• Where are you from?
Well, I am from (…say the place’s name you are from…) which is in (…city or district name…). It is a famous town which has a rich tradition and history. I am proud to be born there.
• Do you live in a village or in a town?
I live in a town which is (…say the town name…). It is, in fact, a very big town with more than 2 million populations. In recent years very rapid development took place in this town and it looks more like a large modern city these days, especially the northern part of the city.
• Who do you live with?
I live with my family. My family consists of my parents, my 3 siblings, my grandma and one of our younger uncles. We have a large number of house staffs who work for us and live in our house.
• What kind of place is it?
This is a large town with a very large number of people living there. The town has two main parts: old town and modern town. The old town reflects the traditional building, old ways of businesses and life and that will give you an impression of the history of this town. On the other hand, the new part, which is in the northern part of the town, has gone through numerous developments in the last few years and it is usually a busy part. People are amiable, educated and they live in peace and harmony, which is the most attractive part of our town, in my opinion. The city has a small area which is occupied by tea gardens and has a small river and many fountains. This is the most beautiful part of our town. Overall, my town is beautiful and it is a good place to live in.
• What kinds of people live there?
Well, the population of my town is around 2 million and most of them are educated. That is why a majority of them are either service holders or own their own businesses. The people are quite well behaved and amiable. If someone visits our town will get a good impression about the local people. Many people work in their shops and run restaurant businesses. The women are mostly housewives but some of them are in teaching and banking professions as well. The local history of people who originally migrated here 200 years ago is not that much known to us. However, we learned that our ancestors were mostly farmers and they picked this place because the farming land here was fertile.
• What kind of place do you live in (a house or an apartment)?
Well, I live in a house. This is basically the house my grandfather used to own. After his death my father inherited it and he improved the construction of the house in many aspects. This is a big house with over 2 acres of area. The main house has a three-storied building and the large garden in front of the house is the most attractive part of our house. I would say we have more people working for the maintenance of this big house than the number of family members we have.
• Do you think it’s better to live in a house or an apartment? Why?
I would say living in a house has far more advantages than living in an apartment. Big houses are spacious, have a garden and other places while an apartment has comparatively smaller rooms and no additional place. The houses give us an opportunity to live freely and there are very few privacy issues. On the contrary, an apartment has some rooms with no place for gardening and playing. The whole building is shared with many other families and that creates the privacy issues. You can reconstruct or build new facilities in a house which is quite impossible in an apartment. However, maintaining a big house requires more effort than it is required for an apartment. Finally, I would say I always prefer living in a house than living in an apartment.
• How do people choose their place to live?
Well, if you mean the area where people choose to live, then I would say that depends on where they were born, where they inherited property and where they move for work, education and business.
If that was a question related choosing a living place between an apartment and a house, I would say this also depends on the type of property people inherit from their ancestors, the amount of money they earn and availability of space in the area they live in. For instance, if someone inherits a large house, it is less likely that he will buy an apartment to live in. On the contrary, an apartment might be affordable by many middle-class people but buying a house will cost a huge amount of money. So people also decide where to live based on their income. Finally, people need to move to different places for education business and work and they usually rent apartments there. So I would say personal preference, income range and needs are the three factors which are usually considered by people while choosing a place to live in.
• What’s the most interesting part of your town/village?
I think the people are the most interesting part of a village or town. Citizens of an area determine how the area would look like, how the roads and gardens would look like and many more aspects apart from the natural beauties of an area. My town is no exception and I find the people in my town are most intriguing. If I consider anything apart from people as interesting that would be the traditional buildings and way of life which are still available in the old part of my town.
• Can you tell me some history of your hometown?
Well, there are a lot of historical facts and events related to my hometown. First, it was a part of a large river during the 1800 and that area was converted to a farming land during the English colonial age in 1840. The English ruled this town for more than one thousand years and during this time the town went under the ruling of many prominent leaders of the history. Our ancestors were mostly farmers and they fought with the English soldiers and many of them died in this very land. The famous English courthouse was built here and that is a very ancient building created in this era. Our ancestors created a bridge at that ancient time and that’s still considered as one of the best handmade bridges ever built. Out hometown produces the finest quality of crops including rice, spice and many others which have a great demand in many foreign countries. This is a tradition and history which is more than 500 years old.
• How long have you been living there?
Well, I have been living there for my whole life. I am 28 and I have spent all these years in my hometown.
• What kind of jobs do the people in your town/village do?
Well, most of the people in my town work for the government, national and multinational organisations. About 10% of our total populations run their own businesses. Many people are farmers and while a small portion of people is involved in Information Technology related professions. The students work in many companies and shops as part-time employees. But the variety of jobs people do in my town is overwhelming which includes running their own boutique shops, fishing, driving trucks, selling artworks and many more.
• Does it have any historical building or site?
Yes, the museum we have in our town is considered as one of the most significant historical buildings in our area. This was in fact built in 1780 and it used to be the community hall for English rulers. In 1940 that was converted into a museum by the local government. Apart from that, the ‘Leaf Bridge’ which is more than 2 kilometres long is another beautiful and historic sight. It was built in 1978 and is very famous among the visiting tourists these days. The natural junction of 2 rivers is another famous spot as it was listed in the World Heritage Sites recently.
• Would you say it’s a good place to live? Why?
Yes, definitely. My hometown offers all the modern facilities, better job opportunities and then nice environment and communication systems someone can expect from a town. Apart from that, the people are nice and friendly. We have got some nice educational institutes, hospitals, community centres, better security and open spaces that make this town a better place to live in.
• How has it changed over the past few years?
Well, if I recall the way I had seen my hometown a few years earlier, it had less population, fewer buildings, and a traditional way of life. But in the last few years, this town went through numerous developments. The frequent parks and open spaces have been replaced by the modern buildings and commercial establishments, more industries have been established and people seems like have a busy lifestyle these days. The professions of people have transformed to mostly industrial jobs while many of our ancestors were farmers. The roads have become wider and yet congested. The southern part of the town still has the old traditional lifestyle and buildings, but the other parts of the town are quite different than it was 10 years earlier.
• What would you recommend a visitor should see and do in your country?
Well, I would suggest a new visitor to visit our National museum first as it would give a pretty good idea about our history and tradition. The northern part of our country has one of the largest sea beaches in the world and this is quite an attraction no one should miss. We have some tribes living in the western part of the country and visiting this area and enjoying their works and lifestyle is also recommended. The hilly tracks, large tea gardens, one of the most beautiful natural fountains in the west part, and old historic buildings situated in our capital city are few other places I would recommend. Umm! Finally, the national theatre and science museum in the centre of our capital are two quite spectacular sites to visit and enjoy for a tourist.
• Are there any traditional arts or music you would recommend?
Well, the art centre and the University of Fine Arts in the Capital city are two places that I would recommend to any art and music lover. They usually have different art and musical shows around the year. But for that, someone should contact beforehand or find the schedule online. Thus a tourist would be able to pick an art show or music concerts s/he likes. Apart from traditional music concerts and art shows, we host many international programs that a new visitor would find quite attractive.
If a tourist can make his journey to any village in our country, he won’t need to go to a theatre or art gallery to enjoy the traditional arts or music. The working class people in our villages sing traditional songs and those are quite first-hand experience someone can get. The musical programs the village-people arrange during different seasons are something you won’t experience in a city show. The artworks are all around the villages: in the dresses they wear, the way they decorate their houses, the way they sew their clothes are all works of fine arts.