Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
By Ila Garg
Since the beginning of civilisation, people have been migrators. In India too, diaspora has a history of more than 2,000 years. From Kanishka dynasty to Cholas, many people have dispersed in and out. They were popularly known as gypsies across the world.
The term diaspora has draws its roots from the Greek lingua and it means distribution, or dispersal. Many people in the past have spread across the globe due to multiple reasons under different circumstances. However, there was no term to define this dispersion.
Diaspora was first used for Jews who were scattered worldwide, but these days diaspora can be applied to anyone residing away from their native land.
An overview of Indians residing abroad
According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, an estimated population of 25 million (2,84,55,026) Indians are presently living overseas. See the table for detailed stats:
|Area||Population of Indians|
These statistics are too high. With so many Indians living abroad, Indian Diaspora becomes an invincible topic of discussion.
What is Indian Diaspora?
Indians living abroad come under the blanket of Indian diaspora. These days, they are often called NRIs (Non-Residential Indians). Diaspora is very special to Indians; the reason being Indian Diaspora is the largest diaspora counting to about 25 million people who are scattered worldwide. With such a large Indian-origin population residing away from their motherland, there are huge chances of intermingling of languages, cultures, and religious practices.
In literature too, very often one stumbles upon this term ‘Indian Diaspora’ and why not? Eminent author Salman Rushdie, who writes extensively about his memories of India, caters to the Indian Diaspora.
How did Indian Diaspora start?
Indian diaspora came to the fore around 2,000 years ago and Indian people who travelled across in northwest direction to settle down in European and American countries were more often known as gypsies (or Romani people) by the English-speaking lot. These gypsies mainly originated from Rajasthan in India.
Modern Indian diaspora roughly started around 1800s with the arrival of East India Company in India. As the demand for sugarcane planters increased, millions of Indians were forcefully taken to the Caribbean island nations as indentured labourers. Later, it also assumed the murky form of slavery.
Thus, the dispersion to the middle-east nations was at times, mobile in nature. Even today, many Indians travel to the Caribbean nation. They work there for a short span of about six months and return. There can be many reasons for their return to India; for some, it can be the relations that they leave behind. For others, it can be the Indian culture that they carry in their heart. The link with the native country is what makes this diaspora so significant for India and Indians.
What does being Indian mean? What exactly is Indian-ness?
People can disperse anywhere but the emotional connection with the motherland can’t be done away with in an instant. Indians can be scattered worldwide, but the ‘Indian-ness’ goes along with them. After all, it is India where they belong to. The emotional, cultural, and spiritual links with the country are not marred and thus Indians residing abroad often end up creating their own little India wherever they go.
So what does it mean to be an Indian? There is no earmarked definition for being an Indian. On the contrary, being Indian is a feeling and an emotion in itself. It can vary from person to person. From the snow-covered mountains in the north to the deep blue oceans in the south, and from the beautiful valleys in the east to the sand dunes in the west, India is a diverse and incredible country.
Consequently, being Indian is a very personal expression. It means to imbibe the diversity and yet live in harmony. India as the golden bird has welcomed the pluralistic ideas in the past, resulting in an extensive cultural diversity. The tri color flag fluttering in the air and the tune of the national anthem are enough to germinate pride in the heart of every Indian. The waft of spicy Indian cuisine, the beautiful architecture, the congested old lanes, the smilingly innocent villagers, the youngsters imitating the dialogues from Hindi movies, the indigenous music and others characterise ‘Indian-ness’.
Mothers worrying for their children; fathers going beyond their comfort zones to ensure smile on their children’s faces; the unsaid family bonds and many other factors are uniquely embedded in India. Praying to millions of gods and goddesses and the management of pompous Indian weddings make India a truly colorful nation, and perhaps they act as identity-markers when they interact with the natives of other nations.
So what makes Indians travel abroad? And what keeps them linked to their motherland? Is it the relations that they leave behind, the memories, or something else? How do they survive in a different land and what are their experiences there?
All these questions firmly hold ground but they will be unravelled in the NEXT…
The history of Daryaganj goes back to the era of Mughal dynasty, and so its history is as old as the old city of Shahjahanabad, now Chandni Chowk. Interestingly, this market was known as Faiz Bazaar in the Mughal era and was considered as an important commercial place.
In fact, at that time this area was very posh, and had beautiful houses on both sides of a stream from a hauz (meaning, water storage tank) flowing down the centre. Not only this, trees were lined up for shade and it looked like a marvellous garden had been turned into a market.
Also, there used to be Lohe ka Pull which used to connect shops lined on both sides of the market starting from Delhi Gate to the Iron Bridge, but now the pull no longer exists. Well, there's no doubt that the old city of Shahjahanabad was beautiful crafted!
One of the most beautiful things about Daryaganj is its famous book market, known as the Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Sunday is specifically added here because the book market takes place only on Sundays, that, too, from 9am till 6pm.
Booksellers set up their shops on Patri (footpath). Hence, the name is Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Photo by Flickr.
In this market, you can find all kinds and genres of books at cheapest rates. In fact, some booksellers sell books according to kilos, and this is really astounding to see. From stationery to art supplies, you can find everything here and that, too, in a lot of variety.
It is interesting to see that some of the shopkeepers of Daryaganj book market are selling books from the past 50-60 years. Not only this, Daryaganj book market is also famous for its branded electronic goods and science lab equipments.
Apart from this, you can also find some of the lost traces of British rule, which once existed in India, in this market in the form of coins, photographs, and even their personal belongings. There is absolutely no doubt that Daryaganj book market offers a lot more than books, as it offers glimpses of the past.
So, if you are someone who is not just into books but also colonisation of India, then you must visit Daryaganj book market and experience a mixture of past and present!
Keywords: Daryaganj Book Market, Books, Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, India, Mughal Dynasty.
Social media is an umbrella term that encompasses all apps, websites, and blogs that allow people from all over the world to interact through the internet. Anyone who wishes to use any social media platform must first sign up and then sign in to view content and communicate with other members of that social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Snapchat are commonly used social media platforms. Social media, like all technological advancements, has both advantages and disadvantages.
Social media has become an essential aspect of life for many youths in today's society. Numerous young people carry on involving themselves with social media without even bothering to consider its effect on them. The consequences may be both good and bad at times. When it comes to the negative impact of social media on teenagers, the majority of the time, they are unfavourable if the activity is not linked with a commercial or professional objective.
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Social media has taken on such significance in today's society that it has overtaken other concerns. People, especially teens, are addicted to social media and have lost sight of the essential things in their lives like family, friends, physical activities, social interaction, sports, education and much more.
One manner in which social media harms our mental health is through the use of unfavourable social comparisons. Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. Continuous comparisons lead to low self-esteem and negative body image in adolescents, increasing depression and anxiety in such people; this includes stalking their achievements, events, their pictures or the events they have attended. On comparing, it makes oneself feel worse about their life.
Teenagers or even grown-ups who use social media spend a significant amount of time examining the lives and activities of their friends. | Photo by Ángel López on Unsplash
We can only see the virtual aspect of a person while we are on social media sites. This means that we can only see the side of the situation that they want us to see. Many people make an effort to present themselves in a way that they are not. Bullying among peers is a common practice, which is acceptable to a certain level. However, when it comes to cyberbullying, it has a significant impact on a person's mental health, as the comments or posts may appear on the newsfeed of any individual and spread quickly. Depression and suicidal behaviour can occur as a result of such things.
Particular teenagers are highly prone to be manipulated. Such teenagers may feel the urge to alter their physical appearance as they begin to compare themselves with every other person they come across on social media. This can result in low-self esteem; also, there is a tremendous temptation to overindulge on social media. Hence, it can become an addiction for adolescents and cause them to get distracted, as already mentioned.
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. | Photo by AH NP on Unsplash
Several studies have found that excessive social media use is frequently associated with underlying problems such as depression, chronic stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Hence, it becomes a social responsibility for us to keep a check on our and our friends' mental well-being by unplugging our devices, building solid friendships and beginning the search to find our true inner self by meditation, exploring nature and organizing offline get together.
Keywords: negative, unfavourable, friends, depression, teenagers, people, social, mental health
During festivals like Diwali, one shouldn't only pay pay attention to dressing up, shopping and meeting family members; an integral part of festivities includes cleaning and decorating our homes, neighbourhood and spreading joy. But while anybody can clean their homes, designing new spaces can be a tad bit cumbersome. With a restricted budget and high-priced decor products in the market, everyone is always looking out for new ideas that are both cost-effective and can transform your home to welcome Maa Laxmi and the New Year. Don't worry though, the following five budget-friendly ways shared by Niraj Johri, founder & CEO at Casa Decor, help you decorate your home in a manner that makes it unforgettable.
Adding metal accents
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. Metals are the epitome of elegance and luxury -- they can be moulded to lend an eccentric and dynamic fusion of colours. Due to their unpredictable nature, artisans can find numerous ways in which they can help accentuate every corner in your home.
Folded into intricate forms with beautiful solid colours, metals are an undeniably fascinating material to use in home decor. In fact, they are known for their polished and refined looks that bring together edgy, contemporary, and Victorian styles to the forefront. Such designs can usually be found in handcrafted decor pieces such as metal trays that are perfect centrepieces on wooden tables.
Adding brass, silver, or copper accessories in the tiny little spaces inside your home can elevate its overall design aesthetics. | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Flowers, flowers everywhere!
This Diwali one should endeavor to shift to organic decor pieces that make use of fresh flowers elevate spaces like doorways, balconies, stairs, or even put them in vases and let the flowers be the centre of attention. Houseplants and flowers not only brighten your surroundings but also boost your mood immediately. Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes.
You can also make use of metal planters enchanted by unexpected colors and veins. Through their unique characteristics and diverse sets of textures, metal planters enable the preservation of charm and value unique to Indian handicraft traditions and cultures.
Since Diwali calls for parties at home, flowers can function as a catalyst for good vibes. | Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash
Light lights! Tea lights
Tea lights are perhaps best used when they are placed inside intricately handcrafted ceramic casings that combine various traditional techniques practised through time. Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work.
Each piece exudes a sense of muted culture that find a new life in the nuances of the design work. | Photo by Sven Hornburg on Unsplash
How about some lanterns?
Lanterns with fairy lights is a very popular idea that can be found in most households today. All you must do is fill the jar with fairy lights and hang them in any corner of a room. They offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes.
Lanterns offer an inspiring firefly effect that lends a unique and inimitable look to spaces within homes. | Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
Mirror Mirror on the wall
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. One can add different sizes of mirrors on empty walls and change the look of the entire area. A classic mirror will add richness to your home and function as a reflective piece to shed light in each corner. (IANS/ MBI)
Wall mirrors are another way of adding an aesthetic and elegant touch to homes. | Photo by Tuva Mathilde Løland on Unsplash