Nainas are a Muslim community that claims Arab descend.
According to the oral legends, the forefathers of the Nainas came from a place named Ninavah, a small town near Mosul in present day Iraq.
Even though they share a great deal of cultural affinity with the local Muslims, who identify themselves as Malabari Muslims, they have retained traces of their Arabic origin, especially in their social and familial lives. Their culinary habits are now similar to the other communities in Kochi. However, they prepare certain dishes, especially for the special occasions, which could possibly have an Arabic origin.
Historically, the Nainas were an influential bunch that shared a robust relationship with the King of Kochi. They were the administrators of Chembitta Palli (literally copper thatched mosque), which is one of the oldest mosques in the region.
PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI
Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers.
He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.
URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.
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