Indian-Luxembourg national Prince Motiani, pictured, discovered Toastmasters 13 years ago
Photo: Matic Zorman
According to Prince Motiani, a smart way to assimilate into Luxembourg culture and connect with people is through local programmes.
13 years ago, he discovered a Toastmasters chapter that meets twice a month to help people with public speaking. He has benefitted greatly from the social club and witnessed its positive impact on his peers. Today he works in a leadership role to share his experience with others. “Spring in Luxembourg, for me, is going to our meetings and seeing the people there blossoming.”
Prince arrived in the grand duchy just over 30 years ago. He left India when he was 18 to study comparative literature in France. It was Victor Hugo that led him to Luxembourg (the writer once lived in Vianden) and his love of the locals that made him stay. “Luxembourgers want to live like the French and think like the Germans,” he says. “Once you get your mind around that, you can understand the Luxembourgish spirit.”
For Prince, integrating into Luxembourg society was facilitated by the ease of living and the straightforward nature of the country’s civil services. “Life in Luxembourg is not all that complicated,” he says. “You can see through the system, as opposed to other bureaucratic machinery.”
Over the years he has grown to appreciate the Luxembourg way of life and the European mindset. A big part of that can be attributed to the relationships he’s established with locals--something he highly recommends to newcomers.
“My advice is: be patient and socialise with the locals,” he says. “Join the clubs and go to the cafés where they hang out. Luxembourgish people are really very open once you get to know them. It’s a small country and the people here are sometimes threatened by the huge influx of foreigners. But once they feel safe around you, they give you the warmest embrace you can have.”
There are seven social Toastmasters Clubs in Luxembourg and the greater region, each with unique characteristics: Bossuet Gaveliers, Casemates, Green Heart, Les Orateurs du Jeudi (in French), Pitch Craft 4 Entrepreneurs (PC4E), Saber Toastmasters (at Spangdahlem air force base in Germany) and Toastmasters op Lëtzebuergesch (in Luxembourgish). Search for them on Facebook or LinkedIn.