It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against Gravity- Kofi Annan
How very aptly put by 7th Secretary General of UN. When two cultures meet a culture shock is bound to happen. The shock may cause clashes or peaceful coexistence. Earlier rulers used to conquer nations and enforce their culture on the inhabitants of that nation, some cultures survived, some got extinct.Times changed and people started to accept the cultural differences. We started to take the goodness of each culture and evolve as a human race. Indian culture has evolved too, from the various rituals and Taboos that existed, we are not a country of just snake charmers any more. In this era of Communication and Media, no country is too far. A kid in India may know more about France than a kid from Paris and vice-versa. Globalization is all about interdependence of multiple cultures. Its about multiple cultures accepting the existence of each other, and learning from each other.
With innovations that happened in travel space, when people moved out of India they took a part of India with them. They managed to travel to Europe, America, Canada, West Indies, heck all the way to Fiji. Now you will find an Indian in almost every corner of the world, so much so that travelling to Bangkok seems you still feel at home, especially if you are a Jain, they have Jain restaurants!! Isn’t that amazing?
We as Indians, especially vegetarians, are paranoid to travel. Why you ask? Food, is the answer. Food happens to be our favorite word after Family, may be for some of us its even before Family, but that’s not the point I am trying to make here. I am a vegetarian, and I LOVE FOOD. So, whenever I have to travel to another country, and I have traveled to Europe, Asia and America so far, Food happens to be my primary worry. When I saw this advertisement by Lufthansa, I could relate to it. It shows how things have changed, how concerns of Grandfather are not true anymore. The kid is however confused because his grandfather’s concerns were not true, that the airline was there to adjust to the needs of their passengers.
I recently traveled to Canada and I was glad to see how Indians, especially our Sikh friends have merged into the local culture. From meeting an Indian at the immigration desk to the cab driver, and when I finally reached my hotel,again an Indian managing the front desk. I switched on the television and there was an Indian channel to surf through as well, with advertisements that spoke of Indians operating Law firms.
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Some friends even told me that if I visit Brampton I would mistake it to be a city in India, considering the amount of Indians that live there. My Boss in Canada a fancy Indian restaurant where I could taste authentic Punjabi food, perhaps the best Punjabi food, I have ever eaten. They even served Masala chai, the same way its been sold across any Indian street, pouring from one glass to another to cool it down. What fascinated me was the Canadian waitress who served masala chai to us and seem to be an expert at handling this trick of serving masala chai.
Being a vegetarian, I was skeptical about finding vegetarian food, but I was wrong. I found “Delicious Veg Restaurant” that served only Vegetarian food, yes you heard that right. A city like Winnipeg in Canada to have only veg restaurant surprised me. When I walked into the restaurant I saw that it was being run by a Chinese woman, her guests were mostly Indians- Gujaratis, Punjabis everyone and even Canadians who were fascinated to try Vegetarian beef (fried Tofu). Talk about the whole world being at one place.
Delicious veg restaurant- Winnipeg
As if that was not enough on my visit to Fork, a community place visited by locals in Winnipeg to shop and for recreation I found a statue of none other than Mahatma Gandhi. What was even more endearing was to see a couple sit on front of the statue and explain it to their kid about what Gandhi stood for. That really warmed my heart, as to how our friends in Canada valued Gandhi.
Gandhi statue at Fork- winnipeg
The best part was on my way back at Tronoto airport I managed to find a restaurant called “Marathi” that served Indian food. Having already tasted Indian food back in Winnipeg I was tempted to try it, and swear I have not eaten an awesome combination of Pumpkin and Paneer anywhere in India. The Gralic naan they served, well i would say Indian restaurants should learn from “Marathi’ restaurant how to make amazing Garlic naans. The Naan kept melting in my mouth and the Paneer pumpkin kept disappearing from the plate as I kept wondering, was i really away from India?
Garlic Naan- Marathi restaurant Toronto
Paneer Pumpkin with Basmati rice-Marathi restaurant Toronto
I have been fascinated by Latin dancing, its culture, one of the reasons I have been pursuing this dance form for nearly 6 years now. in terms of dancesport we have a long way to go, however very soon we will get there. The dance school that I go to is a combined effort by Indian instructors and a German instructor. Whenever our German instructor comes to India, I have seen him go crazy over Indian food especially Chaat. He is so warm, and an amazing instructor, he expects us to dance to our fullest potential, and hopefully one day we will be able to make him proud. I love his commitment to our dance school , how he takes time out from his busy schedule to even attend outdoor activities of our dance school. I mentioned this to showcase how an Indian dance school is striving to teach Latin dance forms, in collaboration with a German instructor.
Dancing the rumba at PIDC
With Kay, our german instructor (in center) at a picnic in Karjat
Bollywood our best export I guess so far, our movies are now seen and appreciated world over. Fans, not just Indian fans, love our movies. I happened to speak to a Serbian couple at Venice, who told us how their grand parents loved watching Indian Soap opera. Our movies are now studied, and researched across the globe. People want to learn bollywood dance forms. Recently I came across this fantastic video made by German fans on “Kal ho na ho”. Somebody very rightly said, the emotion of love does not see boundaries-
Know of someone who teaches bollywood dance form in Australia. You will notice how local Australians have embraced bollywood dance and how well they actually dance it. Not just in Australia even in US our Indian dance forms have made it to “So you think you can dance”, one of the number one dance reality shows, loved across the world.
Time to surprise with another German dancing on the song-Kajrare
Indian dance form at- So you think you can dance Song: Ooh la la. Movie: Dirty picture
Yoga our next best export that has been accepted world over, practiced world over, even by hollywood celebrities to stay fit and stay young. The benefits of yoga, which needs absolutely no equipments and can be practiced at home, are enormous and world has recognised it. Its amazing how people across the world are practicing this form, and not just practicing it, but even teaching it and spreading the benefits.
Our Chicken Tikka Masala was till recently among the top 10 favorite dishes in UK, Tourists visiting India now fancy the spicy Indian curry. Indians have accepted world cuisines from Chinese (well we did Indianise this one), Italian, Mexican, Thai. People from all nationalities can now find food that will make them feel at home in India, and as I already shared, we Indians can also be at home outside India. Its happening, the world is slowly being Indianised as we Indiand Globalize!!
More Indian than you Think