal setting.

"You don't get to know a student when you are lecturing in a class - only in an informal atmosphere," he said.

Professor Basu, arrived at MRU last November from India after the Chair in India Studies was established at MRU.

Prof. Basu has been teaching two courses on Indian history: "Journey from Pre-History to Medieval India" and "Transition from Mughal Rule to English Domination in India."

One of Prof. Basu's students, Sercan Varol, who is a Master's Degree student at Turkey's Karadeniz Technical University in Trabzon, has taken an interest in India. He is planning to travel to India, after he completes his studies in Turkey.

"After I graduate, I hope to go to India for summer school - for research in political sciences," the 23-year-old Varol said.

He said his interest was piqued by Prof. Basu's lectures. He has plans to modify his Master's thesis topic to include India.  

Varol said his interest is in the rising importance of South Asia and the position of India in the region, as well as the rivalry between China and India.

Another Turkish student, Mesut said he felt "lucky" to have spent an Erasmus semester at MRU, where he was fortunate to attend the lectures of Prof. Basu.

As the students discussed their experiences at MRU, host and chef Ananya Basu was busy in the kitchen. Having begun at 11 a.m., she managed to prepare a culinary feast fit for a king.

There was Indian curry chicken served with mounds of fluffy rice, rajma red beans, spicy aloo dum potatoes, paratha fried pancakes and rice pudding. Students paid compliments to the chef.

The Turkish students noted that some of the dishes were similiar to those in their country.

Romanian law student Alexandru Dumitru, helped prepare a lettuce and tomato salad for the farewell dinner. He said he loves Indian food so much he could eat nothing else.

Dumitru hopes to be able to study in India after he completes his Law Degree in Romania.

As the evening wound down, Professor Basu, was in good spirits and raised a toast to his students.

He said that "food traditions is one of those solid avenues, where the transfer of cultures takes place. It is a part of one's shared experience."

"I'm the professor. I represent the culture," he explained. "Definitely, the professor has to be sociable, to make the cultures interact. The dinner is a way to do that...taking India back to the students - through cuisine, culinary traditions," he said.

Photos: Vidūnas Gelumbauskas and Snieguolė Zalatorė