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Thursday, February 23, 2023

the steamingly hot garam chai !!


Do you know – what is the second most consumed drink across the globe surpassed only by water !! – another surprising fact is all of them – Black, Green, Oolong, White and Pu'erh come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis, a sub-tropical, evergreen plant native to Asia but is now grown around the world.


Morning as one gets up – it is usual to have a cup of hot drink ie., Coffee for most South Indians – some have tea too !  A cup of piping hot water with a few tea leaves in it, some sugar and a few drops of milk – doesn’t it sound refreshing like anything else in the world? And now if you replace a cup of piping hot water with a cup of iced water and remove milk (which makes the perfect recipe for iced tea), it sounds equally refreshing, right?   .. .. .. do see this pipingly hot tea !! – an interesting process !! :


Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia.    After plain water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world.  There are many different types of tea; some have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour,  while others have vastly different profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral, or grassy notes. Tea has a stimulating effect in humans primarily due to its caffeine content.  The term herbal tea refers to drinks not made from Camellia sinensis. They are the infusions of fruit, leaves, or other plant parts, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, and many other plant leaves, flowers, roots and the like.

For many of us, the  quintessential office tea round represented a social element in the workplace, boosting  camaraderie as well as healthy and wellbeing. .. .. and when the whole Globe worked from home, away from their Office premises, the meetings were conducted by Zoom type virtual meetings where people logged  in with  cuppa in hand!

BBC strives to be at the heart of controversies and Great Britain often is exposed for its wrongful deeds – and imagine what they would have done when they controlled colonies, people, media and more.  For sure, they were not the kind rulers, they were portrayed to be in our school text books.  Kenya's parliament has ordered an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse on tea plantations revealed in a BBC report. The BBC found more than 70 women had been abused by their managers at plantations operated, for years, by two British companies, Unilever and James Finlay.  The companies say they are shocked by the allegations. Four managers have been suspended.

The Fairtrade Foundation described the allegations as "appalling", and said the investigation - by BBC Africa Eye and BBC Panaroma - were "nothing less than a #MeToo moment for tea". Ms Kemei, who serves as woman representative for a tea-growing area in Kericho county, said the report highlighted the "entrenched" sexual harassment at "tea multinationals operating in our country". MP Beatrice Elachi said it was unfortunate that such incidents were still taking place. "Today is a very difficult day for me as a woman, leader and citizen of Kenya. Today I've been reminded that slavery still exists in this nation; I cannot explain how a man has violated women in tea plantations for 30 years and nothing has been done," she was quoted by local media as saying.

Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei ordered a committee of MPs to complete an investigation into the allegations within two weeks. In the BBC investigation, one woman said she had been infected with HIV by her supervisor, after being pressured into having sex with him. Another woman said a divisional manager stopped her job until she agreed to have sex with him. "It is just torture; he wants to sleep with you, then you get a job," she said.

A BBC undercover reporter, who posed as a jobseeker, was invited to a job interview by a recruiter for James Finlay & Co. It turned out to be in a hotel room, where she was pinned against a window and asked to undress by the recruiter, who has worked on Finlay's plantations for more than 30 years, and had already been flagged as a "predator" by a number of women who spoke to the BBC. Unilever faced similar allegations more than 10 years ago and launched a "zero tolerance" approach to sexual harassment as well as a reporting system and other measures, but the BBC found evidence that allegations of sexual harassment were not being acted on. The BBC's Tom Odula spoke to women who worked on tea farms run by both companies. A number told him that because work is so scarce, they are left with no choice but to give in to the sexual demands of their bosses or face having no income.

In History books, we read about – ‘Boston Sea Party’.  It was an  American political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773.  The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. The Sons of Liberty strongly opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Protesters, some disguised as Indigenous Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company.

The demonstrators boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The British government considered the protest an act of treason and responded harshly.  The episode escalated into the American Revolution, becoming an iconic event of American history.  The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, a tax passed by the British Parliament in 1773.  The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, which, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce.  

More than the read above, the video is ofcourse is very interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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