Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2007

The Expat's social life in Chennai

The Expat's social life in Chennai is not full with continuous exciting cultural and social events. After a certain while in the city you will know the face of nearly all the expats as they are coming together for most of the events.

Key to get into the expat's social life is the wife and kids, as they have organized get together on where finally now and then are allowed to join as well.

The Overseas Women Club plays here the crucial role in bringing the ladies together. At the end of August they organize a welcome party into the new year, where newcomers to the city and oldies get together and provide a possibility to the greenhorns to orientate themselves and find their first friends in town.
In October they do their annual dine and dance, which is fun, as really every expat, who is in town shows up to this event. It is one of the few events with formal dress code in town throughout the year. The OWC does as well weekly playgroups for small kids and their parents, which is a good ground for social networking.

An important networking instituion is the American International School in Chennai. Moms and dads meet up mornings and afternoons on a daily basis, say hello to each other and especially moms find the time to hang around for more time in the school and exchange themselves. Some of them even do not seem to leave the premises during the four to six hours while their kids are at school.
The American School does as well around once a month programs for the parents, which is an ideal ground for communication and networking.

During weekends you find the expats at the usual places, Brunch at Marriott, swimming on Ideal Beach, drinks at one of the Five Start Hotels, shopping in City or Ispahani Center. It can happen, that you meet the same white face two times within a week without making any appointments, as everyone is going the same routes in this city.

A good description of what is on in the city gives a small but fine booklet called cityinfo. It is free of charge and you can get it in coffee shops or the hotels and gives a good guide of what is going on in the city for a month in the area of Art, Music, Nightlife, Eating out and shopping in Chennai. Watch out the ads.

Chennai is not a real exciting city in terms of social life and events, but it is definitely getting better day by day, but the conservative tradition of the people's mind in Chennai will take it a little longer to come to a level of Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi.
View some good places on the Chennai map


nick hat gesagt…

Hi there.
I am an Austrian expat, too and I am about to relocate to Hyderabad (from Dubai) - most probably in January.

I wondered if you - or anybody else reading this blog- have any contacts there who could give me the low down on expat life, in particular on estate agents and food shopping.
Any help is much appreciated.


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