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Churches and Coffee in New Jolfa, Armenian Quarter in Esfahan

New Jolfa is the Armenian quarter of Esfahan established in 1606 by Shah Abbas I during the Safavid era. The Armenians were fleeing the Ottoman Empire’s persecution and because Iran and Armenia had a long history of close relations, Shah Abbas relocated 500,000 Armenians to Persia. New Jolfa quarter became their new home and over time, the Armenians became active in the cultural and economic development of Persia. Shah Abbas treated the Armenian population well, as such, the Armenians were able to assimilate with the Persians while keeping their Christian faith and Armenian traditions. In the 20th century particularly during

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Warm Hugs In Penang

  Penang is an island on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, and is linked to mainland via the Penang Bridge. The construction of the Penang Bridge completed in 1985, and the bridge was the first until 2014 the only road connection between Peninsular Malaysia and the island. It is also the second longest bridge in Malaysia and the fifth longest in South-East Asia. When I was a little tyke, my family and I used to travel from our hometown Melaka to Penang to visit my father’s youngest sister. It was back in the day when there were no highways,

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old goa panaji fountainhas indo portuguese homes

Churches of Old Goa and Panjim

One of the reasons why I wanted to come to Goa was its connection with my hometown, Melaka in Malaysia. The connections or similarities are: Portuguese rule, Portuguese community and St. Francis Xavier. Melaka or Malacca was ruled by the Portuguese from 1511 to 1641. During the 130-year colonial rule, the Portuguese inter-married with the local Malay population, and their descendants are now referred to as Portuguese-Eurasian or “Kristang” in Malaysia. Majority of them are Catholics, and they still maintain Portuguese surnames such as Fernandes, Sequiera, De Souza, Pinto and so on. Although the Portuguese-Eurasians are now living all over

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church of holy spirit margao goa inside church

In Pictures: Church of Holy Spirit in Margao

Since it was a Sunday, I thought it might be a good idea for me to go to church and there are no shortages of churches in Goa 🙂 Before I left Malaysia, my Catholic mum kept reminding me to attend at least one mass in Goa and also impressing upon me that there is a Basilica in Goa which houses the relics of St. Francis Xavier (That’s in Panjim). Maybe she was hoping for some miracles to happen in my life! After mooching around on Abade Faria Road photographing Indo-Portuguese mansions, I caught a rickshaw and headed towards Church

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mumbai diaries part 4 kotachiwadi mural painting next to shrine

Mumbai Diaries: Part 4 (Final)

It was the day to leave Mumbai for Aurangabad. I was scheduled to travel by train from Dadar Railway Station in the afternoon, and the journey would take about 6.5 hours. I had the morning to myself but didn’t make any sightseeing plans except that I wanted to make a brief visit to Kotachiwadi. Kotachiwadi is a heritage village in Girgaon, Mumbai where the houses are built in old Portuguese-style architecture. I read about this village from a magazine article and was intrigued by the narratives on this village. I had completely forgotten about this until 2 days prior to

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