Monday, December 29, 2014

India, outside India

In this age of globalization, boundaries of language, culture, tradition are rendered thin for the citizens to cross and assimilate into what is thrown at them. This is something very interesting and can broaden horizons, leaving behind the parochial thinking and mindset. This in turn makes individuals sensitive, compassionate towards others and accept them as they are. This also results in exchange of cultures, languages, social etiquette's etc. India being a land of one of the oldest civilization is at the forefront of this symbiosis. Indian diaspora being spread across the globe has been influencing the inhabitants of the land they have made their home. To the very far corners of the globe, Indians residing there have adopted the rule of the land, and in return passed on to the locals our rich, diverse cultures, traditions, languages and gastronomic recipes.

In recent years Indians have taken India to the world in a very big way, be it our festivals, food, music, fashion and much more. The west and others have accepted with open arms, whatever India has to offer. Take for example the Diwali celebrations in White House. This was a big moment for India wherein the most powerful nation in this world, and predominantly Christian understood the significance of Diwali and celebrated it like it was their own. The other Indian product known as “Yoga” is a big hit everywhere and more and more people worldwide are practicing it whole heartedly. Yoga according to them has a holistic approach which can help them have healthy bodies and most importantly a healthy mind.
Diwali in White House
Diwali celebrated in White House
Culinary Delights
Indian food, for its spices and variety, has been popular since many years. The Spicy Indian food is loved by many across the globe. The curry restaurants worldwide and especially in UK have done tremendously well, thanks to the British who gorge on them besides many other Indian delicacies. One of my Irish clients was visiting India for project work. He was thrilled to see so many varieties of Indian food which he ate, as if there was no tomorrow. The soggy pancakes (Gulab Jam) were something which he simply loved and could not resist. He rued saying he would have to wait for long to taste this kind of delicious food. To my surprise he found one in Dublin which served Indian food, and now I hear he is a regular visitor to this joint. There are many such stories. The most interesting one that I heard was during Wimbledon championship in London few years back. Vijay Amritraj had Martina Navratilova for company in the commentator’s box. While they chit chatted about India, how can food be left out. To my utter surprise, Martina said, she simply loves the “Bhendi ki Bhaji”. I was so dumbfounded to hear this that I was about to fall from my chair.

Martina loves Indian food
Martina loves "Bhendi ki bhaji"
Indian Music

Classical Indian music is something which has a huge audience outside India, they travel to India for various music festivals and have gone an extra mile to learn the art. One such experience would remain with me all my life. During one of the concerts at Sawai Gandharva in Pune, an announcement was a pleasant surprise to all present there. The announcement was, Sir Alfred Nobel's niece and nephew had travelled all the way from Norway to attend the Sawai Gandharva as they had a great liking for Indian classical music. On hearing this, the niece and nephew wearing Indian attire stood up with folded hands. There was a thunderous applause for almost 10 minutes which still echoes in my ears.

Indian Sartorial Craze

Indian bindi, henna, fine fabric is a rage in the west, and we see more and more people donning it during festivals and marriages. Seeing the westerners in a sari and Salwar Kurtas is a sight to behold, because they love it and it looks good on them. Indian fashion is making waves in the west, and many celebrities are donning Indian fabric with aplomb. World famous fashion guru, Tommy Hilfiger recently said, he likes Indian sartorial style and he draws a lot of inspiration from it.
Indian films

Indian movies year after year are spreading its wings to far off countries. The audiences worldwide are exposed to Indian cinema and they have taken great liking for it; the dance routines or the joie de vivre feeling that emanates from the Indian cinema has caught everybody’s attention. America’s first lady Michelle Obama could not resist the dance moves on popular Hindi film songs. In many Hollywood movies you would see Indian themes being handled and liked. Indian cinema is garnering huge support worldwide. These are the best times for India and everything Indian is in vogue.

Michelle Obama dancing to Hindi songs
India everywhere
We are no less than others, our food, fashion, culture, language has crossed the boundaries and has become global. Quintessential Indian dishes are occupying the podium positions at various culinary competitions worldwide, Millions of Americans gather together and practice Yoga. Indian festivals like Diwali, "Ganesh Chaturthi" are celebrated with great fanfare in many abodes outside India. Many Europeans, Americans travel to India to be part of the Waari chanting "Gyanba Tukaram" and singing bhajans in the same breathe as the other warkaris. There are many such stories of Indian influence on the west and other parts of the world. Indians with their unique blend of modern and traditional way of living are mesmerizing citizens across the globe, and this augurs well for India and the rest. As they say "You can take a man out of India, but you cannot take an Indian out of him". Way to go India…

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  1. Bro. I must say, indeed a write up of a kind. Meticulously charted out indian eulogy marvelously. Kudos. I hadn't expected to see this elegant take.

    1. Thanks Pramod for the kind and motivating words. I am elated to say the least, but more so because you liked it.

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