India is a country with a great diversity. We have 29 states and 7 Union territories; that’s not a big deal, but the fact that we have 22 official languages must mean something! If you’re still not satisfied, then hold on, the Indian census of 1961 recognised 1,652 different languages in India! This includes all those languages not native to the country. So, it’s not a wonder that almost all Indians are multi-lingual. We understand and often speak fluently 3/4 languages apart from English. It’s thus not easy to imitate the Indianness we share! But Lufthansa has embraced the task and, a simple “Namaste” has already won the hearts of thousands of Indians availing their hospitality.
What does the word Namaste mean? It is an amalgamation of two Sanskrit words, Namah meaning “I bow” and -te is an ending that means “to you”. So, it means, “I bow to you” which we generally do with an actual physical posture. In Yoga, though, the meaning has been further taken as “I bow to the divine in you” as India believes there resides a Supreme self in every human being, irrespective of caste, creed, sex and nature.
Perhaps, this notion of ‘oneness’ has helped us much to achieve unity in diversity. And, again, for believing in this philosophy, we consider every guest as someone as high as God and do our best to make her/him comfortable. Atithi devo bhaba (अतिथिदेवो भव) as our ancient scriptures have taught us. Lufthansa is conveying the same message through their gestures of making the Indians feel at home in flights; they are doing their best as a host to make us content in every way. While doing that, one can just not forget about Indian food! Whatever be your gastronomical taste be, you’ll find your taste buds satisfied with Indian food. And, we all know, no one cooks better than mom! Apparently, the airlines’ meals have even made the Indian moms nodding in approval. (It’s a real tough job to make them smile)
Being an Indian, I’ve been brought up in a joint family. That is, we used to live with our cousins and uncles and aunties along with our parents in a big house. Of course, there was a dearth of exclusive privacy but, it also has helped me to learn some key factors of life. Compatibility, care and collective achievement. These have immensely helped me later in my life to attain success. In a corporate job, you need all the qualities to strengthen your platform.
I’ve grown in a cultural ambience. The library in our house, the smell of books, names of eminent authors printed on the covers, have developed a love reading in me from the childhood. The love of books made me a member of the British Council Library in Kolkata when I was in my 12th standard. I used to spend hours there especially on Saturdays and Sundays. On one such lazy Sunday morning, I met a British gentleman who inquired me about the meaning of my name. I explained to him and, after that, in spite of a huge age difference, we became friends. He was residing in Kolkata at that time for some official projects. Most of the times, he regaled me with his myriad experiences in the city and how he was enjoying the stay. One afternoon, he told me, “how wonderful it is for you to read both Shakespeare and Rabindranath Tagore in their original forms, without translation!” That very moment, I consider myself fortunate enough to be an Indian, to know the languages in which such men wrote.
I never knew how Indian films, music and dance are popular in other countries until I met Mr Petrov (name changed). He came to our company to deliver some project from Russia and was supposed to work with me. I was astounded over his knowledge about Indian film industry; from the Raj Kapoor era to the Shah Rukh Khan! He could give a dissertation on almost every Indian superstar and, his dancing effort with some superhit Hindi songs always was successful to raise a smile on everyone’s face.
As I said, I grew up with my cousins, and one of our best pastime games was playing scrabble. The penchant for weaving words has perhaps thus developed from the childhood (that made me start this blog some three years back). I still play scrabble, on online platforms. On one such platform, I met an elderly gentleman. As we exchanged a few pleasantries during the play, I came to know he was from Germany. On knowing I’m from India, to my utter astonishment, he started speaking (virtually) in Sanskrit! Frankly, I don’t have that much Sanskrit knowledge to continue a conversation, but it made me happy and proud that he was so well acquainted with Sanskrit, one of the ancient languages of the world.
Indian culture, in every way, has influenced the world much. Sometimes, it’s even beyond our imagination. It’s #MoreIndianThanYouThink.
Like all developing countries, we are struggling to bridge the gap between demand and supply, earning and expenditure. But still, we share a life-force, a unity. You’ll find a method in the chaotic cacophonies of Indian cities, a smile on every face when the country wins a cricket match, a cheer in every lane when an Olympic medal is won.
Lufthansa’s new TVC has successfully managed to get this vibe. Watch it here:
This struggling attitude, determination and confidence have inspired Indians to achieve success everywhere. From frugal innovation to being in the topmost positions of eminent companies, Indians have proved their excellence. Entrepreneurs like Mansukhbhai Prajapati has invented “clay refrigerators” and trying more to coax advantages out of constraints, based on our ideologies, values and culture. India, the world’s most exotic destination, is not only the land of maharajahs and the nawabs, Krishna, Buddha, Gandhi, Nehru, saffron, silk and spices, but a united nation welcoming every guest whispering Namaste.
As you’ve watched the Lufthansa TVC and realized how it is imbibing Indianness socially, culturally and spiritually, let’s welcome the influence.
Last but not the least, the word “Lufthansa” is derived from the Greman “luft” meaning air and Latin “hansa” meaning guild or association. But, in Sanskrit, the word “hansa” means swan. So, Lufthansa, you are indeed #MoreIndianThanYouThink!
This post is written as a part of the contest #MoreIndianThanYouThink in association with Indiblogger and Lufthansa.