Haldi Doodh and All the Other Things India Was Doing First
We’re not saying everything originated in India (for instance, cosmetic surgery definitely didn’t) — just 90% of the West’s lifestyle ‘discoveries’ in the last decade or so. The most recent? The
tumeric latte haldi doodh, which is now gracing the hippest tables on the West Coast.
What better inspiration could we need to create a highly scientific, totally complete and historically accurate list of all the times the West has borrowed something Indian and made it the newest health trend?
Superfoods. Another day, another list of
superfoods standard Indian ingredients in a Western magazine. We’re all for sharing health secrets with the world, but it’s like… dude, these ingredients have been around for millennia. You could just ask us what we’re eating, instead of paying Rihanna millions of dollars to hawk coconut water.
Enemas. The Kardashians may have brought basti to the world’s attention, but India’s been oil-cleansing its innards since the dawn of Ayurveda. Your bowels are welcome. Now, if you want to know more, go watch Piku.
Chai. The redundancy of Starbucks’ ‘Chai Tea Latte’ was one of the earliest offences and has had us sniggering for years. It also spawned a thousand iterations in Western coffee shops in the late 1990s, but none of them were as good as the ubiquitous chai in every Indian household. We’ve not seen it on the menu now that the coffee chain has made it to India, so we can only assume they’re finally catching on: There’s no beating the original.
Yoga. In the early 2000s, yoga studios were popping up everywhere in the West; tomes were written on celebrity yoga routines; bizarre yoga cults with shady “spiritual” leaders emerged; the $150 yoga pant was born; and the word guru lost all meaning.
Tie-dyeing. We get it: You need something to keep kids occupied at camp after the Kool-Aid-chugging contest. Or you need an outfit that expresses your inner hippie. Just call it what it is: Bandhani — or any one of the other methods that have long existed across Asia. (India can’t take full credit for this one… but you know who else can’t, either? The Grateful Dead.)
Priyanka Chopra. PC has been a Bollywood favorite for a long time, so it’s hilarious how she’s suddenly the Next Big Thing across the pond — especially since she has starred in way better vehicles than Quantico.
So, enjoy your overpriced turmeric lattes, firangi. We’ll be laughing into our jaljeera… until someone turns it into the next fad cleanse.
This irksome Western habit of coopting millennia-old Indian habits has an upside: we’ll be hatching our next business plan around our spice racks…