Kornelia Santoro is the award-winning author of Kornelia’s Kitchen and Kornelia’s Kitchen 2: Cooking for allergic people. Her latest book is called Cooking for Happiness. She has lived in India continuously since 1996.
Where are you from?
Ansbach, a small town in northern Bavaria, close to Nuremberg.
What brought you to India?
In 1994, I bought an Enfield Bullet in Delhi and took it down on the train to Goa to learn to ride it. I did this because after a divorce I needed a break from my life as newspaper journalist. Whilst learning to ride the Bullet in Goa, I met my future husband Alberto Santoro. I toured India for nearly two years before settling in Goa with Alberto, an experience that I remember fondly and that made me a lot stronger as a person. In 1997 we got married in Milan, Italy, and we have lived in Goa ever since.
What do you love most about being here?
The warm weather and the freedom from the fast-paced, European working life.
Are there any great moments that particularly stand out for you?
My three book launches and the moments when I was informed that I had won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for my first two books. I am still in the competition for my latest book Cooking for Happiness that was published in July.
Another highlight was the moment when we moved into our home in Goa. In 2003 we bought an old, colonial house and renovated it.
What have been your greatest integration challenges?
We never had a problem with integration but we cannot help but notice that it is getting always more difficult to obtain a long-term visa.
Have there been any individuals or organisations who particularly helped with your move and integration?
Have you joined any networking groups?
I joined Internations in Mumbai but I have to admit that I am not active in this community. I was active for some years in the GoaWriters network.
Do you have any practical tips for ex-pats moving to India about how to integrate or deal with cultural differences?
Take it one day at a time.
What does the future hold for you?
Actually, we are on the way back to Europe. Our son needs to finish school here, we need to sell our house and then we move back to our home countries.
Find out more about Kornelia here: