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Pat’s India: Memories Of Childhood

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169 pages1 hour

Summary

How do we each define our own intimate culture? How do we know where we belong?

Daughter of New Zealand Baptist missionaries, Patricia Booth was born in north-east India during World War Two, just as the Allies’ “forgotten army” fought desperately 250 kilometres away in Kohima to stop the Japanese from invading Assam. She attended school in Darjeeling in the Himalayas until the age of 16.

As an 11 year old she lived for a year in Feilding in the Manawatu while her parents were “at home on furlough” as they put it. She felt like a foreigner.

In recording her childhood memories, she has pondered on the various cultural influences she experienced. How have they shaped her understanding of who she is and where she belongs as she enters old age?

Her most valuable resource has been the 200 letters she wrote from boarding school to her parents over more than ten years which illustrate her development. Many of the letters are reproduced in this book. They have reminded her of the richness and complexity of her childhood.

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