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COMMUNITIES IN KOCHI

CULTURAL MELTING POT THROUGH THE LENSES OF BIJU IBRAHIM

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17: GUJARATI BRAHMINS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Gujarati Brahmins is a Gujarati speaking Hindu community that migrated into Kochi a couple of centuries back. Priests by caste, they are a community of traders and entrepreneurs in Kochi. They are a relative minority within the Gujaratis.

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16: GUJARATIS BANIYA

BIJU IBRAHIM

Gujarati community nclude followers of both Hindu and Jain religion, who migrated from Kutch and other areas in Gujarat. According to a 2009 directory published by the Kochi Gujarati Mahajan, there were 650 Gujarati families in Mattancherry.

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15: TELUGU NAIDUS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Naidu is believed to be an honorific title conferred upon those who have served in the king's army. According to the oral history, Naidu's in Kochi are the descendants of those who came as a part of the Tippu Sulthan's army and stayed back.

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14: TAMIL VANNAR

BIJU IBRAHIM

Vannar is a Hindu caste referring the community of washer men. They are believed to have migrated into Kochi during the colonial times. It is believed that the King brought the Vannars to fulfil the demand for laundry services.

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13: TAMIL VISHWAKARMA

BIJU IBRAHIM

Vishwakarma is a Hindu caste referring of craftsmen and artisans. They believed that they are the descendants of Lord Brahma, the creator of all worlds. The Vishwakarmas in Kochi trace their root backs to various places in Tamil Nadu.

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12: BOHRA MUSLIMS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Bohra Muslims came to Kochi from Gujarat via Alappuzha. They are the only Muslim community in Kochi that follows Shiite Islam, one of the two major Islamic sects. The name Bohra evolve from in Gujarati word Vehru, which means the trade.

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11: THANGALS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Before the advent of the European forces, Kochi had robust trade relationships with the Arabian Peninsula. The Thangal family, which traces its lineage all the way back to Prophet Muhammed is a proud bearer of this Arab legacy.

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10: MALABARI JEWS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Kochi was once home to a thriving Jewish population. It is believed that the forefathers of Malabari Jews were from Babylon who initially settled in Muziris which then was a happening international port. After destruction of port, they migrated to Kochi.

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09: FOREIGN JEWS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Kochi is home to both Malabari and Foreign Jewish communities. According to the oral traditions, it was the destruction of erstwhile Muziris port that led the Jews to migrate into Kochi. Upon reaching Kochi, the King gifted them a place to settle.

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08: ANGLO LUSO INDIANS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Luso Indians are of Indo-Portuguese origin. Before the arrival of the Dutch, the Portuguese were in power in Kochi. The Luso Indian race was born when Portuguese men, who took the long and hazardous journey to Kochi married local women.

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07: KASHMIRIS

BIJU IBRAHIM

As political turbulence in Kashmir heightened in the early 90s many decided to migrate to other parts of the world. For some of them Kochi became an option as during those time the place was slowly developing in a tourism hotspot.

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06: KONKANI SONARS

BIJU IBRAHIM

Also known as Daivanja Brahmin, is a Hindu caste working as goldsmiths. Their forefathers, like the other Konkani speaking communities fled Portuguese inquisition and settled in Kochi. They made ornaments for all irrespective of caste and religious differences.

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