India being once part of the British Empire saw its share of cross-cultural amalgamation especially when it comes to architectural style. However India being a pretty large land mass there were also some pockets of French, Portuguese and Dutch settlements. One such classic example is that of Pondicherry, a small town which had been completely engulfed into the lifestyle of a classic French town prior to India’s independence and few years even after.
After the De Jure of 1956 which was the treaty under which Pondicherry and other French territories of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam became Indian territories. There was, however, a twist where Pondicherry did not merge with Madras (Tamil Nadu) but instead remained as a Union Territory.
“That’s Mother out there” my mother whispered in my ear, it was in the year 1988 and she had come to our school as the chief guest for the school’s annual sports day. With everyone standing in front of me I could hardly see so my mother lifted me up and made me stand on the chair. In the distance I see a frail old lady bending forward slightly with hand folded accepting the standing ovation that she was receiving. Coincidentally I was wearing deep blue shorts and light blue almost white t-shirt and this was the same color that Mother Teresa was wearing. This was the first and last time that I had seen Mother Teresa up close.
Continuing with my Chinsurah series, this time, I will take you the famous Bandel Church. This is a must stop if you are on a day visit to Chinsurah, this famous church dates back centuries and is one of the most important landmarks in the town. Probably this is the only church that I have seen with my own eyes where non-Christians visit more than Christians. People flock to this church in lakhs every year seeking blessings and sometimes to give thanks for the blessings received.
I know its way past the Christmas season but I am sure you will definitely agree that there is no particular season for enjoying a good fruit cake. Many of my friends after reading many of my Christmas and Christmas cake related blogs had asked me about the exact place where the cakes are baked and how it’s actually done. So finally I have decided to spill the bean once in for all so that you know the real mystery behind those delicious pieces of Christmas Fruit Cake.
Do you know when Christmas is celebrated? I am sure you will reply 25th of December. Well actually it is correct but it all depends on which part of the world you are. Most of the world celebrates Christmas on 25th of December but there are some communities which celebrate Christmas on a different date. The best example for this would be that of the Armenians.
The Armenians celebrate Christmas on 6th of January, this is the also known as Epiphany across the Christian Calendar. On this day according to the Gospels, there was a “Revelation from God” that Jesus is the son of God. Some also commemorate the visit of theMagi wherein three wise men visited Jesus to present him with the three gifts.
Christians have very few festivals so we tend to extend the Christmas fun as much as possible. The best example for this is that of “Boxing Day”, traditionally this was observed a day after Christmas that is 26th of December. On this day the rich and high in the society used to distribute gifts to the servants and to the general population in boxes and thus the tern “Boxing” got derived from it. It has nothing to do with Boxing the sport but more to do with packing of gift in boxes.