January 1, 2023: Arrived in Kochi (Cochin), located on the far southwestern tip of India, from Delhi on New Years Eve. But the real party in Kochi seemed to be on New Years Day, when the streets were filled with costumed and bewigged people atop floats that would parade through the city. Women of all ages wore their most gloriously-colored sarees, and painted their fingers red. The parks and the esplanade along the Fort Kochi peninsula grew more boisterous with each hour as the time for the parade approached. #kerala #fortkochi
January 2, 2023. One joy in my travels is finding ancient or lost Jewish communities-a reminder of how, over millennia, Jews have integrated into communities around the world. Jews in India claim their origins to the diaspora after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. In Kochi-an important trading port for centuries— Sephardi Jews also arrived after their expulsion from Spain and Portugal. The pictures here are of the Paradesi synagogue, built in 1568, when the Portuguese governed. We stopped in the shop of the late Sarah Cohen, who had been the last surviving Kohen in Kochi. A Muslim man whom she had taken care of now is the steward of the shop that still sells Judaica. This charming area of Kochi is called Jew Town and is now filled with shops. Less than 50,000 Jews remain in India. #kochi #jewtownkochi #kerala #indiatravel #paradesisynagogue
2 Replies to “Kochi, Kerala and an Ancient Jewish Community: India Travels Part 3”
Fascinante. En un viaje a Cuba en nuestro grupo conocí a un joven de India que se llamaba Suda Yehuda. Era de Kerala. Si me acuerdo bien, me dijo que su familia había estado en Kerala durante siglos.
Loved this, Sharon!