Interview with an expat: Nila Wallin
› 24 years old
› Bollywood dance teacher and performer
› Therapy student at Humaniversity
When and why did you move to Amsterdam?
I moved from Norway to Amsterdam three years ago. It all started when I discovered - and fell in love with - Osho Humaniversity, a community and school in Egmond Aan Zee specialising in meditation and personal growth. It is a bit easier to reach Egmond Aan Zee from Amsterdam than from Oslo, so here I am :)
I often visit Oslo though. My boyfriend lives there too.
How is studying at the Osho Humaniversity?
Quite exciting! I am almost done with my four year Therapist Training.
We work in different ways: we use our body, communication, theater, emotional work. Each plays a different role is helping you to relax and reach your potential. Friendship is the key though. We do everything together.
The most basic teaching is that love is always the answer. I understand more and more what that actually means in practice. And it is mind blowing.
And beyond educational boundaries?
I have learned how to give sessions both for individuals and groups. Actually, that inspired me to start giving Bollywood Dance lessons.
I have been mastering it for some years now and as a teacher, I have worked in de Pijp (various locations) as well as private lessons and party performances. My next classes start in February.
What is it with Bollywood Dance?
Well, I am Indian, half at least. But when it is from you mother side its really to your bones :)
I did not grow up surrounded by the Indian culture but when I traveled in India, I discovered this deep drive and passion which awakes every time I see Indian dance or hear the music.
The dances are so playful, graceful and sexy.. I even learnt how to play the 17-stringed sitar!
Tell me a story, or a memory... about how it all started...
In Varanasi, India, I met a priest and his family. One day, their 13 year old daughter brought me to her school where some kind of special event - a local student competition - was taking place.
I was sitting somewhere in the crowd - chaos all around and me looking like an alien - and suddenly, this young girl started dancing the massive hit Dhoom Machale. So confident, so precise.. And I just knew that she learnt dancing at home. Click!
I went to Osho Maditation Resort in Pune, India to try myself. I still remember Dilare, the Indian guy who was teaching Western people. Good teacher and naturally comic.
It was amazing! Very few people could actually do it but everyone kept trying enthusiastically. I enjoyed it myself. It was a combination of acting and dancing as well as changing face expression from dramatic to sweet in a blink of an eye.
A friend of mine told me: "Hey, I can see that you are a real Indian when you do that." That is how it started. I went home and practiced the moves on YouTube before starting taking up classes.
What are your plans for the new year?
I want to work on and develop my choreography based on traditional Indian style.. Hand movement, head gestures.. the whole package. Oh! and to give more individual sessions and meditations.
What do you think of Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is like a freaky free space where you can do (almost) whatever you like. In Norway things are more organised and dealt with more care. I miss that.
Another thing about Amsterdam is that it is not really Holland; most of my roommates and colleagues are international. So, I learned almost as much about Italians - like my interviewer and dear friend - as Dutch... and Germans and Brazilians.
Any tips for new expats?
› Befriend some Dutch who can explain and help you out with zorgtoeslag, zorverzekering and all these complicated bureaucratic procedures! :)
› Once, I tried calling the Dutch tax office and I ended up talking in English with a woman who told me she was allowed to continue the conversation only in Dutch.
› The Dutch are stubborn...
› Keep yourself updated about what is going on in the culture scene. There is a lot.
› Go shopping in de Negen Stratjes, a cute area with funky shops.
› And of course, check out the Immortality Club that Humaniversity is arranging in Akhnaton, Amsterdam. A meditation plus a dance party. If you want to become immortal, the next is on February 13.
Agnese enjoys interviewing people with a story to tell, a project to unfold, a dream to share… always with an amazing bottle of wine selected for the occasion.
Since Nila is a fan of bio food & beverages like Agnese, a pure organic wine was chosen: Pure Rouge, BIO, Domain Bassac, Languedoc, France, 2009.
A mix of seven different grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Carignan, Grenache, Cinsault and the exotic Syrah, all cultivated in the sunny Languedoc, France. It is produced by two of Agnese’s favourite winemakers, the Delon Brothers, and is actually a very good combination of alcoholic strength (13 percent) from red grapes and good price (around 6 euros in bio stores).
Suitable for dinner with pizza and pasta, as well as seitan, baked tofu and vegetables like pumpkin, tomatoes and carrots. Still, yummy with desserts and chocolate ice cream! Environmental friendly and goodhearted… just like Nila!