Culture — Food, Music, Languages, Dress

POETRY FORMAT, 28 Feb 2022

Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Many countries had their own culture
Consisting of languages people spoke, food they ate
The attractive dresses that they wore
Their dances, music, songs and more

Systematically, their cultures got ruptured
Language was perhaps the first to be disturbed
Countries had many distinct yet overlapping tongues

USA, Canada, Australia, African, Asian, Latin American countries
Suffered the blows of Spanish, English, French, Portuguese
Nice that Russia continues speaking Russian

Only English in Australia, all tribal languages decimated
Happily, Maori language does remain in New Zealand
Latin America, Spanish giant killer of tribal tongues
Portuguese acted the same way in Brazil
Which tribal languages remain today — nil

Go to S. Africa — you can hardly find anyone speaking Swahili
Even the names of men are George, David, Robert, Bruce
They dress like the Europeans who conquered them
Only their skin colour and hair, gives an idea of their race

In India 200 years of British rule, our original names still remain
Ram, Shyam, Harish, Satish, Naresh, Ganesh (for men)
Durga, Pushpa, Kamlesh, Kamla, Vidya, Sita (for women)
Ram and Sita — the heroic couple of Ramayan

We have learnt English language, but speak our traditional tongues
Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Assamese, Bengali, Sindhi
Many people with own languages, have learnt and speak Hindi

Hindi films popular all over the world, even more so than Hollywood
Many people saw the film Awaara in Russia or Nagin in Dubai

Our food has not changed too much —
Roti, khichadi, daal,vegetables,  sambosa, naan
Delicious, more so with added herbs, masaala
Sweets such as ladoo, jalebi, rasgula, gulab jamun

Friends come to the ancient land of India,
Also known as Bharat, Hindustan
Come as guests, not as Invaders like Alexander or Vasco da Gama
Unfortunately religion divided this land, new country born — Pakistan

The country attracts with big mountains, Mt Everest, Himalayas
The rainiest State — Meghalaya — land of clouds
With many small churches on the roadside
Come once and you may like to always remain
Splash in the waves, all over the long coastline

Come and see beautiful Hindi films with their melodious songs
That showcased many actors —   Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand
Female stars — Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Vyjayantimala

Wonder at beautiful men’s dresses— dhoti, pyjamas,   kameez
For women — silk, khadi saris, the dupatta flying in the breeze

Come my friend — I am waiting for you with folded hands —    Namaste
Delicious food and fruit — sambosa, dosa, mango, coconut, what else


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Feb 2022.

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One Response to “Culture — Food, Music, Languages, Dress”

  1. Ambika Roshan says:

    Its a wonderful piece Dr Bhatia.
    Gives out everything metaphorically about our country
    It is an excellent lyric that brings out our pride ,
    the language, food and culture that we could boast of
    This piece could easily serve as an advert / you being the brand ambassador for our country.
    Look forward to reading more of your work.