We are a people obsessed with the West and their way of life. One trip abroad and we cannot stop gushing about how streamlined, clean, efficient, and spic and span everything is in that part of the world. While we turn to developed Western countries for inspiration, they, in turn, are looking at our rich cultural heritage to seek alternatives to an extremely modernized lifestyle. Here are six classic examples of the things the West has borrowed from India:
The Golden Latte
Yes, that icky haldi doodh that our mothers and grannies forced down our throats to treat everything, from a common cold to bruises, has an all-new fancy avatar – the Golden Latte. Cafes across the world are putting this healthy ‘delicacy’ on their menus and people cannot stop gushing about this ‘new’ health drink made from cold-pressed turmeric juice, non-fat cow milk, and garnished with a topping of nutmeg or cinnamon. Well, for those of us who have been forced to drink our fair share of haldi doodh since we can recall, the concept of turmeric stirred in milk is still icky, latte, or no latte.
I don’t know how many of the millennials have been fortunate enough to try this extremely rustic (albeit effective) approach to oral hygiene – chewing on a twig to give it a semblance of a toothbrush and then using it to clean one’s teeth. Well, for yours truly it was part of the holiday ritual on every trip to the ancestral village. The west has acknowledged the effectiveness of these twigs, better known as dantuns in rural India, and different variants of the good old dantun can be found neatly packaged and stacked in leading department stores in the US and across several European countries.
Given that mounting landfill is one of the biggest environmental concerns and the chorus to limit plastic use is only growing, the West has now turned to green ‘eco-friendly’ variants of disposable plates and cutlery. These are basically pattals – made from Banyan or Sal leaves and prevalently used for eating, especially during outings and when feeding large gatherings, across rural India – with a fancy name and marketing strategy.
Practice of yoga as a gateway to restoring wellness of the body and mind has been a ranging fitness trend globally for more than a decade now. Well, yoga has been a part of heritage for over 5,000 years. It is another matter that we started to acknowledge its amazing benefits on the human body only after the Western world told us so.
This traditional Hindu system of medicine, which has been elaborated upon in the Atharva Veda, has captivated the minds of Western scientists, scholars, and the common man on the street. In fact, Ayurveda is a big part of the growing focus on alternative therapies to cure life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
Our love for lockdowns and bandhs can be gauged from the fact that ‘hartal’ was one of the first few words of Indian origin to be incorporated in English dictionaries. The word, which is a combination of the Sanskrit word Harta (meaning market) and the Hindi word Tala, needs no explanation. We all know what it means, and the world knows it too.
Know of any more such Indian-inspired trends/concepts/words that have created ripples across the globe? Share them with ShoutLo in the comments section below.
A girl with Atlas in her hands, adventure in her eyes, wanderlust in her blood. Professionally, she creates and curates socially relevant viral-worthy content. Abhilasha's life and work led her to her current role as an Entrepreneur.