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Posts tagged ‘Cosmopolitanism’

Contents – Cosmopolitanism in a City: The Past and Present of Calicut (Issue 22)

Contents - Cosmopolitanism in a City: The Past and Present of Calicut (Issue 22)

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Guest Editorial: Cosmopolitanism in a City: The Past and Present of Calicut

By Archa N.G.
Calicut was an important trading port, a dominant princely state and a vibrant space of community interactions from early fourteenth century onwards. The city was a significant nodal point for the medieval and modern travellers, scholars and merchants, voyaging in the waters of the Indian Ocean. It was particularly noticed for the presence of a large variety of ethnic and religious groups.The participation of communities in different activities at various levels marked an important aspect of creating both the political authority as well as the cultural development of the urban space.

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Rubrics of Power and Trade in Calicut

By Pius Malekandathil
The festival was called Mamakam in Malayalam, which was a derivation of Mahamagham, as it was held in the year called Mahamagha of saka calendar. It was celebrated for 28 days in the Malayalam months of Makaram (which corresponds to January-February) and Kumbham (February-March) a time-span noted for celebrations in Kerala. Rulers from all over Kerala, including the rulers of distant places like that of Venadu, Kayamkulam, Porcad (Chembakasserry), Vadakkenkur, Thekkenkur, Alengadu (Mangattachan), Manjallor (near Vazhakulam, Muvattupzha), were invited for Mamankam, as Mamankam kilipattu testifies.

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Political Economy of Zamorin and Religious Conversion to Islam

By Muhammed Aslam E.S.
During the 14th century, some sections of Muslims of Calicut, those who are directly or indirectly engaged in trade, had attained special privileges from the native rulers. The important factor accounting for this phenomenon is the political change which happened, followed by the economic development, in the region. In the middle of the 14th century, a new political trend started in the region with the shifting of the headquarters of rulers from inland agrarian centres to maritime trade centres to attain maximum economic benefits and political power.

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Four Hundred Years of a Letter: Calicut-English Relations

By Mahmood Kooria
An interesting irony in the whole story is that the Zamorin never managed to “colonize” Cochin with or without the help of the English. He forged many alliances and/or fought several battles: in 1516, 1616, and 1716 – with the Portuguese, English, Dutch, and many more. But he never succeeded in the long run. The English, however, ended up colonizing Calicut.Over time, Cochin became a “princely state” under their indirect authority, while Calicut a proper colony.

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Dissent, Reform and the City: Vagbhadananda Gurudevar and the Atma Vidya Sangham

By Divya Kannan
By the time of his rather early demise in 1939, Vagbhadananda had inspired many men and women to question the oppressive caste mechanisms. However, his critique was not anti-religion and he invested his energy in reforming Hinduism which he believed was crucial for general societal advancement. Even as we account for the limitations in his outlook, his was undoubtedly a story of dissent from below. He brought together influences of urbanity, literature and philosophy, for which Calicut continues to be known.

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Calicut, the city of truth, hospitality and symbiosis: A conversation with MGS Narayanan

By Archa N.G.
I was not born in Calicut. But I am staying Calicut for last 50 years and witnessed several changes in the city, culture and living style. When I came, there was no transportation in the city except rickshaw and Jadka at that time. The mud roads were meant for walking and horse carts were also available.
I came here as a student. Then, the only college here was Zamorin’s Guruvayurappans College.

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Singing and Drinking, Eating and Laughing in Calicut

By Caroline Osella
This kind of total hospitality – the lavish food, the open-hearted acceptance of another’s food foibles, the willingness to touch and eat what others would recoil from and name as juthu – hit me with a force I can hardly begin to name or reckon. This moment, laced with laughter, became one of those keystone moments of fieldwork, one in which you understand something about a place and a people, and one in which I also began to unravel and unlearn much of what I had so nit-pickingly trained myself into down the years in Kerala.

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Marriages and Cosmopolitanism in Kozhikode

By Hameeda C. K.
Malabar became a significant region in India as the areas of Arab settlements and inter-marriages. Gradually the trade relationship helped Islamic proselytizers come and settle in the city. These settlements and marriages had a relevant role in the social and cultural changes of the region over a period. The social conditions were equally suitable for the inter-cultural Mappila-Arab marital relations.

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Kozhikode: The Ambiguous Present of a Once Cosmopolitan City

By P. Anima
If ‘cosmopolitanism’ could roughly mean “a place that embraces its multicultural demographics”, Kozhikode has enough of those. Physical symbols of diverse cultural influences aren’t hard to find here. An example we like to gloat about is the Mishkal mosque, in the historical hub Kuttichira, the architecture of which resembles a temple. Kuttichira itself is a mini mine of history with strong Arab links.

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