18 Century: Coffee Houses in London

Posted: August 1, 2006 in Articles
Tags: ,

During the long Eighteenth Century the coffee-house brought about profound cultural transformations in English society. Much of the evidence for this view comes from printed satires, plays and histories of the period, many anonymous, fugitive and vulgar. Eighteenth-Century Coffee-House Culture makes a substantial intervention in current debates about the nature of the public sphere and the culture of politeness. Interdisciplinary in character, Eighteenth-Century Coffee-House Culture is invaluable to all academic departments concerned with Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Now, i find this counter part in India, at least in Kerala, who we usually call Chayakada (Tea Shoppe or Coffee House) where both intellectual and laymen launched their thoughts upon current affairs. I used to notice it is written,perfectly visible to the poeple, “Political debates prohibited”. Yet when it comes to the election fever, the forum is highly active, and I wonder how great was the moderator, obviously the the shop owner, who handled the direction of talks. Though literature was a rare visitor, amateur troups at times used Shakespeare. Often the postal dept. find easy to track the adrress, and he helped them pretty well. Late 90’s have been started missing them. And now its almost vanished. Fast Food have been the symbol of fast life, we run with sun. Still they leave a nostalgia, and I wonder why they did not appear in Indian History lol…

  1. Nasrajan says:

    Chaayakkada binds you to the soul of your place too .. 🙂

    Apart from the political discussions and other brain storming sessions, it usually is a place where you won’t be alignated when you are back to home after a long time .. There would always be people who recognize you and know atleast your Grand Father and Grand mother, if not your father. 🙂

  2. dinsan says:

    Well.. first of all Arun, I like the subject. I remember a short story where a small political discussion tourns in to a fight between tow relegious groups in the village. Forgot the name of the story though.

    Another things I would like to add to your though, is that the change in the subjects which our coffe table discussions take in to scene ( wherever it is chayakada or fast food shop ) if they ever get time to discuss, the youth has nothing but cinema and fasion to discuss about, I have seen in my village that almost all the youth will be dumped in to his or friends’ mobile phone and discussions about new handsets and sms that they got.

    Let it be there but can’t they be serious atleast at times when there is something big happening? its really really rare.A reason that i figure out is this. suppose you enter such a discussion and try to redirect the toppc to something serious. What will be the response you get? huh ? yeah this has nothing to do with u guys .. well, the thing is the place where they get everything to discuss about, the media they tell her that cinema and fashion are only things that they are expected to think and talk about. Have you ever seen any serious programmes in any youth channel? or any programme for youth ? 99.9% will be the celebrating time. Oh yea and when this .1% stuff comes in ? yaar don’t you have the remote in your hand change the channel please !!!!!!!!!!!

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