Kerala: God's Own Communist Country
Photo of Grazyna and a Communist Flag in Kerala taken by Ms. Jen on Thurs. Feb. 14, 2008, with a Nokia N82.
One of the best parts about the Indian state of Kerala is all of the signs, esp. in tourist frequented locations, that state "Kerala : God's Own Country". Of the three Indian states, that I have been too so far: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, the last one has the most amount of religious edifices. Christian edificies at that.
In the 1.25 hour drive from the airport to Fort Cochin, I counted no less than 20 Christian churches of all stripes (Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, and plain ole Protestant), 2 mosques, and only one Hindu temple. This seemed to be the pattern when we drove the 45 mins. to the Backwaters boat tour.
Then there is the beauty of the place. Coconut palms everywhere. Wide streets. No where near the trash on the streets as the other two states. etc.
And best of all, the 2 days I was in Kerala coincided with the annual Communist Party Conference (Feb. 11-14, 2008). Everywhere, except in Fort Cochin, all the towns were decked out in red finery: red flags, big decorated arches welcoming partisan politicians, big posters of the local Communist politicos. According to the Lonely Planet "South India" and other sources, Kerala is the only freely, democratically elected Communist state in India.
Kerala, possibly the only place on earth to freely and with abandon mix Communism and the love of Jesus, Allah, and [insert name of fave Hindu diety here]. God bless 'em.