Sunday, October 22, 2006

India's Hat Trick

Henna hands

(photo has nothing to do with this post btw, placeholder till the more relevant is downloaded and up)

Today is Ramazan (or Ramazan Eid) - the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan and fasting.

The field that was yesterday full of boys at cricket, abutting India's oldest church where Vasco de Gama was briefly buried, is this morning full of Fort Cochin's Muslims. They've been pouring in by rickshaw, car and foot, bits of carpet and seating cloths beneath their arms, kids in holiday best, to attend the celebration. The ladies walk to the field's far end and sit on the side closest to the church, blocked from the men's view by a plastic sheeting, the men take their seats before of the main platform.

It's an Indian hat-trick then:
Diwali began on Saturday, we're in the midst of it now.
Eid today.
Many of the shops I needed to visit in Mattancherry closed yesterday, their absent owners with names like Jose George taking the Christian day of rest.
And, for all I know, India's some 7 million Buddhists are up to something of their own.

Yes it's the land of a million languages, but it's the everyday overlapping of religions that's really stunning (when peaceable that is).

C (trying to get to Pondicherry today but buses booked with holiday makers of every persuasion)

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