Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Village life in Cochin.......beautiful mothers and children

Our shore tour of Cochin included a visit to Vaikom, 
a small rural area on the western side of the 
Kottayam district of Kerala. 

I have to laugh reading back in the tour description...this area above where we boarded the local country boat was named 'the jetty' but was nothing more than a clearing along the bank with a few plastic chairs - in case your boat was delayed perhaps. We felt a little uneasy walking first through squishy mud and piles of debris............


.........and even the boatmen had some 
difficulty in getting the boats launched 
for our short journey! 

Note these men are wearing the traditional Kerala mundu, a garment worn around the waist similar to the dhoti or sarong. This is said to be the coolest garment for the very hot weather (though I doubt my DH will be trying it here in humid North Carolina this Summer - he's definitely not into skirts!). Unspoken rules of etiquette govern the way it is worn. Although full length, it is often folded in half to resemble a short skirt, such as shown here, when men are working, cycling etc. It is however considered disrespectful to speak to women, or one's social superiors, with the mundu folded up this way revealing the legs from the knee down with the legs showing. In those situations the mundu is loosened and flutters down to cover the legs completely.


Hand-built 'country boats'.

Eventually we set sail along the backwater, on 
our interesting 'leisurely cruise' toward a 
tiny local island village.

We were first greeted by the shy boys...........

.........who led us into the village. Note sandals 
removed at the door of this house.

...........one boy wears the traditional mundu 
garment which he is lowering probably 
out of respect for the ladies in our group.

Soon the village girls joined us, dressed in very pretty frocks.......


..........delightful, smiling girls who quietly followed 
us about happy to show off their homes, mothers, 
and younger siblings (they did not speak English).


Note, even at this young age the baby's eyes are 
lined with kohl.

 Communal village kitchen.





There weren't many men around the village - perhaps 
they were ones poling the country boats! I loved 
these colors, the paint, the clothing.......and 
me such a devotee of neutral shades! 


The girls appeared wistful as we readied to leave.....



......but broke into smiles and waved goodbye as our boat pushed off.

The women of this village work extremely hard, 
doing manual jobs requiring skills passed down 
through the generations - come back to see 
what they produce to sell and support 
their families.


Edited March 18,2014
I was requested to add these following photos sent to me by Kerala Tourism today and am happy to do so. A visit here would be an amazing experience for any traveler - hope you get to go some day!




12 comments:

  1. What beautiful people! I really enjoyed this post!

    XO,
    Jane

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  2. A fascinating glimpse into another world, so different from our own.
    I wonder what the future holds for those young women?

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  3. Certainly beautiful people, it must have been great to meet them.

    SFT X

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  4. Such wonderful pictures Mary. The folk may be not so well off but they sure look happy, and that's priceless :o)
    Rose H
    x

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  5. What a great set of photos Mary. The little girls are really beautiful aren't they?

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  6. Beautiful photos...I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be one of those women there.

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  7. Beautiful children! What a fascinating experience traveling here.

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  8. Beautiful photos Mary!! I can't imagine living and working so hard like this. Makes me feel
    very blessed!
    Pamela xo

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  9. We are very blessed, although I think their simplicity of living has produced well behaved and courteous children! How wonderful this post is Mary.

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  10. This is a great posting I have read. I like your article

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  11. Such beautiful children! I bet they find it odd that people want to see their village life. I also bet these are their finest clothes. They are so patient, being photographed. So different from our world!

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  12. Stumbled upon your post.For me this is reminisce, as this is my native land

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I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.

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