If you hear this in Kochi, you must be on Gujarati Road. There is Little Gujarat right here.
In the late 1800s, traders from Gujarat, came to Kochi and settled here. They were mainly businessmen who dealt in spice trading. With their sharp business acumen and impeccable trading skills, they flourished. Many factors contributed to their growth. The local were fisherman and did not perceive the new comers as a threat to their lively hood. The Europeans were going gaga about spices from India and the traders benefited well. While most Gujaratis are Hindus, there are Jains and Bhora Muslims also who hail from there.
However, compared to the other immigrants, the Gujaratis have managed to keep their customs, traditions and culture from dissolving. They have managed to withstand the threat of their losing identity. A study done showed that their festivals, food , attire and their language was the common binding factor that they cherished and reinforced on the next generation. However, they have managed to learn the local language and gel with the locals.
Pictures of the Garba (pc: Sandhya Joshi)
You will not have to go far to savor Khaman Dhokla, Ghattiya, Khandvi, Thepla and Shrikhand, its available right here (or not, if you are too late!). Mostly it’s the locals who are vying for them.
During Navrathri, Kochi becomes a Slice of Ahmadabad. Garba, Dhandiya nights and revelry completely take over this part of Kochi. Pretty girls in chaniya cholis and bejeweled women in their traditional attire dance to typical dandiya music.
Lohanas are subsect who are considered the descendants of Lava, Son of Shri Ram (Lavanam = Lohana). They worship The Sea God and Fire God (Dariyalal). They worship the holy Flame and Water in vessels in temples called Dariyasthan.
Check out the following places for lip smacking Gujarati food.
- Shantilal Mithaiwala : Their ladoos are so drool worthy , and the Jalebis are like concentric circles of pure bliss. You can even do it the local way by spending an evening sitting choc-a-block and savoring piping hot masala tea and Ghatiya . Don’t blame me if you can’t break the habit.
- Annapurna Sweets: Wafting aroma of Pav Bhaji and chat. You will follow your nose to the location!
Truly Maja Ma!