PM invokes dosa, turbans to show closeness with Africa

PM invokes dosa, turbans to show closeness with Africa

Addressing the Joint Session of the two Houses of the Parliament of Ethiopia, Singh said though the two countries were now separated by the Indian Ocean, connections are deep and they have brought in their wake rich and varied exchanges in the ebb and flow of history.

Singh said earlier exchanges have produced remarkable and often overlooked similarities in our traditions and cultures.

"The Siddis of African descent living in India have created a fusion of Indian and African styles of music that thrives today.

"The tradition in southern India of using fermented flour for making Dosa is similar to the Injara in Ethiopia. The sight of women with heads covered and men wearing turbans is strikingly common in Ethiopian and Indian villages.

"Hospitality in humble village homes begins with simple offerings, and guests are treated as incarnations of the gods," he said. Taking about the earlier exchanges, Prime Minister said Indian traders flocked to the ancient port of Adulis, trading silk and spices for gold and ivory.

A sizeable Indian community consisting of merchants and artisans came and settled in this ancient land in the latter part of the 19th century, he said.

Noting that there was movement in the other direction too, Prime Minister said thousands of people of Ethiopian origin have settled as an integral part of Indian society along the West Coast of India.

"The fort of Murud Janjira in the State of Maharashtra stands as a symbol of African influence in India," he said.

Singh is currently on a two-nation trip to Africa to cement India's relations with the resource rich continent