16 cultures in a single organisation: Sukanya Nallapa Reddy is from India

16 cultures in a single organisation: Sukanya Nallapa Reddy is from India

Published on: Category: News

At Qualogy, we are proud of our diversity and inclusivity. It’s important to us to learn more about each other's cultures. This blog series will help with that. This time, Sukanya Nallapa Reddy talks about her culture and religion. In September 2019, she moved to the Netherlands from India. A very different culture. Yet Sukanya adapted easily. She is happy to tell you more.

In India, there are 29 states. Each state has its own culture and language. I come from Andhra Pradesh, the south of India. We speak Telegu there. In India, we also call it 'the Italian of the East', because of its lilting intonation. By now, all of India speaks English and Hindi, but many senior citizens in my state only speak Telegu. This makes it difficult for the younger generation to communicate with their grandparents since they often don't speak Telegu well enough anymore. That is why I teach Telegu to the younger generations of Indians who live in the Netherlands. It gives me great satisfaction and it brings me into contact with other Indians. I ended up at Qualogy through someone I met there. But I will tell you more about that in a minute.

"During Diwali, we celebrate the victory of light and good over all darkness and evil"

Kuchipudi

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivities. Apart from the Gregorian calendar, we also have our own calendar, the Saka calendar. A calendar in which, every month has its own meaning. And we celebrate them! There is lots of dancing and in my state, we have our own dance: Kuchipudi. This is a classical dance that requires a lot of flexibility. Many children take lessons to learn this dance. For this Kuchipudi, we wear special clothes in many colours. In India, we wear many coloured clothes anyway. I miss that here in the Netherlands. Everybody wears the same kind of clothing every day, with little colour.

Diwali

Apart from the general celebrations, I also celebrate many Hindu festivals. I am a Hindu after all. One of the most important celebrations for Hindus is Diwali. Also known as the Festival of Lights. We celebrate this in November. Everyone decorates their houses with lights and we light up candles and set off fireworks. We get together and eat sweets. During Diwali, we celebrate the victory of light and good over all darkness and evil.

"Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important holiday to me"

Holi-Phagwa

We also celebrate the Holi festival, also known as Holi. You probably know it from all the coloured powders we throw on each other. It is a spring festival that we celebrate every year around the month of March. Besides the colours, Holi is all about singing, dancing, sweets, perfume and coloured water. Even though Holi originates from the north of the country, we are increasingly adopting this type of celebration in the south as well.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Yet for me, the most important holiday remains Ganesh Chaturthi. On the 31st of August, we celebrate the birthday of Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati. This god stands for wisdom, prosperity and good luck. To me and my family, this is the most important god. At our home in India, we have a prayer room where we hang many pictures of him. Every day we offer flowers and fruits there. In India, I also went to a temple about once a week. Here in Amstelveen, where I live now, there is also a temple. Its architecture looks exactly like the temples in India. Which feels nice. So sometimes I go there.

Holi Festival
“I really feel at home at Qualogy. Everyone here pays attention to each other”

The move

I have not always lived in Amstelveen. In September 2019 I moved to the Netherlands. First I lived in Amersfoort for a while. I was still working at another company at the time: Capgemini, which is also an IT company. This company gave me the opportunity to learn the Dutch language and Dutch culture while I was still living in India. When I had obtained a basic level, I could start working in the Netherlands. In the beginning, it took some time to get used to. But because of the lessons I took about Dutch culture and all the films I watched, I already knew a lot and I was able to adapt quite easily. However, I don't want to get used to the food here, haha! I like to cook Indian dishes or go out to eat at an Indian restaurant. 

The switch to Qualogy

Shortly after I arrived in the Netherlands, I started giving Telegu lessons to other Indians. And as I said, I then came into contact with Qualogy through a friend I know from there. He also works at Qualogy! I have been working here since March 2022 as a Full Stack Java Developer. I like the small scale of Qualogy, in contrast to my previous employer. We talk to each other a lot and everyone pays attention to each other. I really feel at home here. It's not just about work here. Even during the lockdowns, a lot of online activities were organised. And I like to use QHub, our internal online platform, to keep an eye on what everyone is doing. Even though everyone is seconded to a different customer, we are still connected.

"I wear my Bindi to protect my third eye, the eye chakra”

Connection with colleagues

I immediately felt a connection with my Surinamese colleagues. Of course, they originally come from India as well. We can talk well about our culture, religion and our emigration to the Netherlands. Sometimes they too miss the delicious food we make with our families here. Surinamese people eat similar food as Indians, but a bit less spicy. Here in the Netherlands, they all eat bread, haha!

Indian culture in the Netherlands

Whether my religion or culture influences my work? No. I pray at home or in the temple, but not during work hours. I do notice that Dutch life has an influence on me. For example, I no longer put kumkuma (powder) on my forehead, but I use a sticker instead. I wear this dot, Bindi, to protect my third eye, the eye chakra. I also wear less jewellery which indicates that I am married. I still wear the necklace my husband made for me and a toe ring. But I don't wear bracelets and Sindoor anymore, since that feels a bit exaggerated here. A Sindoor is an orange-red coloured powder that married women wear on their hairline.

I still celebrate the festivals that are important to me. I do that with a group of other Indians. I am glad that I can still propagate a bit of my own culture here in the Netherlands.

Team Communication
About the author Team Communication

Innovative projects for great customers, inspiring interviews with colleagues and the latest news. Team Communication brings the Qualogy story to life and shares it with (business) relations, IT professionals and job applicants.

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