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Thomas Vanden Driessche: Kalaheera

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Ever since I was a child, I have heard that eskimos have dozens of different words to describe subtle nuances of white. When I arrived in Jharia, I couldn’t help wondering the same thing about the inhabitants of the largest mining area in India. Could these people have developed a special vocabulary for all the nuances of black? One thing is certain : this colour has value in their eyes. In this region they use the Hindi word, Kalaheera, which means ‘black diamond’ when talking about coal.

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