An Italian YouTuber's love affair with India

Italy-born Giulia Raffaello, now an Indian bahu, aims to bridge the cultural differences between the two countries through her YouTube vlogs 

Published: 23rd January 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2022 08:26 PM   |  A+A-

A still from Giulia Raffaello's Varanasi vlog.

A still from Giulia Raffaello's Varanasi vlog. (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

Giulia Raffaello is convinced that she must have been an Indian in her previous life. This Italian YouTuber who blogs about Indian culture touched the magical 313k subscribers milestone in December on her channel OnlyOneGiulia. Now she’s all stoked about her first pilgrimage tours with her Indian husband Shreyans Jain—an unlikely honeymoon. The Varanasi vlog, she says, is as Indian as you can get—slurping chai from kulhads, eating Banarasi paan and shopping for the silks. “My goal is to bring Italian and Indian cultures closer together,” says Giulia (pronounced Julia) who loves all things desi.

Her love for India began when she read a book of Indian stories when she was seven years old. The love was rekindled when she met Jain five years ago. “In the last two years, I’ve seen tremendous growth and interest in my content. I receive a lot of messages from couples in intercultural relationships who tell me that my relationship inspires them to carry on despite cultural and bureaucratic challenges,” she opines. Giulia’s love affair with her adopted country is evident in her travel vlogs which always include a section on festive decorations at Indian airports. “European airports are drab and dry. Every Indian airport is bursting with celebrations and joy,” she adds.

Guilia Raffaelo

Born and raised in Italy and now living in Berlin, Germany, this content creator says it was vegetarian food and travel that brought her close to her husband. “I started my YouTube channel in 2018 intending to document the joys and the challenges of being in a relationship with someone from a different culture and continent.”  A full-time HR professional based in Berlin, she started creating videos for her company’s socials. She was taking acting classes simultaneously just for a lark.

Her content and views picked up momentum when she met Jain on a dating app. “It was love at first swipe. We met for coffee after a week of messaging and ended up chatting for six hours. After a few more months of dating him, I realised we were meant for each other,” she says. Her followers got to see her transition from girlfriend to wife through her videos. “Some of my most popular videos are those of ‘How I met my Indian boyfriend’ two years ago, my first Bollywood dance when I hit 100K followers and ‘What do Indians think of Italy’, which got one million views.”

After dating for 4.5 years, they got married in Italian style in June 2021 in Copenhagen. “We had planned an Indian-style wedding in November in Delhi, but it didn’t work out due to Covid restrictions. We did have many celebrations though,” she adds. A big Hindi film music fan, Giulia started grooving to Bollywood music which was part of her music elective in London where she studied English.

The videos that she enjoyed the most were about Holi in India, Durga Puja in Berlin and of course a bunch of them about Indian food. What are ‘very Indian’ things she has noticed while making her vlogs? “India is loud and celebratory. Back home in Berlin, it’s eerily silent. On some days, there is pin-drop silence on the Metro. That is impossible in India. I love the life in the air in India,” she infers. Guilia’s face may be Italian, but her dil is Hindustani.

Very Indian things

Favourite dish: Baingan ka bharta

Favourite Bollywood song: ‘Shawa Shawa’ from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Heartbreaking moment: Seeing paneer on pizza after having Italian authentic pizza in Naples

Most freaky experience: First ever camel ride in Jaisalmer

Weirdest experience: Tasting hing and Hajmola for the first time in 2020

One thing this Italian wouldn’t dare do: Drizzling tomato ketchup on pizza

Fave YouTubers: Beerbicep and Dolly Singh

Where India should follow Italy: Have fewer cars, more trains


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