Blend of cultures
Bangalore’s IT hub, pleasant climate and open culture have attracted a large number of migrants from the rest of India (mainly from north India).
The city’s population now consists of one third of the expats. This has lead to a blend and amalgamation of habits and cultures, which is good for national integration and casting away the outsider feeling both for migrants and locals. Everyone can identify himself with Bangalore. Already one can notice that there are many changes which have taken place in attire, food habits, culture and habits.
In the old days young girls wore half sarees, lehanga chholi and women wore sarees. Now all these have been chased out by salwar/kameez, jeans, etc., Half saree is long gone and is missing from the sartorial cupboards of young girls. Saree is an endangered dress as we all know. Even the old ladies have started wearing salwar kameez.† Remember saree is the only untailored cloth which fits on every woman of any size and shape. Food habits have also changed among the native Bangaloreans as well as migrants to Bangalore. Tandoori dishes have entered the kitchen of Kannadigas, while dosa, Idli, upma and some other rice dishes are on the menu of Punjabis and other migrants.
There is mixing of cultures. Migrants enthusiastically participate in the city’s religious habbas. Holi is being celebrated with dry colours like the north Indians. Earlier Kannadigas’ baraat in the weddings was just a formal procession with band playing in front. Now Kannadigas have adopted dancing in the baraat. The wedding ceremonies of modern Kannadigas include mehndi sessions of Punjabis and sangeet sabhas of Gujaratis.
One never saw more than three people in the auto rickshaws in erstwhile Bangalore. Now one can see some auto rickshaws overloaded with 5-6 people. Earlier one rarely saw Bangaloreans eating on the roadside from handcarts. Now there is no inhibition for this. One more habit observed is that people never sat on the steps of shops and parapet of roads. This is now a common sight. All these habits have been imported from elsewhere.
One can visualise that in the years to come, there will be cross marriages between Kannadigas and migrants; certainly so with the next generation of migrants, who almost all, are settling down in Bangalore. At the moment one can say there is no ‘apartheid’ system, but one notices the people from particular states preferring to stay in the same apartments. Every caste claims superiority, but over a period of time there will be mixed marriages, leading to a single beige coloured race emerging across the globe, perhaps by the end of this millennium.
All these are welcome changes for the integrity of the nation. Let Bangalore be the harbinger of change and a role model for the rest of the country.