Tales of multiculturalism from Kolkata, India

Tales from a street of mosques, synagogues, churches and temples

Source: Aljazeera

Siraj Khan is a caretaker at the Beth El synagogue. Kolkata's synagogues have always had Muslim caretakers, most of whom come from neighbouring states [Jenny Gustafsson/Al Jazeera]
Siraj Khan is a caretaker at the Beth El synagogue. Kolkata’s synagogues have always had Muslim caretakers, most of whom come from neighbouring states [Jenny Gustafsson/Al Jazeera]

Kolkata, India – In Kolkata, the old capital of colonial India, one street – Brabourne Road – is home to many abodes of God, with churches, synagogues and mosques side by side with temples of all faiths.

Up a flight of stairs in a yellow building in old Kolkata, at the back of a room decorated with gold and fine wood, is a small, hand-carved idol: Kuan Yin, the goddess of mercy and a beloved deity in Chinese folk religion.

A garland of fresh white flowers hangs around her neck, a typically Indian way of paying respect.

“What you get in India is not what you get in China,” says Michael Ho, a member of Kolkata’s Chinese community. “The way we celebrate religion here is more like it was in the old days, and with some added Indian traditions.”

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