Great Indian Contributions

Many important discoveries that have now become common originated in India. Here are our top 10 picks

5/31/2017 4:27:23 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

1. Namaste

Everyone knows the Namaste, India’s traditional form of greeting. But there’s more to the simple gesture of joined palms; the Namaste is one of the most physically safe of salutations. No touching of hands, no close proximity to the other person and hence little possibility of passing on any virus. It is also efficient; it can be used to greet a group as well as an individual! ‘Namaste’ is also rich in spiritual meaning — it means “I bow to the divine in you”.  It requires humility, in contrast to the western handshake which can be used to overpower someone when done too strongly, or withhold a genuine welcome when done too briefly.  

2. Ayurveda

riginating over 5000 years ago, Ayurveda influenced some of the world’s major medical systems, such as those of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Tibetans and Chinese. Even in ancient times, Ayurveda emphasised a holistic approach to health; It was understood that one’s well-being arose from the synergy of physical and mental health. Ayurvedic vaidyas (doctors) had even learnt to perform surgery as far back as 1500BC, from caesarean operations to rhinoplasty! Ayurveda remains the longest unbroken medical tradition in the world today.

3. Curry

Keep calm and ‘curry’ on! The perfect accompaniment to a rainy night, a comforting bowl of warm, hearty curry is a favourite not just for Indians, but even for the British and Japanese! Derived from the Tamil word ‘kari’, curry has many variations both within and beyond India. Regardless, the basic spice in it is turmeric. And scientists are all abuzz about its potential to prevent and treat a broad range of diseases, from cancer and arthritis to Alzheimer’s. Indians consume curry every day—maybe that’s one of the reasons why Indians are four times less likely than Americans to suffer from Alzheimer’s.

4. Jaipur Foot

Invented in 1969 by Dr Pramod K Sethi, this prosthetic limb gave scores of amputees worldwide mobility — and a new lease of life. The Jaipur Foot was light, durable and could be worn both with and without shoes. It was also much cheaper than American prosthetic limbs and improved the lives of an estimated 900 000 amputees, many of whom had lost their limbs to war and landmines.

5. Flamenco

What do Flamenco and Kathak have in common? Both have their roots in India! Nomadic gypsy troops, also known as Romani, spread their dance form when they travelled to the West from the erstwhile Punjab/Rajasthan region between 800 and 900 AD. Since it received the same cultural ingredients, Flamenco bears striking similarities to Kathak: in its dancers’ splayed fingers, rapid barrel turns and percussive foot movements, among others. Even Flamenco fashion may have Indian inspiration—the polka dots on Flamenco costumes are reminiscent of small mirrors sown by Indians on clothes to ward off the evil eye.

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