Friday, 20 January 2017

Global Lucknow Gathering

Global Lucknow


Lucknow's Glorious Past

Once upon a time, Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, was a cosmopolitan city with a distinct and renowned culture. A sort of 'Paris of the East'. In modern India, Lucknow doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. It has become just another state capital, appearing to lag behind the more prominent Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. But it really shouldn't be that way. A survey, jointly conducted by marketing company IMRB International and electronics company LG, found Lucknow to be one of the happiest cities in the country.

Global Lucknow - Registered Society

Bina Krishna and Sunita Aron of the GLC
With its graceful elegance (apparent in the manners of the city's inhabitants, as well as the  the heritage buildings), its Persian influence and its amazingly absorbing atmosphere, Lucknow has a fabled, glorious past. A few of Lucknow's citizens got together recently to set up the Global Lucknow Society, a registered body which is dedicated to promoting awareness of Lucknow's place in the diversity that is modern India. Lucknow's glory isn't just enshrined in the past. This lovely city continues to welcome people in the present day and visitors cannot fail to be moved by the unique atmosphere which prevails here.

Inter-cultural Gathering

Lilia and Igor from Moldova
On the 15th January, 2017, at La Martiniere Girls College in the city, the Global Lucknow Society hosted a function to bring together the small but varied expatriate community of the city. Lucknow's native and foreign inhabitants, from places as diverse as Chile in south America and the Pacific island of Vanuatu, mingled together for a few, precious hours, enjoying discussions, reminiscences, some singing, dancing and even a short yoga demonstration.

International Mingling

Rodrigo and Vanessa from Chile
For a very long time, Ireland has been represented at Lucknow gatherings by a small group of Loreto nuns from Ireland. However, Indian nuns make up that same community today, as the last of the Irish Loreto nuns in India are now staying in Kolkata. Ireland was represented on this day by me and my new friend Aine Browne (pronounced 'Awnya', Irish for 'Anne') who arrived in the city recently, along with her Italian husband and two young children. I was delighted to meet Adity Chakravarty, the wife of a former Indian Ambassador to Ireland, who was, for me at least, an honorary Irish woman. She told me that she still sometimes misses Dublin, so we have lots in common. I also met a Brazilian lady, Marcia, who, like me, is also married to an Indian and lives here in Lucknow. 

Highlights

Indian husband, Brazilian wife. Santosh and Marcia
Dr Amrita Dass of the Global Lucknow Committee (GLC), who is a leading career consultant, welcomed everyone to the function. Mrs. Sunita Aron, Editor of the Hindustan Times, Lucknow, introduced the various local and international members of the gathering, some of whom shared short, cultural performances, showcasing the culture of their native lands and some of whom shared their impressions of this city. Mrs. Bina Krishna, with a perfect choice of song, 'Those Were The Days' (a standard sing-along song at Irish weddings, I remember) lifted the mood of the gathering. Odette from Portugal, who is an able choreographer, got the entire crowd on its feet. Mr.Chander Prakash of the Universal Book Stores shared an interesting story about his surprise at being recognised as a Lucknowite in Scotland, of all places. Lilia from Moldova, accompanied by her husband Igor, sang a Moldovan song, which was sung in a very low key and conveyed a really hypnotic quality. Rodrigo and Vanessa from Chile entertained the gathering with an attractive dance performance.

Odette leads.....



....and others follow

Conclusion

This enjoyable evening came to an end way too soon, with some refreshments. I hope there'll be lots more gatherings like this in the future.

If anyone reading this post supports Global Lucknow's ideal of promoting awareness Lucknow's glorious heritage, as well as inter-cultural exchange, please like our Facebook Page. You can reach there at this link: Global Lucknow




Logo: courtesy of Global Lucknow Registered Society
Photos: Courtesy of Dr Amrita Dass


6 comments:

  1. My husband is from Lucknow :-) and my in-laws still live there. We visit on each a year or so, usually around Diwali. I don't think we could ever live there we are too used to the faster pace of life of Mumbai, but it's good to visit. The food alone is worth the trip to Lucknow :-)

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    1. Hello, Cynthia. The pace of life is probably not less fast in Lucknow nowadays. I think that leisurely pace for which Lucknow has a wide reputation is a thing of the past now. Everyone seems to work for long days here as far as I can see except for teachers who are usually at home early in the evening. But their working day usually starts at 7.30 am.

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  2. Sounds very interesting. Yes, till the early 1990s Lucknow used to be one of my favourite towns to visit. Those days, flights to Kanpur used to get cancelled often and one had to go to Lucknow to catch one to Delhi. That forced me on a number of occasions to stay overnight in Lucknow and I can never forget the city. I still have friends there and it always gives me pleasure to read about the city. I am glad that you have become part of an international society which should relieve some of the homesickness that expats experience.

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    1. Ramana, I wish you would come at least one more time. I would love to see you over here.

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  3. Hi Maria. Lovely post and I so agree with you, Lucknow has not got the attention it deserves. Please do keep writing about your adopted city!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Adite. I truly appreciate them....

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