What really shows that the world is becoming increasingly Indianized? Is it Bollywood? Is it the fact that Indian cuisine being accepted and tried by foreigners or is it the fact that Indian festivals are being celebrated worldwide?
Before we can discuss this we need to understand how significant is the effect of such Indian trait that is widely accepted throughout the globe or that has changed the world. Only then we can say that these are the areas where the world is Indianized.
Acceptance of Bollywood can be understood by its effect on international audience. By the number of times such Bollywood events are hosted and attended by International celebrities or by the number of times Indian stars acted in any foreign movies.
This factor can also be seen when Bollywood songs are played in foreign lands in the functions that are NOT Indian. There are occasional cases where Bollywood songs are played in foreign discs, too. This was shown in the movie Queen.
Even though all of the above is happening in different places across the world but still it can not be said that the world is Indianized through Bollywood. This discussion by Bollywood legends says it all about Bollywood’s International effect –
India is known for its creative brilliance. Even though India has achieved many milestones in creating new music in last few decades, other than Poet Rabindranath winning Nobel prize for his book on songs and poems, we did not find any impact of Indian music worldwide.
Then came brilliance of Zubin Mehta, Pt. Rabishankar, Ustad Amzad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain et al. that has influenced global music. Then came A R Rahman with his brilliance and made it BIG in international scene –
These achievements of our musicians show how Indian music is accepted with open hearts in international scenario. This shows that India could influence the world with her own creation and thus made a significant step forward. World was forced to talk about and listen to Indian music
Once upon a time Hockey was known as our national sports. There was a time when India was unrivalled global hero in the Hockey grounds. But slowly this game became so much popular among other nations that today no one considers this game to be Indian Pride. In fact it is more international than many other games and it has lost its Indianness. This shows the real power of India that goes beyond the boundaries of our nation to makes itself truly global.
Once hockey Indianized the world European power play took it over India lost its sheen in Hockey. Then Hockey was completely taken over by other nations like Australia, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands etc. It was no longer Indian and that is one significant area where the world is Indianized.
Then came the sports that is today known as national sports of India – Kabaddi. There is still a chance that Kabaddi being taken up as a game in 2020 Olympics. If that happens, that may be just another game that will Indianize the world with its power. The success of Pro-Kabaddi league has really made us proud and made another Indian phenomenon going global.
Holi La Tomatina
Indian festivals, be it Diwali, Holi or Dusserra are celebrated all over the world but these are still confined mostly to Indian communities. The foreigners may join these festivals today but they have never internalized these and hence these festivals could never make impact like Bollywood or Indian Music. This is because we can claim that Indian festivals made the world change only when the world accept the festivals widely. But we don’t see the foreign nations celebrating these festivals widely and hence probably this wouldn’t be apt to claim that popular Indian festivals have changed the world.
But world cannot ignore our festivals. Take for instance last year’s presidential address from US president Barrack Obama on the occasion of Diwali –
But there is a completely different form of Indian festival that is however widely accepted and celebrated by the world. This is the game of CRICKET. Cricket today has gone beyond being an ordinary game to a much needed form of entertainment and business. I am talking about the T-20 format of cricket that has made big in international scenario. It is the festival of Indian Premier League or IPL.
Even though this is not a traditional festival the way we know festivals but this league has changed the scenario in International cricket. The first time this format of cricket was introduced it had become very popular across the globe. Many other countries (cricket playing and non playing) have adopted this new format of the game. Thus IPL not only popularized the game but it has made good business out of it and created a new form of entertainment for everyone. This has truly become a global phenomenon that India can cherish for years.
Indian cuisine is found to be appreciated all over the globe today. However the taste may be made different to suit different taste buds. Most often it is found that foreign countries can not withstand Indian spices but still Punjabi and South Indian Food have made significant impact to global taste buds. Bollywood movies like Cheeni Kum, Queen and English Vinglish show the reality.
The restaurant chains like Saravana Bhavan and Speciality Restaurant have made significant growth in overseas market. According to an article in economic Times in 2012 Saravana Bhavan had more restaurants overseas than in India.
Speciality restaurants, another Kolkata based restaurant chain has taken a giant stride in global market. According to their annual report 2013-‘14 their net Profit After Tax was Rs. 188.9 million. In this financial year they have gone for a joint venture company in Doha, Qatar under their brand Mainland China.
We see similar success story of Indian restaurants from far-East as well.
This Wharton Business School article
also supports this. This article shows that Indian restaurants are growing big in overseas markets. Most of them have expansion plans, that signifies that the business of Indian cuisine is expanding rapidly. It is good to note that other than normal food chains, beverage chains like Cafe’ Coffee Day are also expanding their businesses overseas.
The growth of Indian cuisine abroad may be attributed to these factors. One – More Indians traveling abroad and hence Indian cuisine becoming important requirement in overseas countries and Two – more expats coming to India and becoming fond of Indian food which is in turn becoming popular in overseas market.
But with the growth of Indian taste buds overseas, which is evident from the above discussion shows how the world is being more Indianized today.
If one thing has made the world truly Indian, that is Indian spirituality. With western market economy taking on our lives and making us extremely stressful everyday many foreigners today take resort to spirituality for a stress-free life.
The devotion for Krishna is one of the most significant ways that the world follows Indianizm today. ISKCON is doing a wonderful job in this regard. This movement is popularly known as Hare Krishna Movement and they have temples in 120 locations around the globe. This way Indian spirituality binds the world in one thread.
7. Yoga and Meditation
These two ancient techniques of rejuvenating the inner soul and improving the coordination between the body and mind have taken over the world into a maniac called Indianizm. Yoga and meditation techniques dates back Indians have always appreciated the value of meditation and Indian yogis have shown how they can win over all environmental odds by yoga and meditation.
The world reeling under stressful lives had to resort to Indian yoga and meditation to get a life free from stress and hassle. It is amazing to find that yoga professionals are the number one Indian exports. As per this report of Business Standard yoga institutes are opening in unlikely places like Tunisia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
8. The Number Zero
If anything that has revolutionized the world’s business that is the invention of the number ‘zero’. When Indian mathematician Brahmagupta invented this in seventh century A.D. and elaborated its importance to the world the world maths have changed. This has revolutionized global business for ages. This has changed the world so much that we don’t even recognize this as Indian. In other words this simple yet powerful Indian invention has changed the globe.
9. The Decimal System
Ancient Hindus used a system counted on the base of 10 which was later known as the decimal system. Indians used this system of counting even in ancient ciivilization of Harappa.
French Mathematician Laplace once said – “It is India that gave us the ingenuous method of expressing all numbers by the means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position, as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit, but it’s very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest minds produced by antiquity.”
The decimal system of counting has made computing easy for us. This has surely Indianized the world long back.
10. The Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the knowledge of life. The knowledge that talks about ‘Panchabhoota’ and teaches us the concept of five elements that consist the body of any living species on earth. Ayurveda talks about naturotherapy and shows how nature can help us cure all ailments.
Ayurvedic knowledge originated from India and practiced in India for ages. We can see its use even in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The world could not stay away from this invention and today the entire world is appreciative and many foreigners and believers of Ayurvedic medicine. Unfortunately with the advent of complicated patenting raj many Indian inventions that were available for free are being patented by foreigners and losing their Indianness and becoming global. The world has realized the true potential of this Indian curative system and adopted it to the extent that Ayurveda has overshadowed many international treatments today.
We find that there are many factors that make the world an extended Indian colony. We need to sustain this and be more acceptable in different areas and very soon we can see India ruling over the whole world. India has the potential of becoming a true global power if we exploit our strengths in all areas, then other nations will not have any problem in following us or our values.
India is known for her hospitality, too. Now Indian hospitality can be seen in the services of International airliner Lufthansa. Experience Indianness onboard a Lufthansa flight and get surprised –
This is a part of “More Indian than you think” contest in association with Indiblogger