Mince Pies and the Jaunsari in Delhi



It’s official: as the song says, ”It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

News came yesterday that the Christmas tree  is up at home in Australia and Joanna is singing to Christmas CDs. She recently announced her engagement so I will forgive her for missing the usual December 1 start to Christmas festivities.

Joanna and I love Christmas and so does the hostess of  the Christmas party we attended on Saturday. Like me, her birthday is very close to Christmas Day and she shares my joy in this season.

I met her a week ago at another function and the invite came through a mutual work associate  as she didn’t have our contact details. The expat community works like that so always be nice and friendly with those you meet – you never know where you will land! We happened to land in a not too shabby house in Friends Colony, Delhi surrounded by 40-something professionals with pleasant manners and interesting careers like hostage negotiator. There was even  a chap from Oxford who has recently come down from the foothills of the Himalayas  ( pronounced HIM -ah-lee-ahs around here darling) where he has researched ethnic groups and their rituals. I mention how  I  studied a small hill tribe as part of my ethnography studies years ago and he quietly replies, ”Oh yes, they live in the neighbouring valley.” What floors me is that he is the second person in a week who knows of this clan – the other is the cook at our guesthouse. There are about 100,000 Jaunsari in a population of 1.2 billion Indians and the cook comes from the neighbouring village. As my sister, Anastasia says, ”Ya, vouldn’t read about it.”  I hadn’t thought  of the Jaunsari in 13 years and in one week in India they become a major talking point!  Here’s a link to a  music video from the region  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZL_C8oMbQQ0  that  has a  Greek vibe which isn’t surprising seeing Alexander the Great passed by here.

The evening was nicely rounded off by mince pies, gingerbread men and  marzipan.

It is a lovely start to Christmas in India.




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