Denver and Chennai – Sisters

Now how would a US city that gets snow by the bucket-loads in winter be related to a hot and humid city of India that has only seen snow (like formations) in the freezer in an earlier era of non-frost-free refrigerators? But that is the beauty of it. Consider this:

1. Denver is at an elevation of 5,280 feet above mean sea level (which is why it is called a “Mile High City”). At the most, Chennai may be called a “Milli High City” since many of its “kudimagans and (increasingly) kudimagaLs” are capable of getting high over a milli itself :-), but by and large, Chennai is almost as flat as a pancake.
2. Denver is in mountain country and has the Rockies for company while Chennai is by the sea and only rocks to Kollywood music :-).
3. Denver has the largest park system in the US with 205 parks inside the city limits and 20,000 acres of park in the nearby mountains whereas even a once-upon-a-time-green Chennai would hardly have 5% of this much-needed-lung-space within its boundaries.

In 1984, the then “Madras” became Denver’s seventh sister-city. At least the one similarity was in the number of characters that both the city names had, but even that is now gone with “Chennai”.

So, in spite of all this differences-pointing, why do I still think Denver and Chennai are definitely sister-cities? It’s because I have been to Denver (when my brother was at Colorado Springs) and the warmth, the caring and the “making a visitor feel at home” qualities of the people there reminded me of my beloved Chennai. Here is a picture of a park in Denver named after our very own city – namma Madras (source).


13 Comments so far

  1. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 1:18 am

    Vandaarai Vaazhavaikkum Denveragam?

    I saw that pic in Odyssey quiz this year. Btw, how many of you know about the city of Madras in Orgeon?

    If you go the ‘Madras’ disambiguation page at Wikipedia, you’ll see more places and things named Madras.

  2. rads (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 2:30 am

    wow! That’s the 2nd post in a row am reading about how awesome Denver is. Maybe I should move there after all!!

  3. potpourri (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 6:40 am

    this couldn’t come at a better time..i am moving to denver in less than 2 weeks and i come from singara (???!!!) chennai.
    we have no friends in denver..are people really nice there? we are also moving from student community into “big bad real world” , adhu vera orey saaaad (read in revathy style in devar magan)…
    thanks for the post!

  4. sj (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    Why do some people of Chennai still refer to it as Madras, don’t they like the new name or something. This creates nothing but confusion for tourists as some people call in Madras some Chennai people think they are two different places. Some foolish people still refer to its Madras, I don’t see the airport saying it Madras international airport so why insist with the use of Madras. Historically it was know as Chennai.

  5. Ravi (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    Netherlands is also referred as Holland, Britain and England are used interchangeably so why not Chennai & Madras? I don’t think it confuses tourists in any way. Atleast by using ‘Madras’, people come to know of the old name and why it was changed by some stupid politicians for some insane agenda. Anyday, I prefer Madras and there is nothing like Chennai being the original name.

  6. Anu (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

    Actually Britain is not the same as England and neither is Holland the same as the Netherlands. England is only a part of Britain and Holland only a part of the Netherlands. Just because some people use these terms interchangeably doesn’t make it right.

  7. Guy (unregistered) on October 26th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    Hello, go-easy-on-hyphens. “much-needed-lung-space”! How-about ‘much-needed lung space’? Isn’t-that-better-punctuation?

  8. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 2:27 am

    Let’s just say that I am a non-fundamental sentimental idiot of another kind!

    Btw, when the “tiny strip of land along the coromandel coast” was bought from the local governers it was under the name of Madrasapatnam (or some variant of it).

    *Here ends the off-topic “discussion”*

  9. sj (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 6:00 am

    Ravi, you point is valid, however you are referring to countries not a city. I don’t see any other city in the world having two names only in Chennai will you find this confusion.

  10. observer (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 6:29 am

    Moscow is called Moskva by locals, Cologne is Koln, and there are many more such cities in Europe and other places. Why don’t you let people call Madras/Chennai what they prefer? Tourists being confused by this is just silly, we’d rather not have such dumb tourists in our city :)

  11. F e r r a r i (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Dont exhibit your ignorance so publicly. Have you ever been to Mumbai? That is just one of the many examples. Just go and check how people refer to the city. And we WILL continue to call the city as Madras. If you dont like it, it is your problem! And do you know how many names the historical city mahabalipuram has?

  12. sj (unregistered) on October 27th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    Observer your points are valid however again the cities are referred to in that countries mothertounge. The word Madras is of Portugese origin by the way, Mumbai is the original name of the local language there seems to be no confusion about that. Either way Chennai is looked down upon by the rest of Hindia.

  13. thennavan (unregistered) on November 9th, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    Thanks for that info Navneeth :-).

    Rads, so you want to spend the “winter” in Denver? :-)

    Potpourri, I am sure you will find the same level of hospitality that you find in the New England area where you live now, if you move to Denver. Just that life may be slower paced in the mid-West and mountain states and that factors into the hospitality quotient too :-).

    SJ, for an answer to this, you should see my latest post on Chennai vs. Madras on the same metblogs :-).

    Ravi, thanks for bringing in another point of view (to SJ’s) :-).

    Anu, good points :-).

    Guy, I-must-thank-you-for-the-suggestion :-).

    Navneeth, bravo for firing another salvo :-).

    SJ, fight, fight, fight :-).

    Observer, now that is a neutral stand you are taking. What fun is there in that? Be bold – say something controversial :-).

    Prabhu, sabhaash sariyaana pOtti! :-)

    SJ, good that you are showing no signs of slowing down and are not giving up :-).

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