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Chhota haazri

Chhota haazri, from the Hindustani words for "small" and "presence", was a meal served in households and barracks, particularly in northern British India, shortly after dawn. In subsequent years, the tradition of such a meal has disappeared, but the phrase lives on in Anglo-Indian households, certain regiments of the Indian Army, and in public schools such as The Doon School and Lawrence School, Sanawar, Lawrence School,Lovedale and St. Paul's School, Darjeeling where it has come to refer to a cup of tea with a biscuit served at 6:00 a.m.[1]

Historical use of the word

In 1947, during the political integration of the Indian princely states, the word 'Chhota Hazri' was used as a pun to refer to a small princely state in an ironic way.[2]


  1. ^ The Ruling Caste:Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj by David Gilmour. Farrar, Strous and Giroux, London [2006] ISBN 0-374-28354-0
  2. ^ Ramachandra Guha, India after Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. HarperCollins, 2007; pg. 43

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