MERRY EMPIRE; EXCLUSIVE Christmas in the colonies, pictures of a time that has gone for ever.Byline: By NIKHITA MAHAJAN Mahajan is an Indian surname, found among the Vaishya castes (business communities). In India surname Mahajan is used by two communities: - one residing in North of India(mainly on the Amritsar to Jammu belt) and another belonging to North Maharashtra.
FROM Calcutta to Kenya, Burma to Badagry, Nigeria, for almost 150 years British families all over the world celebrated Christmas across the colonies.
Exotic plants covered in tinsel tin·sel
1. Very thin sheets, strips, or threads of a glittering material used as a decoration.
2. Something sparkling or showy but basically valueless: the tinsel of parties and promotional events. , Santa Claus sweating in stifling heat and celebrations under strange skies were the norm for children growing up in the days when the British Empire covered two-thirds of the world.
It all seems a world away now, even the names have changed - Calcutta is Kolkata, Burma has become Myanmar.
At the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum Coordinates:
The British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (grid reference ST597725) is a museum in Bristol, United Kingdom which explores the history of the British Empire and the effect that British colonial rule had on the rest of the world. in Bristol, accounts of colonial life have been gathered in an online exhibition at www.imagesofempire.com
Joan Lampen, 91, remembers Christmas in Sudan where her husband was district commissioner then the governor of Darfur, between 1937 and 1949.
She says: "Christmas in Sudan was wonderful. We had all the traditions - the Sudanese provided everything for us.
"On Christmas day we would attend two services. One was held in our house. The governor's house, where we lived, was the old palace that belonged to the last sultan. His harem had been turned into government offices and it was in the harem quarter the Christmas service would be held.
"We also attended a service at the Syrian Catholic Church. In all there were around 20 or so of us Britishers. There were two English nursing sisters from the hospital, the district commissioner, assistant district commissioner and their families."
Joan was in Sudan through the Second World War. She remembers: "During that time there were members of the defence forces - the RAF and even the American forces.
"Christmas dinner was held in our house and we would have 40 to 60 people."
Their canny cooks worked miracles in a primitive kitchen. Joan says: "The turkeys were cooked in ovens made from petrol tins. I don't know why they didn't taste of petrol but they successfully cooked the turkeys. It was all done properly except we had no holly or mistletoe mistletoe, common name for the Loranthaceae, a family of chiefly tropical hemiparasitic herbs and shrubs with leathery evergreen leaves and waxy white berries. They have green leaves, but they manufacture only part of the nutrients they require. .
"The Christmas pudding used to be piped in by Sudanese men in kilts with bagpipes, a legacy from some Scot."
Joan remembers her time in Sudan with great affection and is sorry to see the region now so riven rive
v. rived, riv·en also rived, riv·ing, rives
1. To rend or tear apart.
2. To break into pieces, as by a blow; cleave or split asunder.
3. by bloody conflict.
She says: "It was a very different place to what it is now. I feel very sad when I see what's become of Darfur."
MEMORY: Joan Lampen' LIFE ABROAD: In Darfur' 1889 In their best suits drinking beer, six men mark the festive season in Calcutta' 1910 Families working in south-east Asia's largest dockyard, Taikoo, in front of a Christmas tree Christmas tree
Evergreen tree, usually decorated with lights and ornaments, to celebrate the Christmas season. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as symbols of eternal life was common among the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. in Hong Kong' 1952 Santa pays a visit to the Forest Inn bar, Nairobi, Kenya' 1908 A child stands before an exotic plant dressed up in decorations, including tinsel and crackers in the Andaman Islands, India' 1923 Staff in Badagry, Nigeria