A Young Indian Woman’s Experiences at Finishing School
Born into a renowned real estate family of Mumbai, raised in Mumbai, Minal is the young daughter of the Wadhwa family, who recently completed a course in international level grooming at the Institut Villa Pierrefeu in Montreux, Switzerland. During her time as a student, she not only attended a range of classes pursuing her passion for fine homemaking, but also travelled in and around Europe places such as Paris and London. Her classmates included daughters of international dignitaries, magnates and Princesses. We spoke with Minal about her experiences as a young Indian woman at finishing school, how she adapted to the cultural changes, and about Switzerland as a hub for world-class education.
During her time at IVP, Switzerland's renowned finishing school, Minal learnt the various arts of refinement. During the course, the young women were instructed in a range of feminine functions, from floral arrangements to table manners, serving tea to etiquette while entertaining. Minal’s pictures from the experience showcase her learning simpler functions such as how to cut out a floral shape with an orange peel, eating a banana without physically peeling it (with a fork and knife), fancy napkin folding to the more nuanced graces such as learning appropriate table placements and applying them to several course meals with her international counterparts.
Minal immersed herself in learning accepted social graces because she believes that the world is becoming increasingly globalized, and despite being of Indian origin and learning our culture and tradition, she believes it is of value to learn how the world is progressing in this realm. When asked what inspired her to attend finishing school, Minal replies,
Hailing from a family like the Wadhwas, Minal has always had a high standard to uphold, and finishing school is only one of her many plans for upgrading herself. Family has always been extremely important to her. “Values, especially family values play an important role in defining an individual.” After returning back home to Mumbai, Minal has kept up with her learning from the Institut, and also further pursued her in the art of makeup application.She took a course with the renowned Bharat and Dorris, and she is notoriously known among her friends for her dramatic application and panache for stylish dressing.
Minal’s philosophy states that by looking better on the outside, one automatically feels more confident and comfortable on the inside. “A good look can make your day,” she concludes with her signature wink, donned with a perfectly winged liner, heavy mascara and shaded tones of her favorite eye shadows.