Pondi, the nickname of the city of Pondicherry, is the state capital of the Pondicherry region, south India. It used to be a French colony, which consisted of 4 cities on the coast, somewhat in the style of Ceuta in Morocco. These cities served as ports of call for ship traders going to the French colonies in South East Asia, and returned products like silk and tea to France. Puducherry means new town in Tamil language. It's also called the cote d'azure (blue coast) of the East. It has around 220 000 inhabitants, which for India is small. The literacy rate is higher than the national average, there are universities, and some people speak French, because they are too old, or because they have an alliance to France.