The Indian Culture Impact onSouth Yemen 24/25, February, 2018 Addressed to:……………………… Submittedby:Mokhtar Ahmed Al ShanaFarida Ali Al Qadasi Abstract: In This paper we are concentrating thelight on the Indian-Yemeni relationship that began in ancient times through theexchange of spices and Boswellia sacra between the two countries. The reasonfor the strength of that relationship between the two civilizations is the geographicallocation where only the Arabian Sea is separated between them. That relationwas strong before and after Islam until the modern era. And the customs andtraditions of Indian People in food, Mehndi, spices, art of architecture andthe music have transferred to Aden (south of Yemen) in particular, because Adenand India were under British colonial rule. Dozens of Indian families movedfrom Mumbai to Aden.
The Indian people in Aden have aspecific places that they live in, such as the Indian’s Neighborhood and theBohra Market in Crater. They also got married from Yemeni citizens and now theyare having the Yemeni citizenship. In result to that culture mix betweenboth countries, (The Indian citizen) whom used to work in Aden for many yearswith his son Mukish Ambani whom born in Aden itself became one of the richestbusiness man in India nowadays. In addition, many Yemeni scholars injurisprudence, history, literature and linguistics moved to India and Indian scientistswere influenced by what Yemeni scientists brought to them from outside India.
Introduction:Aden (south of Yemen) one of theoldest ports in the world and it considers as a trading center since over3000 years. In 1839 Aden became an important transit port and coalingstation for trade between BritishIndia , the Far East, and Europe. The British occupationwas continued for over a century till 1967.During this period south of Yementrade with India flourished because both countries were colonies under the Britishrule.
Also in this period of time many Indians migrated and settle down in Aden.The resident Indian community in Adenset up several temples in order to cater to their religious needs, takingadvantage of the religious tolerance of the British regime. Thesewere constructed on plots of land purchased or leased from governmentor private sources or acquired as grants from the British government.Historical records point towards the existence of at least ten Indian templesin Aden, which included a Jain temple and several Hindu temples. In 1972, whenthe Southern Yemen was under the Communist regime, all religious properties,including those belonging to the Indian community, were taken over by theMinistry of Endowments and Guidance. After the unification of the South andNorth Yemen in 1990, these properties were declared as state properties andbrought under the administrative control of the Ministryof Endowments and Guidance.
The emergence of Indiansociety in Yemen Although Arabic is the officiallanguage of Yemen, there are at least 250,000 Yemeni-Indian in Yemen who havemaintained Indian culture through family ties, and by (Bollywood) The dream ofIndian youth in Yemen. Where Yemeni-Indian Youth love Bollywood’s films andthey are keen to watch them in order to learn Hindi and not to forget it. Art of Architecture:Indian immigrants brought with themthe Indian art of Architecture Through the temples constructed in Aden at thattime.
There are number of temples thatexisted in Aden: Shree Hingraj Mataji Mandir: Built sometime in theearly 1900s, this temple is located in a picturesque mountainous location in alarge cave in the Khusaf Valley, in the Crater area of Aden. This is theonly temple in Aden where a regular ‘puja’ or worship is performed by themembers of the Indian community every Friday evening. Since the pastcouple of years a congregation is also held once a month for performing theAyyappa puja. The day-to-day maintenance of the temple is done bythe Indian Association in Aden. (Sheikh Othman) Hanumanji Temple: The temple was builtin 1882 and was spread over an area of five acres in the SheikOthman district. It reportedly used to have a garden with a poolwhich was used by the devotees for bathing. It also had two lodgings forthe Indian community.
The temple no longer exists now. Shree Shankar Hanuman Temple:It was built in thenineteenth century and was located inside a large cave in the Dashmi Bazar,Khusaf Valley in the Crater area. The temple no longer exists now. Shree Ramchanderji Temple:This temple was built in1875 by the Indian military officials and is located near the Police AcademyCollege (Fattha Camp) in the Tawahi district of Aden. The temple is currentlyin a defense area and is not open to public. Shree Trikamraiji-Haveli Temple:This temple wasconstructed in 1862 and was located in the Hassan Ali Street of the Craterregion. It was called the ‘Haveli Temple’ as it was housed ina double storeyed building with a ‘Bharat Library’ attached toit.
Several shops and residences have come up in the area of the temple,butthe temple itself is intact and is kept locked. Shree Jain Swetamber Temple:Located near the ClothBazaar in Crater, it was built in 1882 and was controlled by the”Aden Mahajan and Panjarapole”. The temple is intact but currently keptlocked and is not in use. Shree Shanker Hindu Temple:It was located on theQueen Arwa Road in the Crater area, near to the then NationalCinema.
The adjoining area was used as a Hindu cemetery forcremation. The temple is currently not in use. Shree Krishna Panjrapole:It is believed that a’Goshalla’ (resting place for cows) used to be maintained inthe Crater area bymembers of the Gujarati community.
Holy Fire Temple:This was a ParsiTemple, established in 1873 in the Tawila area of Aden by the family ofthe legendary Parsi figure Shri Nusserwanji Dinshaw, which was inthe business of shipping. The Holy Fire was transported safely fromAden in 1976 in (Lhotse) as specially chartered Air India Boeing 707 with allParsi crew, and installed at the Adenwala Agiary at Lonavala, near Mumbai, withthe active support and assistance from the Government of India, which was thenheaded by Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The Parsi temple complex hadseveral properties attached to it, including a ‘Tower of Silence’ and acrematorium for Parsis. Hindu Crematorium:A small temple wasreportedly located in Holkat Bay, Crater, which had a 99-year leasesigned on 29th, June 1932. Currently a Hindu crematorium or (Shamshan)exists in this area, which is run by the Indian Association inAden. Services are rendered free of charge to Indian nationalsand on a small fee for other nationalities.
Food and Beverage:Indian Immigrants influenced theYemeni Culture with so many kinds of food and beverages such as: – Biryani: It calledin Yemen Zurbian and Kabsa- Poodi: – Paratha- Samosa- Laddu- Suji ka halwa- Masala chai- Paan Music: The Indian Culture had an impact onthe Aden’s Society through the Indian melodies which came with the Indianimmigrants and included in many Yemeni heritage songs, and that led to form theYemeni folklore, which includes a collection of ancient arts, stories, talesand legends. Artists influenced by Indian art: – Mohammed Juma Khan:He was born in Mukalla in the days of the Qu’aiti Sultanate with close ties toIndia. His father was a member of the Chaosh Group in India. He grew up in anartistic family, joined the Royal Band’s choir and continued to listen to thesongs of the Egyptians and the oud songs they were playing.
His musical culturewas subjective.He had a great role inthe development of the color of Hadrami singing and was introduced to a lot oftunes and Indian rhythms.- Abdulqader Bamkhrma:He has been famous in singing a lot of famous Yemenite songs including Indianmelodies. SpicesConsidering that the port of Aden isone of the largest and most important ports in the world and during the fiftiesof the last century was classified as the second port in the world after NewYork to supply ships with fuel. And it links Indian Ocean and Africa, so thespices trade has spread in Yemen since ancient times. MehndiSome researches argue he originatedin ancient India while others claim it was brought to India by Egyptian moghulsin the 12th century C.
E. Still others will contend that the tradition ofapplying henna to the body began in the Middle East and North Africa in ancienttimes. Yemen is one of those countries thatinfluenced by Mehndi and they still using it for body decoration in alloccasions till now. Dherobhai Ambani (Father)Due to the regression of financialsituation of the Dherobhai Ambani’s family, his father sent him to work inYemen – Aden at the age of seventeen and with a salary of Rs. 300 for his workas a fuel station worker and then he worked in an office work. That made himgood communicating business men and traders. He worked so much to collect sumamount of money to start his own business and after realizing the signs of thedisappearance of British rule in Yemen, he and his family left for India andtold his friends (I will own an oil company one day). He returned to completehis own business in several fields and then called his son Mukish, whom was studyingin the United States, so he returned back to work with his family.
Dherobhai Ambani, who has defeatedpoverty by his determination, Honesty and sincerity in selling and promises andhis ability to win others trust by giving them a chance to profit with himrather than exploiting them. His quotes become an immortal in Indian cultureand other cultures: “Think big, think fast, think forward; ideas are not Amonopoly for anyone. ” Mukish AmbaniMukish Ambani, the owner of the largestindustrial group in India (Reliance Industries Limited) with 44.7% of itsshares.
Mukish is one of the richest people not only in India but also in theworld. Derubhai Ambani is his father and Anil Ambani his brother.Although Mukish Ambani is an Indiancitizen however was born in Aden – Yemen on April 19, 1957. Conclusion: India’s culture is highlycharacterized by interfaith harmony and multiculturalism. It has succeeded inpreserving old traditions while absorbing all the modern changes of our time. Indianwas and still a source of tolerance, interfaith coexistence andmulticulturalism, it has influenced many societies around the world, includingYemen.