“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!” ― Mark Twain.
There was a time when the Vedic forms of art were confined in the land of India with a sense of possessive pride! However, centuries and centuries later, these prized moments have been arrayed into emotions. With a major chunk of Indians migrating worldwide, times have changed in terms of recognizing Indian art forms too! Our contemporary moment of pride is when we see that our traditional art forms are being recognized in the western world!
Taking this statement ahead here’s a list of indigenous art, music, dance and sports forms from India getting more famous in the western world.
With the traversal of time, Indian art forms have grown to make an amazingly stunning impact on the western world. Some of these classics are –
Originating from the lands of Orissa, Patachitra is an art form where paintings are created on a piece of cloth! In Sanskrit, ‘Pata’ indicates ‘vastra’ or clothing, and ‘chitra’ indicates ‘painting’. Dated way back to the 5th century, Pata Chitra is one of the most respected art forms that has survived over generations! Predominantly occupying the walls of great temples of Puri, Konark, and Bhubaneswar, this is one of the most respected indigenous forms of art that has originated from India.
Traditionally termed “Mithila” art, it’s origins claim from the Kingdom of Janak! However, resources have dated the origins of the art form from the lands of Bihar.
One of the most popular Indian folk arts, Madhubani art is was a latent form of Indian art that wasn’t known to the outside world until the British discovered it after an earthquake in 1930’s. According to William G. Archer, the most prominent British Authority on Indian Art (during the 20th century) when the broken houses revealed a series of Madhubani paintings, they mirrored the work of Picasso and Miro!
Indian dance forms have been nothing short of reverence. Over the years, Indian dance has journeyed across barriers and created an impact for itself all around the world. In fact, the impact of dance on cultures has been such that – ever since 1982, April 30 has been declared as the international dance day for artists from around the world! Some of these traditional dance forms from India that are getting worldwide recognition are given below.
A pretty new entry to our list of indigenous Indian dance forms is “Bhangra”. Quoting a statement from Huffington post, the nuance of dance and music from “Bhangra” has traveled to the west in the suitcases and backpacks of South Asian immigrants between the 1970s and 1990s! Sarina Jain, the Indian American maker of The Masala Bhangra Workout, says she’s “the first to convey Indian move to the U.S. wellness industry at a worldwide level.” The DVD has been named one of the five most smoking workouts by America Online. As of 2016, Bhangra marks an amazingly stunning impact across the northern American continent!
Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, that was originated from India. Thanks to Bollywood this dance form has been making waves amongst the western world! Evolved from the 16th century, this dance form absorbed certain features of Persian and central Asian dance! Kathak in Sanskrit stands for a story. Believed to be a very complicated form of dance, they are usually used to depict a story!
Interestingly, this migration of dance forms has not just been limited to Bhangra and Khatak. The recognition of Indian classical dance has crossed barriers, ESPECIALLY in the last couple of years, thanks to the internet! For example, videos in Youtube about Indian and contemporary dance forms have gone viral!! The one that comes on top of my mind is Poonam & Priyanka Shah, NRI twins who have been doing wonders with a fusion of Bharatanatyam and western dance! In fact, their popularity is so much that their youtube subscriber lists cross over 44K and their dance videos get over 5ooK views!
Indian classical music has always been a respected form of art amongst the great minds! As time traversed, so did Indian music as it looked upon widespread recognition in the west. Amongst all the various forms of recognition, the following two musical origins or “ragas” made the strongest impact on westerners!
Traditionally an ancient south Indian musical art form, Carnatic music evolves from the southern part of India. As music traversed extensively to the west, musicians like “Jon Borthwick Higgins” looked up to its beauty to make an impact on the western world!
Hindustani music, evolved as early as the 12 century is inspired singularly from the northern part of the indian subcontinent. One of the biggest, revolutionary recognition of Hindustani music was when the sitar of Ravi Shankar was heard on the famous Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
As said before really predominant and convincing form of migration can be owed to the internet world! In recent times, Indian music has been making wonders with “fusion”! Don’t believe? Current Youtube sensation “Vidya Mashup” is a series of music videos that combines “Indian Music” with “Western”. The singer Vidya is again, an NRI who is a well trained Carnatic and Hindustani singer experimenting the barriers of music by taking it to different levels. Her subscriber lists
have whopping 380K+ followers and her videos have more than 800K+ views!
Keeping aside traditional art forms, India also owns credit to a huge chunk of sports/games for their origin! On top of our list are Ludo, Kabaddi and Snakes & Ladders…Shocked? Well, these sports owe gameplan to Indians before traveling to the bigger world and making an impact internationally!
Beyond invention, Kabaddi has proliferated as one of the most successful international games ever! This sport is an ambassador of a prehistoric origin and later extensively practiced in Indian Vedic schools. Quite obviously, the rules of this games have been subjected to changes over the years. Nevertheless, this remains a game with international recognition!
Snakes and Ladder
The classic “Snakes & Ladder” was originally an ancient Indian game of morality! The snakes and ladders in the board game symbolize the journey of life! As the snakes represent vice, the ladders speak for virtues. In fact, the common phrase of English idioms “back to square one” owes its depiction to this very game!
Another significant and interesting board game, Ludo roots itself from India. Although the game varies in different countries, all forms of variations are credited to the ancient Indian game form called Pachisi. Developed in the 6th century – Pachisi has evolved into this internationally famous game!