Skip to main content

Indian-ified - The World is More Indian Than You Think

This post is written as an entry to the #MoreIndianThanYouThink contest by Lufthansa India. It was a contest I found out through Indiblogger: Good ads are rare to see these days. But this Lufthansa India TVC was really touching. Here we have an international airline that has tapped into the EQ of Indians so beautifully. We witness a conversation between a grandfather and his grandson where the former discusses his preconceptions about travelling to Germany by a German airline. But Lufthansa breaks these notions with the airlines being so clued in to India and its culture!

This topic 'How the world is more Indian than you think' is an interesting one. While our country with her burgeoning young population is aping the West, the rest of the world is watching India closer than we think. Decade after decade, NRIs have been leading the way in being India's culture ambassadors in foreign countries. Until five years ago, I was an NRI too. So having lived abroad, I have had first-hand experience of seeing how Indian culture has touched people of other countries.

A mini me clad in traditional attire in Lagos, Nigeria
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and lived there with family for 17 years. There I studied in an Indian school and was surrounded by Indians right from childhood. My mum and me used to practice Yoga under the guidance of a Nigerian instructor. Ever since I was little, it was a family ritual to visit the temple every Sunday - and we have several temples there. Not only Indians, but we also had Nigerians join us in prayer service. Sitting beside us Indians and our resident panditji, I do not kid when I say that several local men and women took to the Bhagavad Geeta and imbibed its teachings. At the temple, we had a lavish langar prepared for devotees. Kadi-chawal, mithai and other Indian delicacies at the langar were cooked by none other than the popular Nigerian cook named Sabi. You would be left licking your fingers after you've devoured Sabi's dishes! It is difficult to believe but ever since I moved to India for work, I can count on my fingers the number of times I have visited a temple.

On Diwali, Indians were greeted by the Nigerian locals and they also knew this was a great time to ask for a bonus! In the society we lived and grew up in, all the Indian kids would gather in the evening and burst fire crackers and the Nigerians would gain much joy and thrill in bursting some fire crackers and rockets themselves.

I also stayed in Melbourne, Australia for two years while I was pursuing my Master's. My fellow batch-mates belonged to different countries - Thailand, Germany, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, to name a few. All of them knew of India's intelligent people and their hardworking nature. Melbourne's many Indian restaurants were always abuzz with non-Indians gorging on rotis and Butter Chicken. I even went to the ISKON temple there several times and each time, I spotted more Australians than Indians singing 'Hare Krishna Hare Ram'.

Whether you are a fan of Bollywood or not, there is no denying that the Indian film fraternity has played a crucial role in spreading Indian culture. Talking about Germany, this video is an absolute must-watch. Ardent German SRK fans have made their very own 'Kal Ho Na Ho' music video where the actors imitate SRK's every movement and face expressions! This is the biggest testament to the popularity of Indian cinema. Watch 'So You Think You Can Dance', and Bollywood style dancing is embarked on by competing dancers to showcase their dancing skills and expressions.

Indian music is being studied by foreigners too. Take this recent viral video for instance - Indian vocalists from Berklee College of Music sing Dil Se's Jiya Jale as their tribute to A.R.Rahman; apart from the goosebump-inducing vocals, it is also interesting and amazing to see a non-Indian flutist beautifully and skilfully play his version of the instrumental component of the song!

These are some snippets about my thoughts on how the world around us is becoming more Indian than we think. We should be proud of being Indian and protect our culture!

Popular posts from this blog


Last weekend, I got a unique opportunity to visit Gowardhan Cheese Factory in Manchar district, a good two hour drive from Pune city. The owning home-grown company Parag Milk Foods brand portfolio includes Gowardhan and GO boasting of a range of dairy products that have been retailed across Mumbai and Pune over the last decade. I first started using their yoghurt when the local kirana store ran out of my usual preference of Amul, Danone and Britannia. One spoon of it and I instantly found it so fresh, light and 'unprocessed'.
I have always loved cheese but now I even prefer it over chocolate. So when I was scheduled to visit the GO factory, it bore semblance to winning the golden ticket and entering glistening gates to its factory much like the popular Roald Dahl's Charlie. Except that it was not all that dramatic! 

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre...99 Years On

99 years ago on this very day, thousands of innocent Indians were shot and killed by armed British forces in Amritsar, and to date there has been no formal apology from Britain.
So what really happened... The ground zero was Jallianwala Bagh. Around 15,000 men, women and children had gathered at this open public space on Baisakhi Day to protest the Rowlatt Act (an Act that empowered authorities to imprison without trial). Upon learning of this gathering, General Edward Henry Dyer rounded up a troop of 50 men armed with 1,650 bullets who were instructed to fire at the chests of the Indians until the last bullet was fired. They sealed the only two exits of the Bagh, then the size of three football fields surrounded by homes. Without any warning, rounds were fired and with all the exists sealed by the troops, to escape the bullets, many died jumping into a well or in the resulting stampede. Though formal investigation concluded that around 367 Indians were killed, the actual number was in …

Shashi Tharoor's 'An Era of Darkness' Illustrates the Rapacity of the British Raj in India

It was August 15, 2016, I was having lunch with someone. Gazing at the news on the television screen behind me, she asked, "It's India's Independence Day today! Independence from whom?" Independence from the British, I answered, shocked. Shocked, because this someone in question was British and she had not a clue about the crimes of her country's colonial past.  Like millions of Indians and non-Indians, I was left aghast and despondent when I heard the viral Shashi Tharoor Oxford Union debate (if you haven't seen it yet, you've been living under a HUGE rock, and I suggest you watch it before you proceed to read the remainder of this blog). Tharoor in all his articulate and intellectual glory spoke in motion for Britain owing reparations to her former colonies. Tharoor's well-researched facts on the brutality of British rule in India for over two centuries left me astounded, and a sense of shame dawned on me - I knew so little about my country's p…