Grilled Chicken, Anglo-Indian Style Image Source: wikimediawikimedia
The typical Anglo-Indian woman is recognized by the knee-length skirt and blouse with shiny buttons and puffed sleeves. She always wore stockings, did her hair in the same style, wore a lot of jewelry and lipstick. The man is dressed in a suit, for any occasion, is clean shaven, and his shoes always have high soles. The fabric they choose is usually stitched or floral, and their clothes come with a hat. Austin Town, Richmond Town and Langford Town in Bengaluru were the areas with the most Anglo-Indians. Today they are found in Cooke Town, D’Costa Square, and parts of town near Richards Town, but it is difficult to distinguish them from foreign settlers around these parts.
The British have mispronounced “melligathanni“(Tamil for pepper water) as mulligatawny, which was their name for southern India rasam. The Anglo-Indians adopted it as a mulligatawny soup which they call pepper water, even though there is no pepper in it. Their cuisine is a mixture of English combinations and Indian spices. They popularized chutneys, and often it is found that the difference between Anglo-Indian chutney and an Indian chutney is the added touch of sweetness or ginger, whatever its flavor. At Christmas, the world is their oyster. They prepare many types of wines, jellies, curries and desserts. Plum cake soaked in rum, ginger wine, rose cookies and kalkals is now a Christmas staple in every major city. Kalkals are the Indianized ways of saying “curl-curl” when cookie dough is rolled up on a fork to get its shape. The Anglo-Indians had the blood of Indian folklore pulsing through their veins, and they incorporated it into their unique dance style. They often organize or host large gatherings that include dancing the night away. That’s when their best clothes, highest heels, and best food come out. They started the tradition of Mass All Night, and it usually ended with a dance under the lights. Today, Masses are more solemn and barely have an Anglo-Indian crowd.
The midnight mass, a tradition introduced by the Anglo-Indians Image source: wikimediawikimedia
The areas they inhabit always have a distinct aroma and a festive fervor about it. Red and green are the dominant colors that pass by. The streets smell of sugar, spices and wine. At night, the houses are brightly lit and there are celebrations from the first week of the month to the last on special occasions. In December, Christmas trees adorn every home with elaborate decorations, gifts are exchanged, shopping and baking takes place in large groups, families come together to sing and dance, and children are dressed up and enthusiastically learning their traditions. for the moment when they will have to carry them out and transmit them. Carol-singing, where groups of people go door to door singing in the evening, are the most anticipated.
The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Board was founded by Anglo-Indian representative Frank Anthony. A chain of schools which taught in English and which were under the aegis of British-founded churches began a tradition of raising students well equipped for culturally appropriate learning. Today, with the scarcity of Anglo-Indians in India, these schools are entirely under the supervision of the diocese of their respective regions. Even now Anglo-Indians have the privilege of getting a full education without having to pay tuition fees.
Many Anglo-Indian churches and schools have plaques like this on all of their walls to remember their founders.wikimedia
The Indian constitution proposes two representatives of the community to be appointed to Lok Sabha. Other regional governing bodies also allow Anglo-Indian representatives, and currently Ms. Vinisha Nero holds a Karnataka MP seat. Since the 1960s, there has been a disagreement between legislatures to remove this provision, due to which the community has faced insecurities about its identity in the country. The 104e The 2019 amendment law abolished the Anglo-Indian representation quota.
Under the British Raj, English was the official language of the state and Anglo-Indians could survive in any part of the country, regardless of the local language. After more than 70 years of independence, times have changed for this English-speaking community. They find it difficult to blend in with a culture they have never known and, despite their ability to grasp a few words, are unable to fully adapt to a new language. As a result, most of them have chosen to migrate out of the country, to places where their mother tongue is better accepted. They can also find better jobs there. Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia have recently opened their doors, welcoming Anglo-Indians to settle in their countries, which has caused India to lose an integral part of its history and culture. Christmas in the cities is not as lively as it used to be. All that’s left of Christmas desserts is processed products and plum cakes that don’t taste exactly the same. A few families who have chosen to stay behind are maintaining the traditions, but it is a small effort and often goes unnoticed.
Keywords: Anglo-Indians, Culture, Traditions, Food, Christmas