Saraswat Non-Brahmins is a Konkani speaking Hindu community from Goa.

Saraswat Non-Brahmins is a Konkani speaking Hindu community that migrated into Kochi from Goa. They share a common history with the other Konkani speaking communities in Kochi. Their migration is estimated to have happened during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. 

There are approximately 130 Saraswat families that currently live in the area. Saraswat traditionally were Temple artists. The women in the community were not allowed to get married and were forced to dedicate their lives to the temple.

Due to the influence the Saraswat Association formed in the year 1938, this heinous social system was eventually wiped out. The community since then has made tremendous growth. It has given birth to visionaries and educationists who played a significant role in India’s struggle for Independence. 

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. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

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.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

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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