Christmas in Kolkata
Guess what – Indians celebrate Christmas. As the first thing in the morning I went to my favorite breakfast place to give the cook a Christmas present from me and the other two interns. This made the start of the day awesome and so I went on to visit two very popular places on Christmas in Kolkata.
It was a good decision to visit Saint Paul’s Cathedral first, because in the evening the traffic was unbearable.
What people do in this cathedral is just enter through one entrance and leave through one of the two exits. That’s it. Some people, who came earlier, were sitting and probably waiting for choir or a priest, but the vast majority of people were there just to see what’s inside.
After leaving the cathedral, a lot of these people went to the nearby art gallery which had the “77th Annual All India Fine Arts Exhibition 2012” event going and I went inside to check it out.
There were many paintings and sculptures, but if would put the pictures of all of them this would be a long post. Here are the six paintings that I liked:
After the gallery I decided to go to the main place to be, on Christmas in Kolkata – Park Street. That’s the most expensive street in Kolkata and this year it was decorated with around 2km of Christmas lights:
I was lucky enough to get into a conversation with a couple of Indian students, Ayan and his friend DD, whom I asked about what the people are doing here. They said that “people come here just for the lights. There’s nothing special to see or to do except to walk, eat some fast food or at a restaurant.”
This might be due to the fact that the Christmas Festival started on the 16th of December, but they did show me one church which some people were going to:
I don’t really have an opinion on churches and rituals, but what they did with the candles didn’t seem familiar:
There was one thing I didn’t like about this event, though. The buses stopped working at around 10PM, unlike during Durga Puja or Kali Puja, when the buses would work up until 3AM. Also, the metro was unbelievably crowded and I had to spend more than one hour in the cold, waiting for a bus which never came and eventually had to take a couple of auto-rickshaws which were also scarce. I hope next year this will be taken care of.