My favourite part before travelling to a place is finding out interesting places to visit, eat, hang :) I was immediately intrigued when I read about the jewish part of the town in Fort kochi, which is also the home of the oldest active synagogue in the commonwealth of nations.
Was fortunate enough to actually visit it in person on my last day at Fort kochi - You enter a small room that has paintings depicting the history of jews entry to India, their settlements and their welcome at Kochi by the late maharaja. The main prayer hall was filled with with chandeliers, colour lanterns Hanukah & beautifully hand painted floor blue tiles - warm and grand in its own way. Its one of those places that no pictures taken would do justice to the kind of feeling it evokes. Just as we were done, we passed by a place with windows painted with the star of David with a shop next to next that said ‘Sarah’s hand embroidery’
Invited in by a enthusiastic local, we entered a room filled with old photographs of a woman, which the man said was Sarah - one of the last few paradesi (foreign) jews living in India . From table runners to handkerchiefs, her embroidery looked like a work of art - flowers, dancers, animals, birds & many more interesting motifs. As we were sifting through, we heard a voice of a old woman singing - beautiful and melodious.
There she was, 96 year old Sarah sitting by the window cooing her tunes from a judo Malayam prayer book. I reached out to tell her how much I love her handwork and handed over the money (which was the first purchase of the day). She couldn’t understand much of what I said but I did notice that her eyes twinkled & she got back to her singing.
Here’s a quick photo that I managed to get with her. This day goes straight into my book of favourite memories :) #kerala #fortkochi #jewtown #jewsofkochi #kochi #godsowncountry #paradesijews #synagogue #incredibleindia #travel #travelstories #traveldiaries #travelgram #instagood #instatravel #travelholic #lovefortravel #happyplace #montmarteofindia #artsy