Cha Chai – an artwork symbolising Indo-Portugal friendship

Cha Chai – an artwork symbolising Indo-Portugal friendship

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Cha-Chai is not just an art work installed at National Museum in New Delhi but is a symbol of Indo-Portugal friendship. The installation represents the five o’clock tradition of serving tea in Portugal that originated in the 17th century.

The installation of art work of Joana Vasconcelos was jointly inaugurated by Union Minister for Culture & Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and President of the Portuguese Republic Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, yesterday at Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion the President of Portuguese Republic said that the ‘tea pot’ art work is symbolic depicting cultural bridges between people and people to people relation. He added that the century old 5 pm tea is a family tradition in Portugal that strengthens family bonding. He also said that this exhibition will further strengthen the cultural bonds between two countries.

This exhibition brings Cha-Chai, a wrought-iron sculpture shaped as a teapot, by the renowned artist, Joana Vasconcelos. The ‘Tea Pot’ and its iron railings represent the bridge between urban and rural landscape.  The aroma of tea, as depicted by the installation, takes visitors to a memorable journey from this physical world to a surreal world. Century old, long lasting connection between Portugal and India shines through tea or chai.  The Portuguese adopted chá (Sha) as their word for it, incredibly close to the Indian chai.

A “5 o’clock Tea” is a very special event that should be enjoyed with family or friends. This very English tradition began around 1840 by the Duchess Anna Maria and is usually done between 3 and 5 pm. Tea is usually taken at social events, and many cultures have created formal ceremonies for these events. Western examples of these are the “Tea of the 5” and the “Tea Party”. For some, especially in upper social classes, tea is a light meal in the late afternoon, often accompanying only cake, scones, toast or sandwiches. Although not a well-known fact, Portugal was the first to introduce the practice of drinking tea in Europe, as well as the first European country to produce tea around 1750.