A Convent School in Darjeeling

Image

The school is called Loreto Convent, in Darjeeling, and it is also a part of my childhood, memories that are sweet to me. The school is divided into two sections : Junior and Senior School, and though my time in Loreto was short, having spent a few years in the Junior School ( and regretting not having stayed long enough to wear the Senior uniforms, that looked so much smarter than the juniors). Waking up early mornings with crisp fresh Darjeeling air biting my nose, trudging up and down the hills for about 2 kilometers before I reached school along with my friends, having sometimes parents give me money to buy ‘titoura’ a tamarind goodie which was both extremely sweet and sour to which the girls were addicted to, and could never have enough of!

At that tiny age, girls are only interested to laugh with a high spirit for fun. Mingling with each other was natural and easy, and no one felt the need to do or say something special to be unique, or even to form groups. In the space of time I spent here at that age, I don’t recall feeling sad or seeing any of my classmates feeling left out or crying. The spirit of the girls in Loreto Darjeeling is infectious, and I appreciated the easy years I spent there.

Image

Last week I was in Darjeeling, and after having received the permission to go visit the school and classes, I was delighted to revisit old memories of oh so long ago! I had my husband in tow and he remarked how lucky I was to study in such a beautiful looking school.

Image

Image

The one thing I can definitely say with certainty that I learnt at Loreto was to have a decent handwriting. In my trip to Loreto I was pleased to note that the stress on good handwriting is still being held strictly as it was for me many years ago. Yves gawked at the wonderful handwriting of the girls as young as 8 years old. How I loved to write cursively between those red lines and the blue borders above and below!

Image

Image

I entered a class and a group of excited girls surrounded me, eager to chat with a new face. They were 9 and 10 year old girls. They wanted to know which country is my husband from, and I asked them to guess. I don’t think the girls are aware of countries outside of India. One tiny girl said in a tiny voice ‘ Your husband is from foreign’, to which some other girls heard as ‘forrest’ and eagerly they joined in saying ‘You are from Forrest’ to Yves! That was so cute and funny! While I was struggling to come up with something interesting to amuse the girls, one girl piped at me ‘You are so young, why do you wear spockles’… Aww!! I still feel like hugging her!

Image

Image

Image

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “A Convent School in Darjeeling

  1. My mother went to Loreto and this is the first time I have been able to see such wonderful photos of her school. She began there in 1926 in Junior school as a boarder and was there for about 5 years. Her parents lived in Rangoon.

    • 1926!! Wow.. that’s a long time ago, I wonder if your mother would have kept some photos of her in the Loreto uniform? I forgot o mention in my post but Loretto is quite an old school indeed, having been established 1847! It would be priceless if you could share them, a lot of people do keep fond memories of Loretto, it is indeed a beautiful school. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      • Loreto has had many uniforms over the years …when we were in junior school our sunday dress was white with white shoes and white stocking and white berets ….then we changed to grey skirts with grey cardigans and a maroon and silver stripe tie for Sunday. …now it’s all different ….

    • My mother went to Loreto in 1929 as a very young boarder. She was born in 1924. They would have known each other . These pictures are phenomenal and my mother would have so enjoyed them had she still been alive . Thank you Snowflake.

      • A schoolgirl in Loreto in 1929… wow!! I am glad you visited my post and shared us your Mom’s experience, Heather! Thank you!!

  2. I’m sorry to be so long in replying. I have no school photos of my mother at all sadly, which is why your post was so wonderful. I am writing a history of her life (isn’t everyone!) but much of it needs to be imagined.
    I have tried to get access to their archive in the past with no result but perhaps now would be a good time to try again.
    Thank you.

  3. What a lovely post, it is interesting what you have written about in regards to the camaraderie in the school, I have a daughter who is almost 8 and I can already see the division of groups.

    • Thanks for your comment and the read! Yes, I’m glad to say that for the short amount of time I was in that school, I did not have to experience ‘groupisms’ the way how I felt in subsequent schools and life at the university!
      It’s true that nowadays even young children, sadly, wish to form their own little clicks, not a lot of good coming out of that!

  4. Hi to all here
    I have been told this is a lovely school and would appreciate any advice re sending a child who is behind at school here. She just does not seem to be “tuning” in to lessons here and they may “statement” her but she is not autisitc and nor does she have ADHD. She seems to have slight ADD but is very artisitic and likes acting. I know she gets an hour every day in a special group at school but I feel she needs more and i would be grateful for feedback re this convent. If the children there are very bright she may struggle but I feel she would benefit from the “structured” day as there does not seem to be enough discipline here in UK.
    Im a working mum and would love to give here more time but cant give enough time daily !!

    Many thanks

    • Hello Marie!

      Thank you for your message! I wish I could be of more help, if you wish we could have more detailed exchanges over email. Here’s my email id : lovemyarts123@gmail.com . Loreto Convent is indeed the school I’d attended when I was a child and it is one of the best schools of Darjeeling including today. However, you may want to be a little more familiar with the school schedule first. It is very different from the UK I can believe! If you are looking for structure, yes, there is a lot of discipline and obedience among the children. Of course everything is relative to what is prevalent in the UK.

  5. My grandmother was brought up in a convent school in Darjeeling and I fell in love with the place in general when my family visited a couple of times while we were living in Bangladesh. It was only a hop, skip and a jump across the border so was a wonderful place to go for holiday. Darjeeling is one of my all time favourite places in the world πŸ™‚

    • I am glad my post had you thinking of your time spent there, Ken. Yes, I agree Darjeeling is one of those unique places that you can somehow never forget. By the way, I think what you are doing in Bangladesh is exceptional, I’ve had a peek at your book Sonali and I loved it. Is it available in the city of Kolkata??

  6. Hi am compiling a book on Institution Builders of Darjeeling. Please see my Facebook Group Just Darjeeling. Loreto Convent is an important part of the book. Need the help of the ladies of LC to write a 2000 word story on who you this was the Mother Superior who was responsible for building the schools educational foundation to make LC what is was.Please write to me at justdarjeeling194@gmail.com or ashishjsanyal@gmail.com. I am an Old Paulite 74 batch..I am compiling this book because like all of you I love Darjeeling and am anguished by what it has become today. I beleive that we need to relook at the past and read about the Institution Builder of Darjeeling District. Each one of them is an inspiration. All proceeds of the book will go towards a fund to provide angel funding to a Startup from the district. If you want to speak to me my mobile number is 09967707788 (Mumbai)

    • Thanks for your comment, Ashish! I have liked your Facebook page! Hoping to see a lot of interesting posts on Darjeeling, and it’s great to hear about your initiative!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s