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‘The pineapple has been recognised as princess of fruits and universal symbol of hospitality’

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Devendra Shah, vice principal, Lords Institute of Management charts the history and importance of the ‘pineapple’ in hospitality as well as talks about the latest trends in hospitality education

Why is pineapple called the symbol of global hospitality?

Devendra Shah

The first account of pineapple was given by Christopher Columbus and his men, who landed on the island now known as Guadeloupe on their second voyage of discovery. Columbus brought the succulent fruit back to Europe in 1493. To the Caribbeans, the pineapple symbolised hospitality, and the Spaniards soon learned they were welcome if a pineapple was placed at the entrance to a village. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance to a plantation. During early colonial days in the United States, families would set a fresh pineapple in the centre of the table as a colourful centerpiece of the festive meal, especially when visitors joined them in celebration. This symbolised the utmost in welcome and hospitality to the visitor, and the fruit would be served as a special dessert after the meal. Often when the visitor spent the night, he was given the bedroom which had pineapples carved on the bedposts or headboard. Signs of this universal symbol of hospitality are seen painted on the front doors of homes and town welcome signs, carved in fanciful finials and Christmas decorations, atop gate-posts and roof-tops, carved into bedposts and headboards, and found in a variety of table centerpieces. Other carved items found around southern homes include serving trays and wooden bowls. The pineapple has been recognised as the princess of fruits and universal symbol of hospitality and welcome for many centuries all over the world. In keeping with the symbolism, at Lords Institute of Management, we greet every visitor with a pineapple flavoured welcome drink.

What are the latest trends seen in hospitality education at Lords Institute of Management?

With Lords Hotels & Resorts foray into hospitality education, the institute is offering 100 per cent job guarantee and career opportunities to candidates at 21 operational and 11 forthcoming hotels and resorts in India and abroad. With numerous properties in the pipeline, young candidates are fortunate to become part of the pre-opening team, learning to set up the sections and departments for smooth operations of the unit. For the second year in succession, Lords Hotels & Resorts has been awarded as the new fastest growing chain.

What are the latest developments at the Institute?

Carrying the first year’s success forward, the institute will offer BBA in Hotel & Tourism Management affiliated to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad. Academic year 2013-14 students are successfully undergoing training at various properties of Lords Hotels & Resorts.

Is it important to have an international education in hospitality management?

It is vital to pursue an international education as the curriculum is updated at regular intervals or to follow a manuscript by international authors, which provides the learner with the latest development in the industry. The syllabus of the courses offered by Indian universities, are usually updated once or twice in a decade, and hence hospitality graduates lack theoretical assistance in their chosen career.

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