Sugar in Milk: The Parsi Tryst with India

By Mr Dennard D’Souza, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

We have often heard stories of the jovial, dhansak eating and the overtly philanthropic Parsis. We have sometimes even swayed our heads to the medley “my name is Jeejeebhoy Jamshedjee” and never realised the person was an actual Parsi gentleman who made it big during the Raj. Parsis are everywhere from enterprise to entertainment. Though a miniscule minority, they have influenced us in a good way. We drive (Trucks and Cars) and drink Tata products(Starbucks) , we safeguard our jewels and food products in Godrej cupboards and fridges. Guess what…. these all are Parsi made products. Continue reading “Sugar in Milk: The Parsi Tryst with India”

Christian Kolis: Mumbai’s Living Heritage

By Leora Pezarkar, Senior Research Associate (Programs and Collections)

At the heart of the bustling city of Mumbai against its towering skyline is the narrow yet lively lanes of the Worli Koliwada, it is one of the many Koliwadas or fishermen hamlets within the city. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the Worli Koliwada stands out for its picturesque view of the Bandra-Worli sea link, the brightly coloured fishing boats that sprawl the shoreline and the Worli Fort, a remnant of the British era. Continue reading “Christian Kolis: Mumbai’s Living Heritage”


By Saba Purkar Project Research Associate, Maritime History Society (MHS)

In 1992, The Indian Navy with the Odisha State Government planned a Bali voyage known as “Kaling Bali Yatra” to celebrate Boita Bandana and retrace the ancient sea trade route between Odisha and Indonesia. This activity was a grand gesture aimed at rediscovering the socio-economic and socio-cultural ties between the two nations.

Situated on the eastern coast of India, Odisha is gifted with a natural harbour of about 600km stretching from the Ganges on the north and Godavari and Krishna on the south which has played a crucial role in India’s maritime trade and history. The festival of Boita Bandana, popularly known as Bali Yatra in Odisha, is a traditional festival emerging out of Odisha’s Maritime past. The name itself conveys a journey to Bali. During the festival, all women and girls float boats made of ‘Shole’ or bark of plantain tree, with flowers, leaves and light lamps inside. This ritual was performed for the safe return of the sailors from their voyage on the day of Kartika Purnima. This festival is celebrated around the end of October and the beginning of November. The same ritual is observed in Bali.

Continue reading “BALI YATRA (BOITA BANDANA)”