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Christmas in Calcutta

Christmas in Calcutta
Anglo-Indian Stories and Essays

First Edition

January 2014 | 268 pages | SAGE India
Calcutta has one of the largest Anglo-Indian populations in the world. This is a community with members who occupy a wide range of socio-economic positions and who live a variety of lives that are always nuanced by their being Anglo-Indian. However, the community has been conveniently stereotyped by the media. Christmas in Calcutta goes beyond the stereotype and delves deep  in this study of the Anglo-Indian community in Calcutta. 

The book comprises life stories, memoir pieces and essays on issues of contemporary interest. It is organised into four sections: ‘Identity’ focuses on the origins, characteristics and the constitutional definition of the community; ‘Faith’, or specifically the practice of Christianity, is the subject of study in the second section; ‘Education’ points out some of the failings of the education system for the community; and the final section, ‘Community Care’, talks about Anglo-Indian care and the consolidation of their community through this care. 

By drawing on the vital lives of real individuals, the author hopes that there is a change to the lens through which these people of India are viewed.
Foreword Irwin Allan Sealy
Angeline: Typically Anglo-Indian
Essay: Culture and Identity
Irene: Questions of Identity
Dulcie: The Kindness of Strangers and an Everyday Faith
Essay: A Christian Community in Changing Times
Jane: God-given Opportunities
Peter: The Less the Education the Fewer the Opportunities
Michael Robertson: Education and the Community
Essay: Reflections on Dilemmas in Education
Philip: With Education Comes Success
Philomena Eaton: Social Service Convenor Extraordinaire
Essay: Community Care and Consolidation
Barry O’Brien: Charismatic Politician
Meryl: Life, Last Days and Care
Final Words: Reflections on Research and the Community

Interweaving stories and reflection, this book vividly conveys what it means to be an Anglo-Indian in Calcutta, both for individuals and the wider community. Through her evocative description of lives and experiences, Robyn Andrews captures the vibrancy of the Anglo-Indian community and provides a compelling account of why Christmas in Calcutta is so special.

Alison Blunt
Professor, School of Geography University of London

Christmas in Calcutta... has touched upon a wide range of topics—culture, religion, beliefs, people, places, perceptions and much pertaining to the community and its surroundings.… Characters, events and situations come to life as one reads through. The book showcases the Anglo-India community in all its shades, complexities and uniqueness.
Allen Brooks
Member, Assam State Commission for Minorities

Christmas in Calcutta is one of those books that linger in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page…. Andrews offers a pragmatic, compassionate and upbeat summation on the Anglo-Indians as they are today.
Margaret Deefholts
Freelance Writer, Editor and Photographer
Co-owner of Travel Writers’ Tales

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