Jackfruit & coir

CARINA PALACKAPILLY seems quite at home in Kerala. Talking about life with her Indian husband, Anand Jyothi and two children in Brasilia, Carina says she is happy to be a vegetarian. She is keen on doing something for her countrymen too, in her own way, using her Indian connection.

"Glocalisation is what we stress," says Carina. "We try to apply what is global in a local scenario to tap what is good. We are making a documentary of the cultural life of Kerala and also on what's happening in the coir sector. Brazil is like Kerala and we have a lot of coconut trees. But coir-making technology is unknown there. We hope to empower the women there in this sector," Carina explained.

Jackfruit & coir

Likewise, jackfruits are available in plenty, but Brazilians do not know how to make use of the green fruit or the seeds. So Carina intends learning all about the dishes that can be made from the jackfruit and popularising them there, in another attempt to empower and organise women. Chakka varattiyathu, chakka puzhukku, chakka aviyal, chakka uperi etc are high on her agenda.

The Kerala connection is deep, actually. Just look at these Malayalam words that have come from her mother tongue, Portuguese, the husband-wife duo comments: Like mesa (table), kasera (chair), janala (window), chavi (key), veranda and koppa.

Apart from writing for several publications, Carina is interested in children's literature and has brought out a children's book, a story based on Bengali folklore, in Portuguese. The illustrations, done by a Brazilian, incorporate the Indian spirit.