Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jump, the angreez bai are here!




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A funny little tale from Biscoe about what happened when girls first started attending English schools in Kashmir:

"It was somewhere in the nineties that one of the mission ladies started a girl school in the city; it was of course by no means popular, as it shocked the prejudices of all proper thinking folk in Srinagar. The girls who were brave enough to attend were very timid, and their parents were somewhat on the shake, as public opinion was very much against them. The school continued until the first prize day. The Superintendent had invited some of the European ladies of the station to come to the function, thinking it would be an encouragement to the girls and their parents. All the girls were assembled in the school when, on the appearance of the English lady visitors, some one in the street shouted out that the Europeans had come to kidnap the girls. Others took up the cry, and ran to the school windows and told the girls to escape by jumping from the windows, the man below catching them as they fell. Before the visitors could enter the school the scholars had literally flown; the girls of course lost their heads on account of the shouting from the street. It was terrible moment for the Superintendent as she saw her girls disappear out of the windows, for she feared that they would be damaged by the fall. It is said that one of the lady visitors was wearing rather a wonderful hat which upset the equilibrium of the citizens who were standing outside the school"

~ C.E. Tyndale Biscoe, Kashmir in Sunlight & Shade (1925)

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Summer, 2008

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