This blog is produced by the Shep Family... we post letters and photos that Kyle sends us from time to time...

A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaiite. As of 2001, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million, while the total metropolitan population was 7.04 million. The estimated metropolitan population in 2006 is 4.5 million.In 2001, the population density in the city was 63,926 per mi, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The average literacy rate is 80.14%, much higher than the national average of 64.5%. The city has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers among major cities in India, with about 820,000 people (18.6% of its population) living in slum conditions. In 2005, the crime rate in the city was 313.3 per 100,000 people, accounting for 6.2% of all crimes reported in major cities in India. The number of crimes in the city showed a significant increase of 61.8% from 2004.

The majority of the population in Chennai are Tamilians. Tamil is the primary language spoken in Chennai. English is widely spoken especially in business, education and white collar professions.

According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute about 81.27% of the city's population, and Muslims (9.37%), Christians (7.63%) and Jains (1.05%) are other major religious groups

Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India.[77] The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week long Music Season celebrating the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy

Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January, is the most important. Almost all major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Tamil cuisine in Chennai includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include rice-based dishes like pongal, dosa, idli and vadai,


Chennai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The weather is hot and humid, for most of the year. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil,[32] with maximum temperatures around 38–42 °C (100–108 °F). The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around 18–20 °C (64–68 °F). The lowest temperature recorded is 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) and highest 45 °C (113 °F). The average annual rainfall is about 51 in. The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon winds, from mid-October to mid-December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is 2,570 mm (101 in) in 2005.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Week of the 15th!

this is a little random because i pieced together little sections from the different emails he sent to our family.

Some elders gain wait, some lose, few stay the same. Some binge on the unlimited food we get at restaurants (we go every day) and get bellies, not large, just bellies. Some elders ride bikes (that's me) and sometimes forget to eat food (yeah...) and don't have enough time to cook (me again.) I'm still getting better and better looking every day though. My abs are coming in nicely and my face has thinned out a bit, can you believe I've been here a month?

Missionary work is great, Scripture study is amazing, and there are some truly prepared people ready to recieve the gospel. It's very helpful that religion gets so much attention here. Christians are MUCH more prominent than the government is willing to recognize (easily 20%) but Hindu's are still the bulk of our investigators, which has no impact on their willingness to accept the gospel. I can't single out one lesson, but there are some lessons that make complete sense to people, whether it be about Joseph Smith and his question, the beauty of repentance, or the fact that we will live in happiness with God again, and the spirit is so strong that you feel like you can swim in the room, those are the best.

Christmas traditions are different here. No cold, no snow, so none of those ideas are here. Santa isn't a part of culture. All the christians put up a glowy star outside, which makes it really easy to proselyte around Christmas. I've seen 1 christmas tree here. People aren't nearly as excited as in America, and stores don't play up the season (not that there are any real stores here in Raj.)

Everyone loves to sing, but their tone is off, it's funny. They slide around all the notes and throw random notes in, most can't read music at all and have never had to hit a pitch. I try to lead by example, but they sing really loud, so it doesn't help them much.

Let everyone know how much I love them, and how important missionary work is. It really changes people's lives. It's AMAZING to help people gain some eternal perspective.

Have a great christmas

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