PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2007, 12:00am

Name: Nandan Gokhale

Age: 16

City/country: Pune/India

Name of school: Fergusson College

I am a happy-go-lucky guy who really loves to laugh.

I am very curious and always try to find out more about everything: different countries, cultures, food, history and so on.

I come from Pune, a city in western India near Mumbai. Pune is the eighth largest city in India, with a population of four million.

It is a major industrial hub, especially for the car and information technology sectors.

It is also a centre of education. In fact, Pune is often called the 'Oxford of the East' due to its large number of well-respected educational institutes.

There are 24 official languages in India, and more than 1,500 lesser-known languages and dialects. Hindi and English are the main languages. Coming from the state of Maharashtra, my mother tongue is Marathi.

However, I also speak good Hindi and English, a bit of another Indian language called Gujarati, and a little German. I love learning languages.

As I am currently in Hong Kong as an exchange student with AFS Intercultural Exchanges, I am trying to learn Cantonese as quickly as I can.

Modern teenagers like me love to hang out in small eateries, shops, or just chat while sitting somewhere comfortable.

In some ways, I am like modern Chinese teenagers who think that many of their traditions are out of date. I tend to wear western clothing, listen to western music, and watch western movies.

I feel that teenagers in India today have much more exposure to the world than our parents had, as we have access to mass media like television, newspapers and the internet. India used to be known for its joint-family system where many relatives would live together in one home.

However, this is slowly giving way to the nuclear family. My family consists of my parents, grandparents and me.

My parents are designers and have their own design studio. My grandfather grows medicinal plants on our farm. I really love all of them and miss them, but my host family in Hong Kong is also very loving.

Most people in India like cricket. But my favourite sport is football. I love football because it is such a beautiful sport.

It is really exciting to see a great player score a goal, or provide a wonderful pass to a teammate. It is even better to do it yourself.

I love India for its great diversity. It is like visiting many different countries, but it is all in one country!

I love the vibrant colours of Indian costumes, the hot, spicy Indian dishes, the rugged, natural beauty of the Himalayas, the great beaches of Goa and Kerala, the forts and castles of Rajasthan, and the many ancient monuments around the country.

Most of all, I love the big-hearted, often poor but always generous, intelligent, proud people of India.

If you want to make friends with teens from other countries, send an e-mail to yp.epal@scmp.com. Young Post will forward all e-mails to Nandan.