Indian culture – Yankee India Tue, 07 Jun 2022 02:22:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Indian culture – Yankee India 32 32 Ranbir Kapoor calls Brahmastra ‘deeply rooted in Indian culture’, says he was given ‘opportunity to create our own Marvel’ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 02:22:10 +0000 Ranbir Kapoor is super excited about his upcoming Ayan Mukerji director Brahmastra, the first part of which will hit theaters in September this year. Speaking about the project, the actor said that he, along with Alia Bhatt, were extremely excited about Ayan’s brainchild.

“We were just three best friends, Alia and I, sitting and dreaming about this movie with Ayan, and being soldiers for him,” Kapoor told He added, “We were really excited and really privileged to be a part of this movie and to be a part of this vision so selfishly as an actor that I would do it again and again.”

Ranbir also said that because the film is “deeply rooted in Indian culture“, it would have a “connection with a wide audience”.

“It’s deeply rooted in Indian culture, and we had the opportunity to create our own Marvel, which Ayan is trying to do with his Astraverse. Any movie, any good compelling story, made in your culture, in a way authentic, in true form, will connect to a wide audience,” Kapoor concluded.

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Based on Indian mythology, Brahmastra is set in contemporary India, where a secret society called Brahmansh has guarded the Astras (divine weapons) created in ancient India for generations. The most powerful of them, the Brahmastra, now awakens and threatens to destroy the universe. The film sees the character of Ranbir possess superpowers. Mouni Roy, meanwhile, plays the antagonist of Ranbir’s Shiva. Alia Bhatt plays the love interest of Ranbir’s character. Brahmastra marks Ranbir and Alia’s first film following their April wedding.

Amitabh Bachchan and Nagarjuna also play central roles in the feature film, which is set to be released in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam on September 9.

Indian culture makes its mark at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations Fri, 03 Jun 2022 11:04:51 +0000

Queen Elizabeth will miss Friday’s Jubilee event due to mobility issues.

Kuchipudi dancer Arunima Kumar with her dance company performed at the grand Platinum Jubilee celebration of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II taking place in London. The event, which began with a gun salute and an overflight of military planes on Thursday, will continue for four days.

Ms Kumar, an acclaimed South Asian dancer and choreographer based in London, and her young team of dancers performed the classical dance form on the lawns of the Royal Church of Westminster Abbey.

Speaking to NDTV, Ms Kumar said: “India is an important part of the Commonwealth. I think that’s why you see so much India all around.

Arunima Kumar, who has also performed at Buckingham Palace in the past, said: ‘I remember when I first met her (the Queen), she commented on my saree and the silk, and she also tried mudras. So it’s a memory I will have forever.

Not only Kuchipudi, Bollywood dance performances are also part of the grand platinum jubilee celebrations.

Pritee Varsani, a popular folk singer, entertained the Royal Family and VIP guests, such as Tom Cruise, with traditional Gujarat songs at Windsor Royal Castle. She said being able to represent her rich culture in front of the world has been the greatest honor.

On Sunday, nearly 250 Indian dancers will take a six-metre-high Bollywood-inspired cake to the streets to mark the grand finale.

At 96, Queen Elizabeth II is Britain’s longest-serving monarch. She visited India three times – 1961, 1983 and 1997. Also, Prince Charles benefited from Ayurveda and he visited India a dozen times.

Promoting Traditional Sports, Indian Culture in Higher Education Institutions: Governor to V-Cs Thu, 02 Jun 2022 19:06:15 +0000

Governor Anandiben Patel asked vice chancellors of state universities to promote traditional sports in institutions of higher learning and encourage music, art and drama programs illustrating Indian culture, during an online review meeting held here on Thursday. At the meeting, she also discussed cleanliness in hostels and administrative matters.

While emphasizing the promotion of traditional sports, she said that universities should give every student the opportunity to participate in these competitions according to their interests. For this, the teacher must give information about the games to the students and these games must be organized first at the college level, then at the university level, and later at the state level.

The governor suggested organizing the traditional interstate sports competition by the universities. She said universities can organize these events on the model of the traditional sports competitions held at Raj Bhavan last month.

She asked universities to promote events based on mythological Indian musical instruments, Indian music and theatrical performances. She said competitions in Indian art, music and sports should be encouraged in universities.

During the review, she said that the winning participants from the universities would be honored by inviting them to the Raj Bhavan.

During the discussion on cultural events, the governor said cultural programs should be held at all higher education institutions in the state during national festivals like August 15 and January 26.

She ordered that on the second day of these national festivals, university campuses should be cleaned up by organizing a campaign in which teachers, non-teaching officers and institute staff and students should participate.

She also gave strict instructions to make university recruitment fair and transparent. Along with this, universities have also been instructed to reduce the burden of unnecessary expenses by reducing the number of pages of answer sheets and getting the electricity meter in the name of the consumer agent or employee.

She ordered that details of improvements made to shortcomings found during the Special Education Officer’s visit to universities be sent for her perusal by last month.

Additional Chief Secretary to Governor Mahesh Kumar Gupta, Vice Chancellors of all Universities, Special Duty Officer, Education and other relevant officers were present at the meeting.

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The governor discussed the progress of the biometric attendance system at universities, as he proposed in April.

To ensure punctuality, teachers and other employees of all state universities and university colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be required to register their attendance through biometric machines.

In issuing the order, Governor Anandiben Patel, who is also chancellor of state universities, said biometric attendance will be tied to their monthly salary.

According to the ordinance, all educational institutions are required to make arrangements to install biometric machines where staff can register their attendance by fingerprint or face scan.

Arrangements should be made so that their attendance records are directly uploaded to the central server system of universities and colleges.

The governor further added that educational institutions can use any generalized software and hardware available in the market that is compatible with computers. The governor further ordered that data stored in biometric machines be properly protected and safeguarded.

She gave the necessary instructions for the rationalization of the electronic system, the proper maintenance of records, the proper distribution of diplomas, the disposal of waste, the arrangements for hostels and the establishment of good management.

‘Samrat Prithviraj portrays India’s culture of respect and empowerment of women’ – Home Minister Amit Shah praises Akshay Kumar star : Bollywood News Thu, 02 Jun 2022 03:00:29 +0000

Akshay Kumar’s upcoming is Yash Raj Films’ historic debut, Samrat Prithviraj, which is based on the life and valor of the fearless and powerful King Prithviraj Chauhan. He tries out the role of the warrior who fought to protect India from the ruthless invader Muhammad of Ghor. Last night a special screening was held for Home Minister Amit Shah.

‘Samrat Prithviraj portrays India’s culture of respect and empowerment of women’ – Home Minister Amit Shah praises Akshay Kumar star

Akshay Kumar shared photos from the screening and wrote, “A very emotional and proud evening for me. Had the rare honor of having the Honorable Home Secretary @Amitshah Ji Watch #Samratprithviraj. ने हमारी मेहनत सफलर दी लिए प्रशंसा ने हमारी मेहनत कर दी! Always so grateful. “

In a statement, Union Home Minister Amit Shah praised the film and said, “Samrat Prithviraj is not just the story of an unparalleled warrior who stood fought bravely for our homeland, but it also reflects the greatness of our culture. The film ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ depicts the Indian culture of respect and empowerment of women. Our 1000 years of struggle has not been in vain, a cultural awakening started in India in 2014, and it will bring India back to the heights it once was. Overcoming many obstacles and difficulties, today the pride, greatness, culture of India and our “Swadharma” have regained the same glory. I commend the entire Samrat Prithviraj team for…..especially the creative art direction of this film.

Samrat Prithviraj was led by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The film is due out this Friday in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

READ ALSO: Samrat Prithviraj, star of Akshay Kumar and Manushi Chhillar, banned in Kuwait and Oman

More pages: Samrat Prithviraj Box Office Collection


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]]> New design of Tirupati station criticized for not representing ‘Indian culture’ Tue, 31 May 2022 10:33:00 +0000

Hyderabad: Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw posted a model of the future Tirupati railway station on Monday, drawing a volley of criticism from several users on Twitter for failing to represent ‘Indian culture’ and resembling a “European Church”, among other reactions.

Sharing some images of the exterior and interior design of the temple city’s upcoming railway station, Vaishnaw wrote, “Tirupati’s world-class expressway railway station. All contracts awarded.

The interior of the station has been depicted in model pictures as having a mural depiction of the deity Venkateswara from Tirumala temple. The rest of the design made no reference to the God of the temple, which is one of the wealthiest and most popular Hindu temples in the world, with daily crowds of 70,000 to 80,000 people.

Many Twitter users were unhappy with this and demanded a design that was more representative of “Indian culture” or “Hindu culture”. While some claimed the design made the station look like a government facility or corporate headquarters, others said it had a “Christian” or “church” vibe.

Since Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, a Christian, came to power in 2019, Tirupati has been at the center of a series of scandals and attempts to polarize right-wing parties in the state. Since then, misinformation about supposed forced conversions and the presence of Christian beliefs and symbols in the temple city has traveled widely.

The faith of the employees in the TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams), the entity in charge of temple activities, has also been questioned.

Nag Ashwin, who directed the film “Mahanati” and is currently filming Project K with Prabhas, Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan, added his two cents to the debate.

He replied to the minister’s tweet and wrote: “Dear sir…as you may have seen in the comments…no one likes this…Design looks like generic western copycat, bad IT park…tirupati is sacred, spiritual…allows people to design it which includes the rich architecture of India…not those glass and steel copies.

]]> In Indian culture, it is not natural for a man to violate his own bahu: HC | India News Mon, 30 May 2022 21:34:00 +0000 PRIYAGRAJ: Observing that it was unnatural in Indian culture for a man to rape his daughter-in-law, the Allahabad High Court granted bail ahead of the arrest of a defendant from Saharanpur district.
The court said the decision was made after “considering the nature of the charges and the applicant’s background, given the seriousness of the offence, considering that it is completely unnatural for a stepfather to commit the rape of one’s own daughter-in-law with another person in our Indian culture”.
Granting early bail to a man who, along with another person, was accused of raping his own daughter-in-law, Judge Ajit Singh observed: “Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, considering that the charge was wrongfully brought with the intention of hurting or humiliating his (the petitioner’s) reputation in society, and also taking into account the decisions of the Supreme Court, early bail is granted.”
“If the petitioner is arrested, he will be released on early bail if he meets certain conditions,” the court added in its May 18 order.
The woman alleged in the FIR gave evidence under section 376 (rape) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code at a police station in Saharanpur district that her father-in-law and the co-accused had arrived at her brother’s house while that she was alone and had asked where her brother was. The woman claimed that when she informed them he was not home, her stepfather started abusing her and when she protested he pushed her onto a bed and tried to rape her, just like the other man.
During the court proceedings, the applicant’s lawyer maintained that the other co-accused had already been granted early bail. The petitioner’s case is on an equal footing and therefore the petitioner is also entitled to early bail on parity grounds, the lawyer said, adding: “The petitioner is confident that ‘he can be arrested by the police at any time (sic).’ ]]>
The Ayurvedic tradition is rooted in Indian culture: Prez Sun, 29 May 2022 18:34:30 +0000

President Ram Nath Kovind said that Ayurveda means (Aayu ka Gyan) science of age. Ayurveda not only treats disease but also eliminates it from the roots. Today, it is time to give the traditional knowledge of Ayurveda to the world after meeting the scientific criteria and refining it on technical parameters according to the needs of the present time. The world is ready.

Kovind inaugurated the 59th session of All India Ayurveda Mahasammelan in Ujjain on Sunday. He also virtually inaugurated the Government Dhanwantri Ayurveda Medical College building. On this occasion, Governor Mangubhai Patel released the Mahasammelan ‘Amrit Kumbh’ souvenir. Chief Minister Chouhan honored five Ayurvedic medical experts Vaidya Banwarilal, Vaidya Manoj, Vaidya Rakesh Sharma, Vaidya Jaiprakash and Vaidya Gopaldas Mehta with the honorary title of “Ayurveda Maharishi”. He presented the “Life Time Achievement” award in the field of Ayurveda to Vaidya Devendra Triguna.

President Ram Nath Kovind said commendable work is being done in the field of Ayurvedic medicine and research in Madhya Pradesh. Chief Minister Chouhan is particularly interested in yoga and the Indian system of medicine. He expressed his desire to establish a large research center related to Ayurvedic medicine in the state. After discussing this question in the lecture, its form should be decided. I am sure that Madhya Pradesh will become a favorite destination for Ayurvedic medicine under the leadership of Governor Mangubhai Patel and under the guidance of Chouhan.

The president said that India lives in villages. Even today, the traditional medical system of the village is Ayurveda. He does not have a choice. Both Prime Minister Chouhan and Governor Patel are land-based leaders who come from a rural background. Madhya Pradesh will become a major center of Ayurvedic medicine in India.

President Ram Nath Kovind said that I have old memories associated with Ujjain. I know the streets here. Ujjain is the city of Yoga-Vedanta, Parv-Utsav, religion-philosophy, art-literature, Ayurveda-Astrology. It is the land of Maharishi Sandipani, Krishna-Sudama, Lord Mahakal, Mangalnath, Samrat Vikramaditya, Mahakavi Kalidas, Bhasa, Bhavabhuti and Pandit Suryanarayan Vyas. I bow again and again before this pious and holy land.

Kovind said Sunday was the 59th session of All India Ayurvedic Mahasammelan. I am honored to be part of it. I hope the results of Mahasammelan will benefit the country and the world.

The president said Ayurveda is a simple and easy way to lead a long and happy life. Ayurveda tells us how people can be happy and healthy by following proper diet and daily routine. Charaka Samhita was told that washing hands, feet and mouth before meals is the way to avoid disease.

Governor Mangubhai Patel said Ujjain has witnessed glorious cultural and historical activities since ancient times. The system provided by Lord Dhanvantari to keep human beings healthy through Ayurveda through penance and research is amazing.

In the times of Corona, India’s fight against the global epidemic has become more effective based on this ancient medical practice. The positive results of Ayurveda are in front of the whole world.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan while welcoming Vaidyaraj, Ayurvedacharya and Acharyas from different provinces of the country including President Ram Nath Kovind said that Ujjain, the holy land of Maharaj Mahakal, is the land of Gyan, Bhakti and Karma.

From there, the inspiration of actions for public service is continually received. Referring to Ayurvedic tradition which has been created over centuries in Indian culture and environment, Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that Ayurveda along with the four Vedas have always had importance in knowledge, tradition and the Indian way of life. Recalling his own childhood, he said that the whole health system in the rural area was based on Vaidyas. The vaidyas used to diagnose illnesses by taking pulse tests and using locally available medicines and diet. Even in the family system, information on the treatment of simple diseases with household materials was also available to women.

Rukminee Holass-Beepath: Preserving East Indian Culture in Song Sun, 29 May 2022 04:04:34 +0000

“Indian Arrival Day is about remembering how we preserve and spread the culture that has been passed down to us over the years. It’s been 177 years.

“What did they bring with them in their backpacks or what we call jahagi packs? They brought all their customs, their traditions, their songs, in their head they brought music, they brought dance, seeds to grow all kinds of crops. All of these things have been brought here, even the language, although there may seem to be a small barrier from time to time, we have managed to overcome it.

“I think if you really want to retain your identity, whether you’re African, Indian, Chinese, you have to know your traditions, your culture,” Rukminee Holass-Beepath said in an interview with the Sunday Guardian.

Holass-Beepath knows only too well how to preserve the heritage of its ancestors. The second of seven children, she comes from a family of East Indian cultural singers and musicians.

The 69-year-old singer, songwriter and former schoolteacher is well known for her singing and her meticulous compilations and compositions of Indian folk and classical songs, having received numerous awards. On June 25, she will become the first Sangeet Acharya or music teacher in Trinidad and Tobago, a title bestowed on her by T&T’s Kathak Kala Sangam Institute of Fine Arts led by cultural stalwart Dr Sat Balkaransingh under the patronage of the mayor. by Chaguanas HW Faaiq Mohammed.

Holass-Beepath’s rich heritage in East Indian music and culture began in Granville, Cedros, where she spent her early years with her parents and siblings in the house where her maternal grandparents lived. From age three to five, she lived with her paternal grandmother in Chatham. After passing the scholarship exam as a student at Granville RC, she attended Point Fortin College from age 11 or 12 and her family moved to Chatham as transportation to school would be easier.

Holass-Beepath’s parents were his first teachers of East Indian art, which they had learned from their parents, who had come to this country as indentured labourers.

Songs for Kartik Snaan and Ganga Darshahara Festival by Holass-Beepath.

Songs for Kartik Snaan and Ganga Darshahara Festival by Holass-Beepath.

“In the evening, my parents put us all in a semicircle and taught us the songs. By the end of the week, you’ve learned about four or five songs. My mother, her parents came to the Fatel Rozack and my father, and his parents came to the Fatel Rozack. My father, all the songs, customs and traditions of his parents, he imbibed their oral traditions.

“My mother too, she could only sign her name, but all she learned was from her parents who they brought with them from India; all their customs, traditions, what they could do, what they couldn’t do and all those songs,” Holass-Beepath recalls. Responding to a question, she goes back further, informing that her paternal grandparents only had one name. Her grandfather was Holass and her grandmother was Jankie, and she thinks they are from Bihar in eastern India.

“They came on the Fatel Rozack and as they were coming one of their sons got sick and died, and they threw him overboard. He was a baby when they left, and they didn’t had no choice after her death. She came here with two children who are my father’s brother and sister and then my father was born here, my father and his other brother were born here.

Mangree and Sookhoo Dewajit from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in northern India were his maternal grandparents.

“On my mother’s side, I think one child came on the boat with them and three more were born here,” Holass-Beepath said.

Recounting her childhood, she said that it was not long before her parents, she and all her siblings formed a group called Amar Sangeet. With her older brother as drummer, Holass-Beepath and another brother Budram, who would become an international singer and local cultural icon, sang while the other sisters played percussion.

Rukminee Holass-Beepath, fourth from left, his parents and siblings pose with former T&T chairman Noor Hassanali and his wife.

Rukminee Holass-Beepath, fourth from left, his parents and siblings pose with former T&T chairman Noor Hassanali and his wife.

Although supporting a family of nine was difficult for his hardworking father Harry Holass, they managed to supplement their food supply with fish from the nearby sea, and fruit and ground provisions from a garden. that his mother, Samdaye, had planted. His father also sold some of his catch. They performed in villages and towns like Cap-de-Ville in Point Fortin, mostly for free. The children were happy and content to learn from their parents and her father was proud of them.

“At that time, it was not for the money that you played. It was really to help people when they had prayers or small celebrations. We played with our parents, but we learned at the same time.

One of those performances would be for former President of Trinidad and Tobago, Noor Hassanali and his wife at the President’s House in St Ann’s – a major highlight for Holass-Beepath.

“My father said he had a dream: to never give up on his culture. Always learn and promote, learn and spread your culture, so that it is passed on to the next generation. He said, ‘I’m teaching you all this now, but the only way you’ll live is when you teach your children the same,’” she recalled.

Not wanting the songs to be lost, Holass-Beepath took his father’s advice, sat his parents down one day, and began compiling various genres of Indian songs as they dictated to him.

Most of the songs were written in Bhojpuri, a primary Hindi dialect spoken in places like West Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh and has changed over generations of Caribbean speakers. Holass-Beepath was able to translate the songs due to her knowledge of Hindi from high school and the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) and the fact that Bhojpuri and Hindi have similarities, Holass-Beepath pointed out. She would earn a Diploma in Dramatic and Theatrical Arts in Education from UWI and be trained in singing by Mungal Patasar and at the Caribbean School of Indian Music.

To date, Holass-Beepath has written six songbooks, according to the stages of a Hindu’s life. For birthdays, she documented chutneys and barhis in her book, Janama Geet,

Vivaaha Geet features Hindu wedding ceremony and songs, and Ganga Darshanam are songs for Kartik Snaan and Ganga Darshahara Festival where devotees seek spiritual cleansing and renewal by bathing in sacred rivers and seas. She also has a songbook for death and cremation, 140 Bhajans for Antyesthi Sanskaar. She has also translated and archived 108 classic songs, dividing them into 19 categories. The songs are accompanied by recordings on CD to facilitate their learning.

She enlisted the help of physician Dr Visham Bhimull, who is well versed in Caribbean Indian dialects, to translate Urdu (spoken by Muslims in northern India) and some Bhojpuri songs.

Over the years, the active singer picked up some notes on the organ-like harmonium and learned to play the dhantal with its steel rod and percussive sounds.

Finding it difficult to afford certain instruments, improvisation was often the order of the day in his childhood. His father incorporated the shac shac or maracas, a non-Indian instrument, which he made by filling hollowed-out gourds with grains of channa. For a manjeera—a pair of small hand cymbals—he would strike two bicycle bells and a coil spring from a car, and a thin piece of steel would make a pretty good dhantal.

After graduating from Point Fortin College, Holass-Beepath had to work to support her family. Feeling miserably incompatible with her first job crunching numbers at the Treasury, she turned to a friend who helped her get into the teaching service where she would serve for 40 years.

Book and CD of birthday songs by Janama Geet Holass-Beepath.

Book and CD of birthday songs by Janama Geet Holass-Beepath.

She passed on her traditions to her students as well as to her three children. Her daughter is a professional dancer and teaches music and dance at Saraswati Girls’ Hindu College. She was also happy with the achievements of her sister Pulwaty in seeking to establish the first Hindu temple in Tobago and finally holding the dedication ceremony in February.

Keeping the culture alive also meant establishing the Beepath Ranch and Cultural Center in Caparo with her husband and children. There they recruit other volunteers to help them educate the public for free in wrapping sarees, dhotis, headwear, pottery, painting, rangoli (creating designs for celebrations using colored rice, sand), mehendi, sewing jhandis (Hindu flags), paper decorations, making malas or garlands and making Indian dishes.

As part of a Ministry of Culture project, Holass-Beepath provided singing lessons of traditional East Indian songs across the country until 2015. In 1996, she was among 100 women recognized as change by the NGO Network.

The talented cultural promoter who has composed songs for singers like her brother and chutney soca artists like Marva Mc Kenzie, Kenneth Seepersad and Navin Prabhoo, as well as radio stations and schools, has her own band Sangeet Milan formed since 1980 with her husband. . Her eight members have now grown to five, and she has only made a few appearances over the past two years. Although she has lost two volunteers at the ranch to COVID and her husband has suffered two strokes and is bedridden, Holass-Beepath still plans to fully resume group and ranch operations. In fact, she has been busy since the reopening of activities in the country, performing at Divali Nagar activities and appearing on radio stations during this Indian Heritage Month. She has an appearance tomorrow.

The grandmother of four who believes in taking advantage of her limited time on this earth and making her own life interesting and impactful, is also a registered farmer, who exercises, does her own chores and has learned Zoom to deliver virtual classes locally and abroad during the pandemic, she proudly announced.

How Films Helped Incorporate Foreign Folklore and Indian Culture Sat, 28 May 2022 15:27:00 +0000

As we all know, India and the Indian subcontinent in general, is a land of stories. There are countless tales that we have heard from childhood and what is remarkable is that in many cases the stories have been absorbed into the Indian heritage of foreign kingdoms. For example, the stories of One Thousand and One Nights and the fables of Central Asia and Afghanistan have been told so widely that almost every Indian child has heard of them.

The magic of Arabian Nights has influenced not only Indian literature but also the western world. There are references to Arabian Nights in renowned works of English literature. Authors such as Henry Fielding, Walter Scott, Alfred Tennyson, William Wordsworth and Rudyard Kipling to name a few, have referenced these tales in their own works. In France, Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers) referred to the stories, as did Alexander Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy in Russia. In 1845, American writer Edgar Allan Poe wrote a story called “The 1002nd Tale of Scheherazade”.

In India, Hindi films have played a key role in integrating the appeal of these tales into the Indian milieu and mood. Some of the most popular tales are those of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, Laila Majnu, Rustum and Sohrab and Aladdin and his magic lamp.

In 1980, a film made with Indo-Soviet collaboration was released titled “Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor”. It was directed by Uzbek director Latif Faiziyev and Indian director Umesh Mehra. The film starred Dharmendra, Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman along with Russian actors. The music was composed by RD Burman and, unsurprisingly, it became the most successful Indo-Soviet co-production, becoming a smash hit in both India and the Soviet Union.

But Ali Baba’s story is not only popular with the Hindi speaking public. In the past, there was a Telugu movie called Ali Baba 40 Dongalu which starred NT Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of United Andhra Pradesh and Jayalalitha, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. While NTR played the role of Ali Baba, Jayalalitha played the role of Marjiana. The music was composed by the famous Ghantasala.

The story had also been made into a film in other Indian languages. In 1973, a Bengali movie titled Marjiana Abdulla turned out to be a huge hit. There were very catchy songs and good music composed by Salil Choudhury, a well-known musical director in the world of Hindi and Bengali cinema. The songs and the slightly altered story were a hit with Bengali audiences.

The stories of Laila Majnu and Shirin Farhad have come from overseas to India and are now as much a part of Indian storytelling as any other legend born on Indian soil.

The story of Laila Majnu (originally Layla Majnun) moved from Arabic to Persian to Turkish and finally to Indian languages. The well-known British poet Lord Byron called the tale the Romeo and Juliet story of the Eastern Hemisphere. It is said to have been first composed centuries ago by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi as part of a much larger composition which is considered a masterpiece of Persian literature. But according to some scholars, the story existed in Persia in one form or another, even before Nizami wrote it down. It was part of earlier oral folklore.

The story of Laila and Majnu was portrayed in several Indian language films as far back as the 1920s. Perhaps the best known Indian film version was the 1976 release which starred Rishi Kapoor as Majnu, Ranjeeta Kaur as Laila and Danny Denzongpa as Prince Baksh. In this film too, the songs were excellent. Lata Mangeshkar’s song “Husn Hazir Ho” still resonates in our ears while others like “Tere Dar Par Aaya Hoon” and “Barbad-E-Mohabbat ki Dua” reached the top of Binaca Geetmala’s annual lists in 1977 .

The story of Rustom and Sohrab is a moving tale that can rival any Shakespearean tragedy. It is part of a longer work “Shahnameh” by the famous Persian poet Ferdowsi. It is the story of a father (Rustom) and his son (Sohrab) who did not meet because the son was born after Rustom had a brief relationship with a woman named Tahmina living in a foreign country. The first encounter takes place on a battlefield where father and son are the most heroic figures on the opposing sides.

The two, not knowing each other’s identities, get involved in a man-to-man fight and after a tough battle, Rustom breaks Sohrab’s back and stabs him. Before dying, Sohrab tells Rustom that his father will avenge his death and reveals that his father is the invincible Rustom. It also displays a keepsake that Rustom had given to his mother Tahmina. Hearing this, the father is shocked and deeply sorry. He realizes he killed his own son. When Tahmina learns that Rustom killed their son, she too dies of grief.

The famous English poet and critic Mathew Arnold wrote a narrative poem based on the story and it became popular in English literature. In 1963 a Hindi film was produced by FU Ramsay titled Rustam Sohrab.

Prithviraj Kapoor the famous patriarch of Kapoor family acted as Rustom and Prem Nath was Sohrab. Actress and playback singer Suraiya played the role of Tahmina. It was Suraiya’s last film and thereafter she gave up acting and singing. In her farewell appearance, she left us the immortal song Yeh Kaisi Ajab Dastan Ho Gayi which is considered one of her greatest hits. It has a beautiful and haunting melody.

Through the efforts of our filmmakers and writers who brought us these tales from foreign lands, we have gained knowledge and understanding of many different cultures. The stories have enriched and enhanced our understanding of the world that exists outside our own shores and yet is bound to us by centuries of contact and mutual friendship.

Valerie Sherer Mathes explores Native American culture in her writings Fri, 27 May 2022 10:03:05 +0000

“Jackson basically led me from topic to topic,” Mathes said. “But once I was introduced to the Women’s National Indian Association [WNIA], it seemed to me that I had acquired a real desire to tell their story. The association is so embedded in Indian history that scholars of women’s history have ignored it.

“So starting with my book, ‘Divinely Guided: The California Work of the Women’s National Indian Association,’ my goal has been to write as much as possible about the association and its members and to raise awareness about the subject.”

Indian National Women’s Association

Founded in 1879 by a group of white American women, the WNIA included educators and activists Mary Bonney and Amelia Stone Quinton. It aimed to assimilate Indigenous peoples into modern American society through Christian education and missionary work, and to abolish the reservation system. Viewed through the lens of history, much of the organization’s efforts are seen as destructive to Native American cultures and ways of life.

The WNIA also influenced the Dawes Act of 1887, which authorized President Grover Cleveland to subdivide tribal communal land holdings into allotments for family heads and Native American individuals. This converted traditional land tenure systems into a government-enforced private property system by forcing American Indians to “assume a capitalist, proprietary relationship to property” that had not previously existed in their cultures.

“[The American Indian reform movement] is no longer considered politically correct due to the assimilationist stance,” Mathes said. “However, the WNIA was unique in that it established mission stations. True, the WNIA worked to Christianize and assimilate the Indians, but in doing so they also provided adequate housing, medical care, and all kinds of assistance, including the purchase of land for them. My current focus is to show how these positive attributes outweigh the negative politics of assimilation.

The WNIA, which continued until 1951, first began its missionary work to help women and children before adopting a more holistic approach.

All of Mathes’ 12 books focus on American Indian reform efforts during the second half of the 19th century, with the exception of “Sonoma Valley” and “City College of San Francisco”, both published by Arcadia Publishing.

Her most recent book, published this year, is “Amelia Stone Quinton and the Women’s National Indian Association: A Legacy of Indian Reform,” published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

“Quinton was amazing,” Mathes said. “She traveled all over the country establishing auxiliaries, made half a dozen trips across the country, organizing herself as she went. She gave hundreds of addresses each year to all kinds of public and religious groups to promote her association. [WNIA]. She worked well with her male reformers and knew the country’s most powerful religious, political and educational leaders, including a number who served on the WNIA’s advisory board.

“She was responsible for founding more than half of the 60 mission stations and did not hesitate to travel to the most rugged part of the country to scout sites for new missions. She slept under a mosquito net in the wilderness of the Everglades and under a wagon train in South Dakota…”

Ongoing reform efforts

Mathes focused very little on modern tribal history in her scholarly work, but offered some opinions on ongoing reform efforts.

“The only way to have meaningful reform is for more Indian men and women to get involved in politics and get elected… We have at least two indigenous women in government now [Deb Haaland, a Laguna Pueblo from New Mexico, and Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation from Kansas]but we need much more.

Mathes pointed out that women have historically played important roles that are not widely known outside of Native American cultures.

“Indian women had a lot of power,” she said. “They could become shamans after the menopause; they could become leaders, leading men into battle; and among the Iroquois they possessed the houses, the lands and the fields, and chose the chiefs. Some tribes are matrilineal and some are partrilineal, and in the former the women have a lot of power.

She also drew attention to common misconceptions of 19th century American Indians.

“Not all of them were riding horses and not all wearing Plains Indian headdresses,” she said. “Some of the most powerful tribes, like the Northwest Coast Indians, were fishermen and moved their villages seasonally. Some tribes were collectors and gatherers, moving from season to season to find food; others were hunters and fishermen; and still others were farmers – and the women did the farming.

Mathes is still immersed in writing books and articles on American Indian history, including a new essay on how Jackson influences her work.

She also continues to cultivate her art collection.

“I bought a painting created in the 1970s by Helen Hardin, an Indian artist from Santa Clara who was a sister in my sorority,” she said. “His mother, Pablita Velarde, also an Indian from Santa Clara, is known for her sand paintings.”

Mathes also has an impressive collection of Navajo rugs.

“For a decade, my sister [Patricia Kelliher] led the Navajo teacher training program on the reservation at the University of New Mexico,” she said. “Because she was always on the reservation or around the Navajo Indians, she would call me and tell me she had this great Navajo rug. I acquired most of my prize mats this way.

“Unfortunately the moths ruled the day and so my collection of rugs dwindled. I gave some back to my sister, but I still have a number of rugs on my walls. I also collected a lot of Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, which I’ve worn for decades in class.

Contact the reporter, Dan Johnson, at