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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Small in number, but big on contribution to future

Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 06, 2013
First Published: 10:20 IST(6/11/2013) | Last Updated: 10:23 IST(6/11/2013)

The number of Anglo-Indians residing in the tricity is quite small, but their contribution especially in the education sector is immense. With a population of only 200 across the tricity, a majority of them work as teachers and head top Christian schools across the tricity.


While the community started coming to city as far back as 1950, their number has not grown much, but their influence is quite vast.

An Anglo Indian is a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is a domicile of India and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only.

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Top Christian schools namely: St Stephen's School in Sector 45, Saupin's School in Sector 32-A and St Xavier's Schools across the tricty are run by Anglo Indians.

Apart from teaching, the community contributes in defence forces, railways, nursing and sports.
In 1998, members of the community formed the Chandigarh branch of the All-India Anglo-Indian Association (AIAIA).

Harold Carver, director of St Stephen's School, was the first elected president of the newly formed association.

Carver who came to Chandigarh in 1967, served as a teacher at St John's High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, for 15 years till 1982, after which he opened St Stephen's.

Carver says, "I cannot even think of staying anywhere else now. Our main aim is to provide quality education to students and to make them competent for their higher education. Our schools have been able to carry our mission forward. I am glad to have been part of a culture known for its generous hospitality and its ideals of keen sportsmanship."

Mervin West, principal of St Xavier's School, Sector 44, Chandigarh, says, "After a stint of about 10 years in the Sultanate of Oman, I decided to return to India. I came to Chandigarh in June 2001. Chandigarh is comparable to Oman in many ways, so it felt like home. I found the same clean roads, the beautiful roundabouts and the cosmopolitan outlook. It was refreshing to see a city in India, which boasts of international standards."

In love with City Beautiful, West says, "What I like about Chandigarh is that its people welcome everyone with open arms. Even Anglo-Indians feel at home. My wife and mother who wear only western outfits can move around Chandigarh without feeling awkward. They are not subjected to stares and remarks on the streets. These qualities attracted me to settle down in this city."

June Saupin came to Chandigarh in 1975 and founded a small nursery school in 1976.

In almost three decades of its existence as an institution, Saupin's has culminated into a chain of schools located across the tricity.

Anglo Indians were, and still are, a fun-loving lot. They have always had the capacity to thoroughly enjoy themselves at a dance, a sing-a-long session or a party.

Although English remains their first language, they speak the local vernacular language with ease and fluency.

Anglo-Indian food is the delicious result of British Raj in India.

Indian Khansamas (cooks) took aspects of British cuisine and amalgamated them with Indian methods of cooking, spices, ingredients to create the Anglo-Indian cuisine.

There are soups tempered with cumin and red chillies, roasts cooked in whole spices such as cloves, pepper and cinnamon, rissoles and croquettes, flavoured with turmeric and garam masala.

Over the years, Anglo-Indian cooking has become more Indian than British.

Know the community

Population - 200
Staple food - Pearl millet (bajra), rice, whole-wheat flour (atta) and a variety of lentils
Must-try dish - Mutton meat balls with saffron rice
Top Christian Schools across the tricity are run by Anglo Indians

LIVER PEPPER FRY

Ingredients

* 1½ tbsp groundnut oil
* 225g lamb's liver, cut into strips
* 1 leek, diagonally sliced
* 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into rough squares
* 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 garlic clove, crushed
* 100g spring greens, thinly sliced
* grated zest of 1 orange and 2 tbsp juice
* 2 tbsp medium dry sherry

Method

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the liver and stir fry over a moderately high heat for 3 minutes until light brown - don't cook for longer or the liver will become rubbery. Remove to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan.

Tip the leek, red pepper and chilli into the pan with the rest of the oil and stir fry over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oregano, garlic and greens and stir fry for a further 30 seconds or so, until the greens have just wilted and turned a nice bright green.

Return the liver to the pan, add the orange zest and juice, sherry, then season. Toss everything together on a high heat and serve immediately.

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