Tanya was born and raised in Fort Kochi, a town of multicultural flavour and antiquity, where her family has been living for the past eight generations. The differences in traditions and religious influences based on history always fascinated her.
story | MATTANCHERRY & FORT COCHIN TALES
Peemakumari has been living alone for years in an old building in Mattancherry. A rickety building that has doors which are closed with old sacks. I saw her once sitting with a number of cats. The cats ran away seeing me, a few stood at a distance with caution.
story | HORTUS MALABARICUS TRAILS
Hortus Malabaricus (Garden of Malabar), is the oldest printed book on Indian medicinal plants. Written by Dutch Governor H.A. Van Rheede, it was compiled over a period of nearly 30 years and published in Amsterdam during 1678–1693.
Nairs is an indigenous Hindu caste, which is anthropologically defined as named category of castes rather than being a single caste. They form a considerable swordsmen and military caste from the west coast of India.
Pandithar is a Hindu community that has roots in Madurai region of Tamil Nadu. According to the oral accounts of the community, they were traditionally practitioners of indigenous medicine, who were invited by the King to settle in Kochi.
Saraswat Non-Brahmins is a Konkani speaking Hindu community from Goa. 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.
In Kochi, they are a small community who have migrated from various parts of India in the recent past. Marwari Brahmins in Kochi, like other Marawari speaking communities are a traders and entrepreneurs.
Memon is a community of Muslims that migrated to Kochi from the Kutch area in Gujarat during the early part of the 19th century. Even though they migrated into Kochi from Kutch their roots can be traced back to Sindh region in Pakistan.
Chetti is a surname is a common surname used by mercantile agricultural and land owning Hindu castes in South India. Chettiyars in Kochi is a Tamil speaking Hindu community who are mostly petty traders.
Ezhava is one of the biggest castes in Kerala. The name has historically used to refer to people who were involved in a variety of jobs. They were considered belonging to the lowermost strata of the Hindu caste system.
Malayalam speaking Muslims in Kochi identifies themselves as Malabari Muslims. Even before the colonial times Kochi had a healthy trade relationship with the Arabs. Most of them, in the recent past have been manual labours and petty traders.
It is believed that their conversion to Christianity happened during the colonial age. Presently they are one of the most influential communities in the region. There are no historical records highlighting the kind of profession that they were engaged in.
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