INDIA (2010): CHENNAI: DAY OF THE DEAD
Chennai Cemetery, All Souls Day 2010. North of the sprawling city of Chennai, on my way back from a fishing village that was hit by the tsunami in 2004, I saw what looked like a park where throngs of people were going into a joyous festival. It turned out to be a cemetery, where Catholics were celebrating All Souls Day. It was packed with people bringing in flowers to pray at the grave sites. Christianity is India's third largest religion, dating back to St. Thomas the Apostle who arrived early on to convert the Jews who were trading on the southern coast. To my surprise , I was welcomed by the worshippers and swept into the moment on this sacred holiday. Today there is a scarcity of land for Christian burials, so the city allows graves to be reused after a certain period of time.