How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Most apartment complexes, shopping malls and nice hotels have a play area for children. Playgrounds do exist but it's usually preferred to use the ones inside the gated communities, apartment complexes, etc. for safety and security. Unfortunately, few of these public places have diaper-changing stations, so be prepared to make do.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Childcare providers are generally referred by other expats. Typically, the outgoing expat recommends their employees to other friends. OWC can provide more information. It is recommended that you run a police verification for any household help or nannies. There are not a lot of reliable sources for such help.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
The standard precautions apply, such as not leaving your child alone with a stranger. It is a good practice to keep children close or within sight in public places. Drug and alcohol abuse among children does not exist to a large extent in this part of India, though there have been a few stray cases. Be cautious as you would be in any city.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
In Cubbon Park, the Jawahar Bal Bhawan amusement park has life-sized animals, games and the Puttani Express ride, a fun toy train. Families also enjoy the Wonderla amusement park, with 54 thrill rides and fun and entertainment for all ages. The Innovative Film City, close to Wonderla, is a great day destination for a family fun day out, with a wax museum, haunted house, go-karting, and a lot of other activities. Bowling, paintball and videogame alleys are also present in the city and outskirts.
Amoeba Sports Bar is one popular videogaming and bowling alley off MG Road.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
There are various gaming parlors like the Amoeba Sports Bar, plus go-karting and pinball in the outskirts of the city. During vacations, various organizations have camps organized for school children. For those who are serious about sports, there are sports associations that coach children, such as the KSLTA (tennis), KBA (badminton), KSBA (billiards) and others. The cultural institutions mentioned earlier also have music, art, crafts and performing arts classes for children during the week, as well as weekends.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Teenagers of the city have a variety of places where they can socialize with friends, at coffee shops, movies, etc. There are various multiplex theatres that show Indian as well as English movies. Tickets cost between Rs.130-Rs.600 per head. These are usually in a mall. Nightclubs allow entry to people over 18 years of age and require ID to enter. The Bangalore nightlife generally ends before 11:30 p.m. People tend to start parties by 7 p.m.
The city is relatively safe, however, it is always safest to be in a group and to travel with some company after 10 p.m. or if you reside in an isolated location.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Social groups for 12- to 17-year-olds are rare, though not non-existent. They are run locally and it is best to check in the area you are residing in. The most popular game in this part of India is cricket.
However, most schools have their own teams with sports options for their students like soccer (football), basketball, swimming, etc. Inter-school competition in these sports is common.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Bangalore with its diverse population celebrates many local festivals of all religions including Christmas and Eid. The prominent Hindu festivals in Bangalore are:
Holi: Holi, the festival of colors, heralds the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. Holi usually falls in the latter part of February or March. On the main day, people celebrate Holi by throwing colored powder and colored water at each other.
Vinayaka Chathurthi: Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka, the elephant-headed god, is among the most worshiped deities of the State. The Ganesha Puja, a ceremony where Lord Ganesha is worshipped, is performed with fervor and gaiety. The celebration ends on the ninth day when the idols of Vinayaka are carried as part of a procession chanting his name and submerged in water in wells, lakes, rivers or ocean. The festival falls on the month of August – September.
Ugadi: This is New Year's day for the people of southern India. While the people of Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka call it Ugadi, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. The festival marks the New Year day for people who follow the southern Indian lunar calendar. This generally falls in the months of March or April.
Navarathri: This is another festival that lasts for nine days. The goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and
Sarawathy, the consorts of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma respectively, are worshiped.
The festival falls in the months of September to October and is marked with traditional displays of handmade dolls.
Kannada Rajyotsava: Kannada Rajyotsava or the Karnataka Formation Day (literally "Birth of the
State") is celebrated on November 1 every year. This was the day in 1956 when all the
Kannada-speaking regions of south India were merged to form the state of Karnataka.
Diwali: The festival marks the victory of good over evil. Diwali is a major Indian festival, celebrated by almost every individual across India. It is known as the "Festival of Lights," and lamps (called diyas or
kandils) are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind. It generates an atmosphere of gaiety, friendliness and excitement.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.