Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why Bloomers and Buns!?

Many of my closest friends and I attended the same school in India from the age of 4 to 15. Every single school day, year after year, from kindergarten to high school, I spent all day with the same girls. This level of continuity is astounding to many people (including my adult self), but we didn’t think much of it at the time. In fact, we didn’t stop to consider most things in our daily routine, same as most children everywhere.

As we got older (beyond the 5th grade), the strangeness and hilarity of our school experience became more and more apparent.

Here’s one example:
Our school was run by Jesuit nuns, but the student body was no more than 10% Christian. This led to such absurdities as mandatory praying for all students (Christian, yes, but also the Hindu, Muslim, atheist and Parsi students who made up our mixed classrooms). We recited the “Our Father” prayer every school day (not only in the morning, but also in the evening, just in case He hadn’t heard us all belting it out the first time).

Another classic requirement was that all students were clad in bloomers. Yep, bloomers. I know I need a photograph of these underthings because many people associate them with an extinct Victorian tradition, but believe me, they are thriving in convent schools in India.

So this brings me to…Bloomers and Buns ...NUNS!

I know this is a somewhat cryptic title, especially for a blog which is, for the most part, about home-cooked Indian food. Here I must acknowledge the contribution of my Brit cousins who introduced me (a bit late in the day) to the wonderful world of cockney rhyming slang.

So..bloomers, buns, nuns: all fantastic reminders of my school days which cover the two main subjects of the blog, home-cooked meals in a lunch box (dabba) we had at school, and memories of our crazy school days.

There are probably millions of women educated in India who had some variation of this strange and wonderful school experience.
Feel free to get in touch, share a recipe or story, correct me if you remember it differently, and enjoy!

1 comment:

Kanchan said...

I can absolutely vouch for all the delightful absurdities that characterized our school years. Especially memorable to me is the "checking" of bloomers every morning after "assembly" where the Our Father was recited. Those delinquent enough to wear regular underwear were admonished and usually subjected to some bizarre punishment like having to write "I will always wear my bloomers" 100 times.
Can't wait for delicious Punju recipes!