Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Family Histories Protected by Panda

The Washington Post had an interesting article Monday about Ashish Sharma Pawan—a priest who keeps the records of some 2,500 Indian families stretching back 144 years.

The pages are filled with script in Arabic, Sanskrit used generations ago and dialects of Persian mixed with tribal languages. These days, Hindi is northern India's predominant language. The foreign letters in the book represent the past, says Pawan, 28. There are hundreds of priests, or pandas, like Pawan in this city, and each works for a set of families.

"It's so lovely that we still feel so emotionally connected to seeing the books," coos Parthi Krishnan, a hotel manager marveling at the record book's faded pages. There were remarks written by relatives through the years: "A good listener," one entry said. "Hard worker," another said.

"You see, a computer has no feeling," Pawan explained. "There is an intimacy in seeing the handwritten notes of a family." [Link]


I'm confused. The article says that the Pandas help the pilgrims. I didn't realize there were any Pilgrims left - when did they emigrate to India?


John, haven't you ever heard the story of how the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving with the Indians?

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