Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kerala in Photos

Let me tell you a bit about Kerala. It is a democratically elected communist state, one of two in India. According to Sean, however, their version has "none of the fundamental principals of communism." The most visible aspect of the communist government is the propaganda everywhere.

Almost every time we passed under a bridge, a jeep would be driving over with speakers blaring slogans, music and posters for the CPI(M) - Communist Party of India (Marxist). To add to the cacophony, each temple seemed to compete for who could broadcast their prayers louder. Oftentimes they also set off fireworks. Both sounds traveled forever along the flat water.

The small wooden canoes piloted with poles and the medium sized fishing boats and houseboats could hardly compete with the temples for the attention they commanded, though their site was particularly amazing during the foggy dawn. We once passed canoes full of schoolchildren crossing from school to the opposite side of the canal where their village stood. They waved excitedly, as did we.

As we traveled by taxi back to Allepey from our pullout near Kollam, we passed a huge CPI rally, filling the street and stopping traffic. It was a sea of red, with the communist hammer and sickle peppering the red flags waved by nearly everyone. Drummers played and traditional dance was performed as the parade moved down the narrow highway. After traveling through some back streets to pass the parade, I remarked on how many people were in attendance. It's no surprise, I was told, as many are paid to attend the rallies. Oh what a place this is!


Anonymous said...

Paid for going to rallies? Cool! Maybe we can get that put into the US Stimulus Bill! Excellent posting--the pix really help bring it all to life.

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