Mar 5, 2011

Interview with an NRI in Paris - Coumrane Chanemougass...

Coumrane Chanemougassoundiram blogs about Taekwondo - the Korean karate. I got to know Coumrane when he wrote a comment on my blog offering to assist as a travel guide in Paris. He had listed Tamil as one of his languages which got me curious to know more about him. Hence this interview. Let's give a hearty welcome to Coumrane Chanemougassoundiram! The rest in his own words...

"... you must be like a warrior. The warrior does not show his fears and he can dominate them... "

? Hello Coumrane! Welcome to NRIGirl blog. Can you please introduce yourself?
! I am a native from Pondicherry, a former French colony. My parents brought me to France when I was 2 years old. So I did not live much in India. I have been several times to India -Pondichery most of the times. I have travelled all over India. I have studied in France and I have a degree in physics. Basically I am an elementary school teacher. I practice martial arts -Taekwondo-the Korean form of karate.

? Nice to know you speak Tamil. Please explain.
! I spoke fluently Tamil because this is the tongue we spoke in house.

? How would you define yourself? Are you French? Indian or like me an NRI?
! I am a Non Resident Indian because my skin and also my education are different from native people. I am not really an Indian because I left India when I was 2 years old. So I am a mixing of a lot of things.

? Do you blog? 
! I blog about Taekwondo. I have another blog too but it is mostly in French language.

? I understand you are a travel guide in Paris. Please share your experience and how you started doing this?
! As I am based in France near Paris I know very well this area. As an elementary school teacher I know very well the history of France and also its geography. Some people from India when in Paris told me to visit Paris and that is how I started to work as a travel guide.

? Tell us about France.
! France is a very beautiful country with a lot of historical monuments to visit. Some good foods also. So many things to see. Everything is good in France because I live there for more than 40 years. I appreciate the French culture and their open mind.

? Since you are also a teacher, please tell us about the school system in France?
! France is a Democratic country and they believe in these principles.That is why the education here is free and compulsory. School is compulsory up to 16 years old. It is a very standard education system. In elementary children study only four days a week - Monday,Tuesday,Thursday and Friday. The curriculum is in French for everyone.

? How can visitors to France get in touch with you to benefit from your service?
! People can contact me via phone 00 33 6 89 02 51 89 or Any people who want to visit Paris can ask me. I can reserve room in hostel at affordable prices. I can plan their visit in Paris with them. As I am a elementary school teacher I can explain them more deeply the history and geography of Paris. As an Indian I can speak many language and also French.

? When is the best time to visit, places they must see around Paris etc. Do you have any tips for travelers to France?
! The best season to visit this place is from April to November. After that it will be very cold. Many things and monuments to be seen in Paris: the Eiffel tower, bridges, museums, and many more.

? Finally, is Indian food available in Paris?
! In Paris area there are a lot of Tamils mostly from Srilanka and you can get many restaurant at affordable prices. Dishny is a famous one. There is an Indian quarter in Paris and I can show you that.
. Thank you very much Coumrane! It was wonderful hearing from you. Hope you get some lead based on this interview. If ever we travel to France you will be our travel guide :) Here's wishing you the best in France!


Balachandran V said...

Nice to meet you,Monsieur Chanemougass! I was wondering at the etymology of your name. Could the original be 'Kumaran Shanmughadas'?

Paris is one of the few great cities that I'd like visit sometime. But everyone says Paris is also one of the most expensive. Some years ago, there was a famous movie, 'Paris, I love you' - in fact it was 10 or 12 short movies linked together, all shot and about Paris.

toto333 said...

In french Kumaran Shanmugasundaram is written like
coumarane Chanemougassoundiram.

A said...

Nice to meet you coumarane Chanemougassoundiram. I love Paris. I was there recently and enjoyed even in winter.


hi.. coumarane Chanemougassoundiram ,
Glad to meet you here and know about you through this interaction...

Best wishes,

Y L said...

dear Mr. Kumaran Shanmugasundaram---it is easy for me to write your name in Tamil---I congratulate your parents for making you learn Tamil eventhough you grew up in France.It is really commendable since I know how difficult we find it to make our grandchildren who are in US to speak Tamil.Though we wish them to speak in Tamil, while we are talking to them , we speak in English only to make them understand.
I am NRI Girl's mother and I am sure my daughter with her family will be visiting France and other European countries in future and I am glad she has a good guide in France.
I wish you all the best.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Very interesting... and I wish I had known this information when I went to Paris...

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