Sunday, 10 February 2013

The kolis in Worli

Dear reader,
Well, I told you about the smiling ladies and the smelly fish.
But our visit to Worli Fishing Village was so much more. The fun thing was, having looked at this area from the car window crossing sealink, I was not so impressed, but still a bit curious of this slumhut looking area. Well I was in for a surprise!

You see, for over two thousand years ago, Mumbai consisted of seven islands, and Worli was one of the seven. The kolis, the tribal fisherfolk, lived there and still they are the inhabitants in theese quite tightly knit community. There are fishing villages with kolis also elsewhere in Mumbai, but I was told that the 600-year-old Worli Fishing Village is one of the best one to visit to get a picture of how the passing centuries scarcely have touched theese communities and their original patterns. And I learned that it was designed the way it is on purpose to keep the inhabitants safe from pirates. So, off we went, my fellow explorer friends and I, and we had a colourful and exciting morning with the kolis.

This is an area where even the flower pots are boats..:-)
The most surprising thing to me was how grey and brown the houses looked from far away, but how wonderful colourful the area was, because of the bright and varied colours of the houses:

See what I mean?  - different vibrant colours wherever we looked. In the village there is also a small Portugese fort from the time before the Raj. Worli was then a strategic vantage point to counter attacks from the sea. So the Christian Portugese marked the community, but the kolis found their own way. So, yes, you can see crosses and hindu temples here, but the temples are in bright colours and Virgin Mary wears a bright pink Sari! 
A very colourful temple!

Virgin Mary in a pink Sari!
The fishing village is situated on a sliver land cutting in to the sea. We walked right to the end of it, where you stare right up on the modern sealink bridge and where all the fisherboats are gathered. That is also where the fishermen clean their nets. The air breeze was strong out there, the birds were sitting waiting and we had a close look at the fish and the work that they do.

Today's catch

The fisherboats and the modern sealink bridge

And the birds unpationately waiting..

We enjoyed the smiling faces, and (to a certain extent) the smelly fish, the colours and the seabreeze.

PS. And a funny thing. We met this funny captain with his green parrot. And when we asked what the parrot is called they said "pappou". Well, pappou in Greek means grand-father, and since he was walking along there with us on the tour this caused alot of laughter and giggling. Pappou and pappou! Have a wonderful Sunday dear reader, and stay tuned!

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