Nazia Arfin

Nazia Arfin was born in New Delhi in 1978, where she trained as a nurse. When she moved to Manchester, she specialised as a diabetes nurse. She comments how in India her nurse training was primarily based on Western textbooks so, when reading about nutrition, recipes such as shepherd’s pie were completely unfamiliar to her!

A picture of Nazia in her nursing uniform

Listen to Nazia talk about her experience of nursing school, and acclimatising to things that were not on the curriculum. 



Audio transcript:

Interviewer: While you were training over in India, did you have any contact with the UK about nursing?


I wish I had contact. All the textbooks were from English writers and everything was based on Western textbooks, so that included English textbooks and American textbooks. As such we didn’t have any contact with the English nurses or English healthcare. When we used to read the books, there were things and we’d be thinking, oh, all right, okay. Like we were reading about nutrition and nutritive value of various things, and the book that time we were reading, that was [an] English book. And they were talking about a few English recipes with the nutritive values and everything. So we were reading, but honestly speaking we didn’t have a clue exactly! So I’ll give you an example: shepherd’s pie. We didn’t know what shepherd’s is, and that was in the time of [the] Internet, going and finding out, so we would just say okay, a layer of potato and then mincemeat, and then vegetable. So that was a really good experience. Then when we came over here, I said, “I’ve read about shepherd’s pie, this is it” [laughing]. So that was the first time when I came over that I saw shepherd’s pie, and I was so happy that I actually read it about it in a book back home! So that was really interesting.


Click here to listen to Nazia's interview in full in our Digital Archive.

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