Kochi - Day 23

March 22, 2019

We are staying here for two nights, so it was an opportunity to get the clothes we wore for Holi washed. Alas, and as suspected, the Holi powder did NOT wash out of our clothes easily, in fact the entire wash came back a delicate shade of pink and had to be dumped into the waste baskets. I suspect Vikram, who assured us that cleaning these clothes is simple, has never done a days domestic work in his life and relies on a host of dhobis and other servants to get these tasks done. Certainly our clothes were trashed - although we had deliberately worn stuff we could dispose of if needed.

 

Kerala, I’ve discovered, has a very different culture and history to northern India. A large proportion of the population are Christian, and churches abound.  Kerala was one of the first places to adopt Christianity, dating from the mid 5th century AD, consequently Christianity in the state well and truly preceded Roman Catholicism, and is Orthodox in nature. When Catholicism did arrive there was some friction between the two sects, although eventually they appear to have settled their differences. 

 

We visited the Dutch Palace - built by the Portuguese to propitiate the Raja when some sailors trashed a couple of shrines. It became known as the Dutch Palace when the Dutch renovated the building after they'd kicked the Portuguese out.

 

Later we explored the Basilica where Vasco de Gama was buried, although his remains were later shifted to another town further south. 

 

Finally we went down to the water to see the Chinese fishing nets - this simple device for launching the nets involves a cantilever system weighed with heavy boulders. Very effective, and we had fun launching the nets and hauling them in. At this time of year, just before the monsoon, there are little fish to be had. Even so, it was gratifying that the women's team launched and lifted their net efficiently but managed to get more fish than the men - by two small tiddlers!  Anyway, the waiting birds were happy.

 

It is hot. Finally the heat has caught up with us, and it is taking it's toll. We walk more slowly and get tired more easily.

 

The Dutch Palace, Kochi

Wooden ceilings

Palanquin detail

Artwork at the Kochi Bienale

Artwork at the Koch Bienale

Kathakali statue

The Dutch palace

Santa Cruz Basilica

Silk punkas drawn from the outside to keep parishioners cool

Vasco de Gama’s grave (the body was later exhumed and buried elsewhere)

Vasco de Gama

Egrets waiting for the catch

Chinese fishing nets

Weighing down the nets

Fisher men and fishing dets

The Chinese fishing nets

Man mending nets

 

 

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