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What is the Story of Onam (Onakatha)?

Every year to celebrate Onam, the people of Kerala make pookkalams. “Poo” means flower and “kalam” means design.  These flower designs or flower carpets can be comprised of pretty and colorful designs, while others also depict stories. The pookkalam pictured here tells the story of Onam.    The story of Onam shared below was written […]

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Onam Office Celebrations at GeoInfopark, Kochi, India

The beautiful designs shown in this post may look like something out of a kaleidoscope, but actually they are flower designs called pookkalam. More than flowers, these designs require an immense amount of patience to create. The green and dark purple colors are the hardest to come by. Green is taken from a particular plant, […]

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Where to Live When Moving to India

If you are a foreigner relocating to India or coming to India temporarily as an expat professional, you will need to find a place to live. A few options are guest houses, homestays, PGs, service apartments, hotels, staff quarters, independent houses, and others. After reviewing all the types of housing, do take a look at […]

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Filling Up Cheques: USA vs India

Did you know that filling out checks is different in different countries? I learned this some years ago when tutoring Japanese students in the US. Now, living in India, I am slowly learning how to use bank accounts with Indian rules and etiquette. This post will demonstrate by the use of video tutorials the steps […]

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Mission R2I: Return to India

The early morning fragrance of the Mogra flowers, the tall mango trees, playing cricket in the lane and running away when the errant ball smashes a glass window, celebrations, festivals, aren’t all these the reasons why so many migrated Indians attempt to return to India? The pull of emotional ties, memories of childhood and adolescence, […]

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St. Patrick’s Day in the USA & Small Talk

Where I grew up, St. Patrick’s Day was a day that everyone had to wear green. Anyone could observe it. You did not have to be Irish to do so. In fact, I doubt there were any Irish people in the small town I lived in! This post will introduce you to St. Patrick’s Day […]

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Expat in India – What is it like to live as a foreigner in India?

India, Where Anything, Everything and Nothing Can Disrupt Your Plans. By: Jennifer Kumar Originally published in 2015.  Village girls in a remote village in Tamil Nadu giggled at us and passed comments on how weak we city girls were as my classmate and I together carried one bucket of water back to our rural camp. […]

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The Story of Onam (Onakatha)

Every year to celebrate Onam, the people of Kerala, a state in southwestern India, make pookkalams. “Poo” means flower and “kalam” means design. These flower designs or flower carpets can be comprised of pretty and colorful designs, while others also depict stories. The pookkalam pictured to the right tells the story of Onam.    The story […]

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Jennifer Kumar in Malayalam Magazine Vanitha

English translation the article that appeared in the Malayalam magazine, Vanitha in 2013. Read the Malayalam version here at the end of this page.  Every Onam brings fond memories of banana chips, feasts and floral arrangements (pookkalams) for Jennifer. Jennifer Kumar, who is a native of the US, eagerly awaits the festival of Onam every year just like any […]

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Cris: A Spaniard in India (A Spanish & English Interview)

This second bilingual post on Authentic Journeys is in Spanish and English. The Spanish version is first. Scroll below for the English version.   Cristina, española, ha estado viviendo en Bangalore, India durante casi tres años. Ella es autora de un blog sobre la cultura india en español para lectores de habla hispana en todo […]

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