India my second home: Malaysian medical student

Her grandfather came from Trichy, Tamil Nadu

By Santosh Digal

Denpasar, Bali: An India-origin Malaysian studying medicine in Indonesia wishes to practice in India after her graduation.

“If ever, I would get opportunity, I would live and work as a doctor in India, the land of my parents. India is my second home after Malaysia,” Priyangka Ramiah, told Matters India.

The 22-year-old is a first year medical student at the Faculty of Medicine at Udayana University (Indonesian: Universitas Udayana), a public university in Denpasar, capital of Bali Island in Indonesia. It was established on September 29, 1962. The university’s name was derived from 10th century Balinese King Udayana (Dharmodayana) of Warmadewa Dynasty. The medium of instruction is Bahasa Indonesia in the university.

Ramiah is among 100 Indian-Malaysians studying at the same university at different year levels. In every batch of 100 medical students, only 20 of them come from overseas, mostly Indian Malaysians. Majority of them are females. Indian Malaysians have attended the university for the past 30 years.

Rmiah is the only child of her parents. Her father is a retired journalist and mother an accountant working in private sector in Malaysia. Her father was born in India and though Indian origin, her mother born and brought up in Malaysia. She hails from Klang, Salangor, about 20-drive by four wheeler from Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia.

Her grandparents migrated from Trichy, Tamil Nadu, southern India, to work in estates in Malaysia during the British era.

She has visited India five times, especially to see her cousins and other relatives in different phases of her life. She keeps in touch with them on a regular basis. She has also travelled to some other parts of southern India states.

“India has always delighted me, as it is the land of our ancestors. As a great nation, with multiple diversities, it has attracted me a lot. As I am proud of my Indian origin, I would love to live and work there, if God wills,” she said. It does not mean that she loves less Malaysia, the land of her birth and upbringing.

Her family speaks Tamil and often cook Tamil food at home and occasionally, her mother cooks Malaysian dishes, she recalled.

Ramiah wanted to study medicine in India, possibly at Manipal University, Karnataka, but her parents discouraged her saying it may be dangerous for her study there either on account of political interference or any other unforeseen reasons. Thus, they advised her to take the medical course in Bali, where she landed in 2016 after finishing her twelfth grade in Malaysia.

During her high school education back home, she would not like to be a doctor, loved Biology subject and wished to pursue the same subject. As time passed by, she realized she has greater inclination for medicine; besides, her parents motivated her to opt for it.

“I am enjoying the course here. The medium of instruction is in Bahasa Indonesia and luckily all of overseas medical students are fluent in that, so it is helpful for us to do our academics well,” she said.

She wishes to specialize in Pediatrics. “I love to treat children. As I have seen children suffer when they get sick. I want to help them. So, I would opt for Paediatrics after my five-year course,” she said.

When asked, what are her other passions, “I love cooking,” she said. “We cook together our meals as we stay in rented flat along with other four classmates.”

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