A Travellerspoint blog

The French Connection

Photographs illustrating the influence of France on Pondicherry

Pondicherry was a French colony more or less continuously from the 1660s until 1957. Many Indian residents of Pondicherry are actually French citizens, posessing all of the rights of other French people. This means that the French Government continues to take an interest in their well-being. The existence of a French Lycée, part of the French state schooling system, is evidence of this. This series of photographs is designed to illustrate aspects of the French connection past and present.

Street sign in Tamil and French

Street sign in Tamil and French

There is a statue celebrating the famous French heroine, Joan of Arc:

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Inscription beneath Joan of Arc statue

Inscription beneath Joan of Arc statue

Occasional signs dating back to the French occupation may be spotted. this one stands just behind a huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi:

All that remains of the old pier (landing quay) at Pondicherry

All that remains of the old pier (landing quay) at Pondicherry

In the Sacre Coeur Church near the railway station there is stained glass made in France (Grenoble) and in Prussian occupied France (Strassburg, now Strasbourg):

Sacre Coeur Church. Glass made in Grenoble (France)

Sacre Coeur Church. Glass made in Grenoble (France)

Sacre Coeur Church. Glass made in Strassburg in German occupied Alsace ( now, Strasbourg in France)

Sacre Coeur Church. Glass made in Strassburg in German occupied Alsace ( now, Strasbourg in France)

Some of Pondicherry's policemen wear the French-designed képi:

Policeman in a képi

Policeman in a képi

Policeman in képi with poster of Jayalalitha behind him on poster

Policeman in képi with poster of Jayalalitha behind him on poster

Some public buildings:

Customs (i.e. Douane)

Customs (i.e. Douane)

Signs of French literary culture

Signs of French literary culture

Public Works Dept

Public Works Dept

And, the Lycée as well as the Alliance Francais:

Lycée Francaise

Lycée Francaise

Alliance Francais

Alliance Francais

We were in Pondiceherry during the Nov 2015 Parris terrorist attacks. the locals held a memorial ceremony for the victims next to the French War Memorial:

At a ceremony to commemorate the victims of terror in Paris Nov 2015

At a ceremony to commemorate the victims of terror in Paris Nov 2015

Behid the memorial, there is a plaque rembering the men of Pondicherry who died in the Indo-China War:

List of soldiers who died in Indo-China

List of soldiers who died in Indo-China

When we visited Pondicherry back in 2003, we saw a band playing, Its members wore képis:

Bandsmen wearing French képis - picture taken 2003

Bandsmen wearing French képis - picture taken 2003

Posted by ADAMYAMEY 11:49 Archived in India Tagged france india pondicherry Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]