Published 29 December 2019
As part of our Art Walk Series, we spoke to Ar.Babu Cherian and Mrs.Tara Cherian about the traditions & festivities during this Christmas season.
Ar.Babu Cherian and Mrs.Tara Cherian graciously invited us to join them at their beautiful home for Christmas celebrations this year. And what a delightful evening it was! For this stylish, modern couple, who share a deep love for all things traditional, entertaining guests is as much about creating a beautiful and memorable atmosphere, as much as it is about the delicious food.
Their home was beautifully decorated with red and green elements.... a tree bedecked with trinkets, curios placed all over the home, charmingly set dinner table.... and the carols playing in the background completed the ambience. Ar.Babu Cherian told us that every object placed around their home has a story to tell – they were either heirlooms from the family, or gifts from friends, or collected during travels. The happy memories associated with them fills the home with positive vibes and also serve as great conversation starters.
Any description of the day will be incomplete without mentioning the sumptuous spread prepared by Mrs.Tara Cherian. We were treated to a mix of traditional & continental fare - chicken stew and vattayappam, beef roast, fish and cheese balls, baked vegetables and more. During our conversation, the couple were especially enthusiastic speaking about the food culture in their community and specialty dishes of the family.
Mr & Mrs Cherian belong to the Syrian Christian community (believed to be one of the oldest Christian communities in the world) which has absorbed many elements from the Kerala Hindu culture. This is reflected in their religious and wedding ceremonies as well as food habits. As they say, their community is
Christian in Religion,
Oriental in Worship, and
Hindu in Culture!
They also spoke about the memories of Christmas times from their childhood.
In the past, as the month of December began, and the cool weather set in, people got into the Christmas spirit by preparing 10 kinds of snacks on 10 days, observing Lent, buying Christmas cards, adding handwritten notes, sending them to the extended family and making lanterns and stars. It was and is, a month of rejoicing, pardoning, merry making, thanksgiving and getting together with friends and family.
As for our insightful conversation with Ar.Babu Cherian, we could only wish that there was more time available, him being someone with a lot of experience and knowledge about varied topics. The enthusiasm and excitement with which he speaks about subjects of interest, is quite contagious. He believes in sharing his knowledge, ideas and experiences. He wants to create an inspiring atmosphere for people who interact with him. He thinks that designers and architects can be highly influential in the aesthetic direction the society takes. This, he believes, should be rooted in tradition, with an open mind willing to accept and integrate modern ideas as well. He concluded with these words, “We are surrounded by art... in the largest to the littlest details of life… all we need is to develop an eye for finding and appreciating the art in everything.”
We would like to thank Ar. Babu Cherian and Mrs.Tara Cherian for a wonderful evening, for allowing us to be a part of their festivities and for giving us a peek into their lifestyle & traditions this Christmas season.
Photographs Courtesy: BCA & @harisography
#ArtlegendsIndia #ArtWalk #ChristmasWithTheCherians
Art Walk is a series through which we explore & portray different aspects of Art, Design, Food & Culture. This series is a compilation of all things wonderful that we come across in our daily lives and also during our various travel expeditions. From the simplest of things that bring us joy, to the most intriguing adventures, a wide spectrum of experiences will be showcased here.