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    The annual Christmas market has 50 stalls featuring gifts by SITA, pastries by Eat My Cake  and more

    IT IS the season of giving and the air is already filling with the spirit of generosity and goodwill. Pondicherry’s annual Christmas Market this weekend is perfect for those who have begun hunting down charming gifts for the season.
    The Marche de Noel, as the French call it, is a popular European tradition with open-air stalls in public squares featuring locally made food and handicrafts, along with music and games. It is organised annually in the city by the Amicale de Pondicherry, a network of Indian and French people that conducts literary and cultural evenings. This time though, there is a change of venue.
    On Sunday, walk through the old colonial mansion and gardens of Alliance Francaise’s Maison Colombani. Interact with Auroville and Pondicherry based entrepreneurs, as you choose from clothes fashioned by designers like Takla Makan and Khazanaa, handcrafted jewellery and bags by French jewellers and even non-profits like Volontoriat and Sharana, besides photographs and paintings by the likes of Ganesh Garden. Take in the Christmas lights and sing along with the carolers in between mouthfuls of croissants, chocolates, and cake. Gourmet food, preserves and pates add flavour to the fete.
    In recent years, the market has also become a launching pad for small businesses and a platform for home-based entrepreneurs to connect with customers. “There will be Santa Claus, of course, spreading cheer among kids and adults,” says Nathalie Blondeau, one of the organisers. Origami, games for children and tambola add to the fun.
    At Maison Colombani, Beach Road, on December 13 from 10 am to 6 pm. Entry free. Details: facebook.com/amicaledepondichery

    Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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