Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Cochini Pesah

After a long days of studies and I got leave for the Easter holiday from my college, after a long 6 hour journey I reached back to the hometown yesterday night. As it was Pesah I went to visit Sarah aunty I know she will be expecting me, Thaha was standing in front of the house I greeted him and we both entered to the house, when I entered Sarah aunty told me that she was expecting me, why because I use to visit her during every festive occasion and this time too I did the same.

She enquired about my studies and my family then she took me and Thaha to the dining room then served some Israeli cookies and cakes. She cut cakes and gave to me and the cookies too, it had a different texture and taste quiet Israeli…..

Thaha showed me an English news paper’s supplementary where a detailed documentary was there about the Cochin Jewish community. Then Sarah aunty started to explain about the pesah preparations like cleaning the house, stacking the vessels and utensils. Cleaning and storing the ingredients, the interesting factor is that she uses to wash the sea salt and then dry it under sun and store it.
She took a carton box and showed me the Israeli made “Matzos” and she gave me a piece and insited me to eat and she told that “You will always remember me if you eat it”. She took a jar and showed me “Duoh” ie preserved dates jam which is only used for the special occasions like Pesah. And explained that it has been made 3 or 4 years back but the taste is still the same and I asked about the matzos ball soup which I had read from an Jewish cooking book “The Israeli cook book” written by “Molly Lyons Bar-David” she showed me the matzos meal packet which somebody sent from Israel and the talk prolonged for two hours and the Thaha told me about the newly opened Tourism Police museum and I went there the place was so beautiful I saw many Jewish items displayed like Kippas, Menorahs, and Hebrew books. Then I talked with the police man who takes care of the museum and talked about the Tourism and related.
Then I went back to Sarah auntie’s house, Isaac uncle was standing outside on seeing me he was happy and he asked about my studies and when it will be getting over and we talked about the pesah and I told to Isaac uncle that I know that for Pesah there will be a special plate in which contains celery/lettuce, hardboiled egg, 3 Matzos, Duoh, salt, vinegar, a roasted leg of lamb. He told I am almost right and in Israel they use honey instead of the duoh and even explained about the Rosh Hashanah in Israel only apple and honey is seen during the service but in cochin the entire dining table is filled with fresh fruits. And he explained why these items are used in the service during the Pesah Seder, in Pesah Seder the use the silverware if possible and any bitter herbs where this shows the harshness of slavery of Israelis when they were in Misrayim(Egypt),Duoh as a symbol of the mortar or the clay used by the Israelite to build the warehouses for Misrayim, any vegetable with vinegar or salt water to dip it, a roasted leg of lamb and roasted which shows the Pesah sacrifice or hardboiled egg and which symbolizes the festival sacrifice wine will be used and blessing will be recited in between followed by ritual and traditional of the meal of Seder night. And that will be lasting for 11 pm.
After that I went back to my home, having another wonderful occasion with them.


Mariam said...

Hi Thoufeek,
Thanks for the descriptive post! Let me introduce myself, My name is Mariam and I am a Nasrani (Syrian Christian). I was wondering if you knew where the older Cochini community (the Black Jews) reside in Kerala? Thanks!

Thoufeek Zakriya said...

Only some are existing i could help you for finding them

Mariam said...

Thanks so much for offering to help me Thoufeek! I really appreciate it =) I sent you an email.

makeadifference said...

Very nice journey and not to forget Sarah aunt and Thaha are wonderful people ....