Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Coromandel Peninsula 

We arrived in Brisbane, Australia today, early. Margo was there to meet us even though we were getting a car. We were guided into town trailing Margo and listening to our GPS saying "turn left in 500m" etc. Great to see my mother, looking good. She had cooked us biryani, chicken curry and raita with mangoes for dessert. No flies on Mum. She tried to explain to Bill that these were dishes made for a celebration only, as she was celebrating our arrival. She made lots, too.

Still have to figure out how to edit my pictures on my mother's new computer but at least I'm online. Eric and Margo have Skyped us already. Will Skype you as soon as we figure out all the time zones.

I grew up on the Coromandel Coast of India so I was curious as to where the name came from. Was it Irish? No. "Coromandel" is the English version of "Chola Mandalam" which means the land of the Cholas. The Cholas were a dynasty of Kings that ruled the Southeast coast of India for centuries. The name is Tamil!

"The Coromandel Coast in India was the scene of rivalries among European powers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for control of the India trade. The British established themselves at Fort St George (Madras) and Masulipatnam, the Dutch at Pulicat and Sadras, the French at Pondicherry, Karaikal and Nizampatnam, and the Danish at Tranquebar. Eventually the British won out, although France retained the tiny enclaves of Pondicherry and Karaikal until 1954. Chinese lacquer goods, including boxes, screens, and chests, became known as "Coromandel" goods in the eighteenth century, because many Chinese exports were consolidated at the Coromandel ports."--Wikipedia. The tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 hit the Coromandel Coast in India killing many thousands.

The Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand is named after the HMS Coromandel, which sailed into the harbour in 1820. More about this...

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