Tag Archives: Asia

Discovering Judaism In India – Is That Possible?

By Lakshmi:

As a little girl growing up in India, we never once questioned the ability of multiple ethnicities to coexist in one land. I went to Catholic schools, my best friend was Muslim and my family doctor was Jewish.  While there were plenty of  Christians, Hindus and Muslims around, except for my family doctor and her holidays, our exposure to Judaism was  minimal.  And then there was a discovery.  The state where my parents hailed from (Kerala) housed India’s oldest synagogue and one of the oldest known Jewish communities.  And slowly the awareness settled in.  The first community arrived in India 2,500 years ago.  They settled in Cochin in the southern state of Kerala and gradually more settlers arrived spreading their wings to different parts of the country.  A few months ago, I was walking around in Pune in western India and noticed a large synagogue.  It was old and beautiful and I discovered that it was the largest one in Asia.  Suddenly the linkages between Judaism and India were appearing more commonly before my eyes…was it the awareness that I was developing or simply more interest on a rather forgotten community?

This morning, the New York Times carried a lovely piece on Passover in India.  It was a lovely read and I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring our readers this little unknown slice of India.

“A Seder Spiced with Indian flavors” is a journey into how tradition and local cuisine have melded to create a one of a kind culture and history.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/dining/a-seder-spiced-with-flavors-from-india.html?_r=0

Conde Nast Traveller’s writing competition last year had a winner reporting on the “Jewish Settlements in India”. This is a lovely journey of visuals and words providing a sometimes sad/other times funny look at this community.

http://www.cntraveller.in/content/travel-writing-competition-traces-jerusalem

For those curious about how these synagogues might look like a world away, the following link provides beautiful photographs inside and outside some of these major places of worship.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/synindia.html

If you happen to be in India and want to get a hands on orientation, here are a couple of tour companies offering specialized day trips.  Just reading the summaries gives you a peek into a far away world!

http://www.mumbaimagic.com/jewish_heritage.htm

http://www.viator.com/India/Synagogue/d723

Have you visited any synagogues in India or know more about the local Jewish traditions?  We’d love to hear from you.

 

A Visual Journey Through Istanbul

These photographs were taken during a summer trip to Istanbul.  The city was packed with tourists, but we managed to find beauty in so many things, places and people just walking around.  See for yourself and let us know why you think Istanbul is considered one of the hottest cities on planet earth.

Istanbul 1 Istanbul 1a Istanbul 1cIstanbul 6 Istanbul 2

Istanbul 2a Istanbul 7 Istanbul 8Istanbul 1b Istanbul 9 Istanbul 10 Istanbul 12 Istanbul 13 Istanbul 14Istanbul 11 Istanbul 15 Istanbul 16 Istanbul 17

The Island of Sanya, China in Photos

These pictures were taking on the island of Sanya in China over the course of a few beautiful summer days. Of all the tropical places we’ve had the privilege of experiencing here at Paupers, Sanya still remains one of the most visually astonishing landmarks of natural beauty.

5292_145147822048_2328012_n

5292_145938257048_7131537_n

5292_145932567048_8056038_n

5292_145918357048_5764761_n

sand

5292_145147912048_5282991_n

5292_145147892048_2363953_n

5292_145147862048_813985_n

5292_145147847048_1327329_n

418950_10150684255277049_1036090313_n