Villagers’ hospitality wows French family caught in lock-down
The entire village is treating them as guests. In Just a few days, the family has learnt to commonly use Hindi words like namaste, dhanyawad (thank you), aap kaisey hai (How do you do?) etc.
When a swanky imported car carrying five French nationals stopped in Laxmipur village of Maharajganj on March 25, transcending language barriers the curious villagers understood at once that a foreigner family on India tour was caught in the corona lock- down and needed help.
Since then the Pollarez family from Toulouse city of France, on a world tour in their car since 2019, has been camping at the temple of this village, mixing up with the once strange villagers who are showing the spirit of ‘Athithi Devo Bhav’ by showering them with affection and offering them tea, snacks and other essentials while strictly practicing social distancing.
While locals in general try to communicate through gestures, some literate ones use broken languages. “When I came here, we and the villagers were strangers to each other but they soon became friendly and helped us a lot. India is great and so are its people,” said an elated Pollarez Patrice Joseph, 40, the family head who drove to India through Pakistan’s Wagha border in February on a tourist visa , visited Indian cities and was on his way to cross the Nepal border through Maharajganj when suddenly everything came to a halt due to the lock -down.
He said once the lock-down was lifted, he wished to return to his country in his car, equipped with machines and tools used in repair work.
Pollarez Patrice , a motor mechenic by profession, is accompanied by wife Virginie Pollarez, daughters Ophelie Pallarez , Lola Janniefer Pollarez and son Tom Pollarez.
Rahul, a local said, “ The entire village is treating them as guests. In Just a few days, the family has learnt to commonly use Hindi words like namaste, dhanyawad (thank you), aap kaisey hai (How do you do?) etc. The family gets up early in the morning and locals offer them tea and snacks which they eat happily .There are moments when they enjoy by dancing on tunes played on mobile phone and share lighter moments with villagers, They also click selfies with locals.”
DM Ujjawal Kumar said, “The administration is ensuring that the French nationals do not face any problems. A medical team was sent to check them and all were found well. Police teams have also been instructed to ensure their security.”
SDM Nautanwa Jasveer Singh confirmed that the family was on Indian tour since February and was stranded due to lock-down. “All necessary items, including groceries, are being provided to them,” he said.