Hanukkah 2012 at Ernakulam / Cochi Jewish synagogue, Kerala, India

Uploaded 19 Dec 2012
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© Etan Doronne
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My Hindu friend Siji was invited by her ex-boss and friend to join the Jewish ceremony at the old synagogue at Market street, Jewtown in the city of Ernakulam, Kerala state of India.

I asked her to take some photos since I had never seen a Jewish ceremony in the 2 years I backpacked across India. A couple of weeks later I found them in my box and she added:

"But one thing I didn't like" she said, "Everybody wore shoes in synagogue. Nobody removed it while doing worship. When we people get in to temple, Christian get in to church and Muslims too.. we are not using chappals. Then I asked to one guy he is a Malayali and settled in Israel, he was telling that every body using chappal in synagogue. Not only here abroad too."

"When I get in to synagogue I felt like am in a place which I have seen in films. Same feelings am having when I visit Mattanchery

Aunty's wearing frock. The house is different. Their furniture , way of talking, every thing is different than us"

And last she said: "Etan, I got Israel chocolates. Its like coin. 3 coins were there in a cover. The cover has been made by net. Its like a gift. I got 5 and I given to my friends too. Which was bit bitter".

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Here's a recent article I ran into randomly, about Thoufeek Zakriya, a young Muslim of Kerala, and his interest, study and art with Indian jewish community and Hebrew calligraphy: http://newvoices.org/2013/02/24/among-indian-jews-a-muslim-finds-calligraphy-and-kinship/

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