Saturday, October 18, 2014

BEING INDIAN AT HEART !!!!

Namaste !!!

A day in real India...

Draped in red saree, with jasmine flowers over her bun when she walked down the streets her bangles hummed a rhythm and anklets just added some extra elegance. Cows wandered over the streets blocking her way and some naughty kids were caught pelting stones at them. They mooed in pain but they would never harm any children. Just when the grass was green enough to be fed a snake jumped out of the bushes and made its way to the road. Lying peacefully on the middle of the road, soaked in sun's grace it felt too lazy to move away when a biker honked relentlessly. Snake gave him there-is-enough-road-for-you look and slowly moved away. Poor biker was scared wondering if he had harmed the snake as it would be a curse for life. He immediately ran to the temple near by and prayed god to forgive his unknown sins offering a bowl of milk and special pooja in return. A dog barked at him like he was his everlasting enemy and even chased him till the parking lot and then ran restlessly wherever he could, barking. Some pani puri vendors chased the dog away which was annoying their customers. Some spicy and juicy pani puris were served to the hungry customers who rejuvenated their taste buds with some tangy tamarind juice. Finally, when they strolled back home passing cow dungs, broken drainage, puddle, pot holes and traffic jams with minimum money in their pockets they knew they had to save that money for future expenses. After all, Deepavali festival was nearing and they had to buy a lot of crackers, sweets, new clothes to celebrate goodness, happiness, health. And to also celebrate the joy of being an Indian. 

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India with its history spanning hundreds of thousands of years makes one wonder where it all began. Our ancient traditions, history and culture is so strong rooted than no one can absolutely pin point and call it the dawn for Indians. Yes, we all start talking about paleolithic period and Indus valley civilization but what about tretha yuga or dwapara yuga where we believe our gods existed in human form killing demons and saving humanity. Even today most of the rituals we follow comes from that era which nobody ever witnessed. Hence, India is the most diversified nation with different rituals, cuisines, languages, customs and culture passed on through several centuries. The variations found in India can be found no where else in the world. May be that it self makes India so unique, so special and that encompasses the real culture of India. Many sources describe India as "Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara" — the first and the supreme culture in the world.

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India, with its 28 states and seven union territories, speaking more than 22 official languages and nearly 400 living language, is a country known for its open mindedness. Still the age old rituals are being followed, at the same time software companies are spreading like a virus. In the busy streets of metros, you see women in sarees, salwar kurtas, jeans, dresses and shorts. People speak in Tulu (a no script living language) being fluent in English. A scientist offers his prayer to god to provide him success in his endeavors. People are loud and they love being loud. Loud dikh chik music, loud honks, loud laughter makes our species so unique. Even the spices used in cooking are loud. No matter where we go or settle in or adapt, we will always remain Indian at heart preferring water over tissue papers !!!!  

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I don't know if world is being Indianized or Indians are influencing the world to become Indianized, but change is happening. May be slowly, but I can see appreciation for Indians in the eyes of the west. I see a lot of foreigners preferring our Ayurvedic medicines or Yoga or Bollywood beats or occasional saree drapes, but can we actually call it as Indianization? Just because once a month they eat palak paneer, won't make them Indian. But yes, their true appreciation and acceptance of India, a land of snake charmers like they tagged us before, is the real Indianization. While I was reading Sudha Murthy's anecdotes I came across an interesting fact. Many years ago when she visited the USA for first time she was teased for wearing a saree and her being an Indian. She was made to wait for a long time cross questioning her agenda of visit. They didn't trust us then. But recently when she traveled, the same old airport officials appreciated Indian culture, the way women wore saree in India and even, finished her immigration process in minutes. I believe this is the true Indianization that is happening across globe. 

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The days of being looked down is slowly getting over. Indians are appreciated for their knowledge, culture and intelligence. Be it at any field, Indians are being noted. Let it be a small country anywhere in the world, I am sure, at least one Indian will be working there. World is becoming more Indian because of the presence of Indians everywhere. We are known for adapting and we seep in to that world. Indians would live like British in the UK. No doubt. But if there is an Indian restaurant then they will drag their foreign friends to have some spicy spices cladded food. We are normally comfortable in jeans and t shirt but if there is a festival we will not leave that chance of wearing a beautiful saree, some ornaments, flowers looking like a princess in our own world. I guess it is this color in India to which foreigners are getting attracted to. Be it celebrating holi or colorful heavy sarees or colorful bollywood movies, we bring life in it. This is what is being admired abroad now. Of course not all age old traditions are accepted and most of them are not being followed in India it self. Yes, we call them superstitions and ignore them as much as possible. But there is more to India than superstitions. 

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While I was reading through some articles, I came across the cultural interests between Germany and India. During Frankfurt book fair in 2006 India was the guest of honor and since then, Indian work in the field of literature is being widely accepted in Germany. Not only the bollywood commercial movies, but Germans are also interested in regional and art movies of India. German films are also increasingly present at Indian film festivals, although the entry of German films in India still proves to be difficult if not impossible due to the specifics of the Indian film market. Be it classical music or Indian dramas or peppy bollywood numbers, all are appreciated in Germany more than any country. Surprising, isn't it? Now that's what I call true Indianization. After all everyone knows Shah Rukh Khan !!!!

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I am not saying world is being influenced by India enough to accept our way of living. Comparatively, India is being more westernized. This is a fact. But Indians and Indian culture is being noted and acknowledged now, unlike before when it was completely neglected and looked down. People are incorporating more Indian products to lure Indians in to their market. Our market is wider and people want to understand Indian way of approach. Well, what can I say, we are second highly populated country in the world. And we are everywhere. So, people living outside India should be thanked for this process of Indianization. They are actually living abroad and influencing people and how can somebody not like Indian way of spreading joy once they get a taste of it? So, yes, world is being Indianized. People are being more Indian than we think at their heart. Their true acceptance and love, what I call my dear friends, is true Indianization. 

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Well it is time for some sweets, payasam, fried capsicum, new clothes, lights and lamps. Ah, Deepavali is on its way !!!!

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This post is written as a part of IndiBlogger contest "more Indian than you think" conducted by Lufthansa airline. The unique spirit of India is clearly evident in all Lufthansa flights. After over half a century of service to India, it is woven into our tradition of efficiency, reliability, innovation and technological excellence.You can get a taste of Lufthansa at http://www.moreindianthanyouthink.com/ and also, watch their video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MrYhrZ3ppik

And for better experience fly in Lufthansa, more Indian than you think !!!!