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Sunday, January 11, 2015

CALLING CARDS - PAYING SOCIAL CALLS & WELCOMING NEW COMERS TO KGF IN THE OLDEN DAYS

WELCOMING NEW BRITISH ARRIVALS IN KGF IN THE OLD DAYS.

In the early days, whenever a new British Officer arrived at K.G.F, the established British families would send the new arrival an invitation through their Butler to visit them. This would read something like, 'Do call on us. We look forward to meeting you and your family. Next Tuesday at 4 p.m. will be fine'.  Social interaction in those days was a well mannered affair, and governed by many rules of etiquette. Social visits were only through invitation only.
 The new arrival /s would usually turn up at the time suggested, in the back of one of those horse drawn carts or 'Jatkas'. It was customary at the time for all the Britishers to have calling cards. Calling Cards streamlined introductions and it was also a way of showcasing the person’s social identity.
 Upon arrival, the Gentleman usually gave his calling card to the servant answering the door. The servant would be holding a silver try and the card would be placed upon it. The servant would then carry the card in the tray to the Host and only then the person would be welcomed into the home.



Calling Cards were then exchanged between the Host and the Visitor. If there was an eligible male in the family, the left top corner of the card would be turned down, and if a female the right. Nothing was ever said about the eligible person, but one would know the situation. Protocol had to be followed!! However, the problem arose when there were both eligible males and females in the same family.  Then both the right and the left corners were turned down!
After exchanging a few pleasantries, Afternoon Tea was served. A pretty little Afternoon Tea Service would be laid out on a small table with plates of dainty crust-less cucumber or tomato sandwiches, biscuits and cake. The guest/s would have to politely wait till the hostess poured him or her, a cup of tea and offered them the refreshments however, hungry or ravenous one was.
The visit would compulsorily come to an end within the hour and the visitor was expected to take his leave as early as possible.

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