- This event is over.
An evening around the waning culture of the Jews of Kochi. It is based on the book,
“One Heart, Two Worlds – The Story of The Jews of Kochi”.
Ms Yamini Nair, one of the authors of the publication will make an illustrated presentation navigating the course of Jewish history in Kerala over 2000 years, heritage, lores, the emigration of Aliyah to Israel and the stark reality of a dwindling population. Yamini ’s presentation will draw on her extensive interviews, research of handwritten diaries and other anthologies.
In conversation with Sreelakshmi Gururaja, Yamini will recount the personal stories and everyday lives of the community, in the past and now. She will share the experiences on how the Kochi Jews community in Israel are reconnecting and keeping alive their traditions, the cuisine, the social celebrations and through their visits to their homes and families they left behind.
Author. Creative Director. Potter. Handcrafter. Curator. Storyteller. Yamini wears many hats.
Currently an independent creative consultant, Yamini has over 23 years of experience in the creative writing industry and has essayed the role of Creative Director in leading multinational agencies across Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kerala and Mumbai, including India’s No.1 advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. A lover of ideas and all things indie and handmade, she comes with a wealth of experience in driving and delivering effective creative solutions for top brands, covering brand building and customer engagement across print, web, mobile, direct marketing, B2B, B2C, outdoor, digital and social media platforms. After over two decades in the advertising industry overseeing creative direction, brand building, team mentoring, creative campaign management and strategizing, she now works as a freelance creative writing consultant, enjoying free form writing and artist interviews. Prior to her stint in advertising, she has also spent time in the Hotel & Hospitality industry, donning the role of Guest Relations Executive at the Leela Kempisnki, Mumbai.
Recently she authored ‘One Heart Two Worlds’, in collaboration with historian KS Mathew for the Kerala Tourism Ministry, covering the entire history, culture, ritualistic belief systems, festivals and the saga of a vanishing community – the story of the Jews of Cochin, set half in Kerala and half in Israel. The book, an exhaustive narrative visual odyssey with over 200 stunning photographs, was published by Stark World Publishing and launched by the Honorable Ambassador of India in Israel, Pawan Kapoor, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on the 12th of February 2019.
A graduate of hotel management and a student of science and literature, Yamini is also a qualified studio potter and ceramist trained at the Andretta Studio in Himachal Pradesh and a certified storyteller from the Kathalaya International Academy of Storytelling, apart from being adept at various art forms including stained glass, mosaic, Japanese dyeing, French decoupage, jewellery design, soap making, block printing, acrylic painting, kintsugi and more. Her paintings have been exhibited in group shows at the Chitra Kala Parishad and the Renaissance Art Gallery, Bangalore. She takes active interest in making little changes at the grassroots level in the society around her, collaborating for clean-up drives, supporting pottery workshops and voluntary storytelling sessions in underprivileged schools. This year, she was one of the 19 women recipients of the Garden City University International Women’s Day Award.
In her free time, she loves making things by hand, going for long leisurely strolls, curating travel stories with her 13 year old, discovering Zen philosophies over tea, reminiscing the day she met the Dalai Lama and making quick getaways to her riverside home in Kerala where she was born to a professorial couple and grew up loving literature.
Sreelakshmi Gururaja is an active BIC member since 2005. She is a social scientist, keenly interested in governance, a child rights and gender equality activist who has worked for over two decades with UNICEF.