Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus

Jul 2017
510
Sydney
#41
Are you mentioning the ruling elite of Calicut in Gama’s first voyage?

I recall that in the first voyage many Indians went to the Portuguese ships to sell fish and other merchandise. And that some Indians returned to Portugal with the Portuguese, if they were Hindus or Muslims, I don’t know.

One thing is curious is that the Portuguese often mentioned the Hindus as “gentiles”, and often on the first accounts they had difficulty to differentiate the Indians (even thought in the beginning that they were Christians).

A side note, I recall an interview of the Indian historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam (a biographer of Vasco da Gama) when he stated something that at the time somewhat surprised me: “...Hinduism is a recent invention, as religion did not exist 400 or 500 years ago. What existed in India was a series of small religions, and it was only during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that Hinduism was invented, a kind of agglomeration of the whole religion.” (translation by Google)

The quote is from the interview that is partially online: ″Até ao século XX, Vasco da Gama não representava grande coisa para os indianos″ (sorry it is in Portuguese).
Yeah! What you say makes sense because we can even call Hinduism Indian traditional religion/s

Although, coining a single term for it such as Hinduism can be justified, as in one can't really find fault in that idea

Indian traditional faith followers are usually able to visit any corner of the country without feeling any sense of discomfort on the faith front. You may be from the northern parts and be present in Rajahmundry or even Cochin, you would have no difficulty finding a temple to suit your religious inclinations

Since this sort of a unity exists even though the country and deities are at times diverse, it suits the definition of a single faith even though that definition is not strictly required
 
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kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,583
USA
#42
Are you mentioning the ruling elite of Calicut in Gama’s first voyage?

I recall that in the first voyage many Indians went to the Portuguese ships to sell fish and other merchandise. And that some Indians returned to Portugal with the Portuguese, if they were Hindus or Muslims, I don’t know.

One thing is curious is that the Portuguese often mentioned the Hindus as “gentiles”, and often on the first accounts they had difficulty to differentiate the Indians (even thought in the beginning that they were Christians).

A side note, I recall an interview of the Indian historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam (a biographer of Vasco da Gama) when he stated something that at the time somewhat surprised me: “...Hinduism is a recent invention, as religion did not exist 400 or 500 years ago. What existed in India was a series of small religions, and it was only during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that Hinduism was invented, a kind of agglomeration of the whole religion.” (translation by Google)

The quote is from the interview that is partially online: ″Até ao século XX, Vasco da Gama não representava grande coisa para os indianos″ (sorry it is in Portuguese).
Portuguese initially thought that Hindus were Christians, and they even went to a Hindu temple to worship assuming that they were Indian version of churches. If Gama had landed 100 miles south in the town Cochin, he would have actually encountered Indian Christian traders (Syrian Christians) there. It took a while to sort things out for the Portuguese.

Hinduism as a name is of later construct, but Hinduism as a religion is very old. It had all the elements to be a religion, with a caste of priestly people called Brahmins, who controlled it.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,905
Portugal
#43
Portuguese initially thought that Hindus were Christians, and they even went to a Hindu temple to worship assuming that they were Indian version of churches. If Gama had landed 100 miles south in the town Cochin, he would have actually encountered Indian Christian traders (Syrian Christians) there. It took a while to sort things out for the Portuguese.
Yes, as stated that I knew, and later the Syrian Christians suffered with the Inquisition established in Goa, what I don’t recall to read is that scene that you mentioned (I read recently about his first voyage, but I read Gaspar Correia “Legends of India” some 25-30 years ago… so…) :

In fact, when Vasco de Gama invited the Hindu ruling elite to come and visit his ships that were moored a little out in the Arabia sea for protection against any local attacks, none of them visited his ships. Only the lowly fishermen folks visited. He couldn't understand why. It took another voyage or so before he figured out such Hindu prohibitions.
Do you recall where you got that scene?
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,583
USA
#44
Yes, as stated that I knew, and later the Syrian Christians suffered with the Inquisition established in Goa, what I don’t recall to read is that scene that you mentioned (I read recently about his first voyage, but I read Gaspar Correia “Legends of India” some 25-30 years ago… so…) :

Do you recall where you got that scene?
I have read more than a couple of books about Vasco de Gama's travel to India. I remember reading the scene in two of them. One could be "Last crusade" - by Nigel Cliff. I don't have the books with me to check.

Another point that stays in my mind after reading the books is that the Indian king and his ministers never got the importance of what Vasco de Gama had just achieved with his epoch making voyage, from Europe to India around Africa, even after Gama explained to them. The king's attitude was more like, ok, bring gold, precious jewels and better trade items in the next trip.

On the other hand, some of the Muslim traders in Calicut understood the implications of what had just taken place, and that their centuries of good fortune had ended. Portuguese made sure about that in the next few years.

I have read that Portugal approached India to have a joint 500 year celebration of this event in 1998 with a re-enactment of Gama's journey and so on, but India didn't sound receptive to it. So the whole thing was put off. Probably because Indians still can't shake off the colonial victimhood mindset.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,905
Portugal
#45
I have read more than a couple of books about Vasco de Gama's travel to India. I remember reading the scene in two of them. One could be "Last crusade" - by Nigel Cliff. I don't have the books with me to check.
Ok, thanks. I have it in pdf, but I never read it, it is an awful edition. I will try to take a look. By the way, Nigel Cliff mentions the Hindu pirate Timoja that we spoke previously.

Another point that stays in my mind after reading the books is that the Indian king and his ministers never got the importance of what Vasco de Gama had just achieved with his epoch making voyage, from Europe to India around Africa, even after Gama explained to them. The king's attitude was more like, ok, bring gold, precious jewels and better trade items in the next trip.

On the other hand, some of the Muslim traders in Calicut understood the implications of what had just taken place, and that their centuries of good fortune had ended. Portuguese made sure about that in the next few years.
Indeed. The Muslim traders apparently had another perception of the world.

I have read that Portugal approached India to have a joint 500 year celebration of this event in 1998 with a re-enactment of Gama's journey and so on, but India didn't sound receptive to it. So the whole thing was put off. Probably because Indians still can't shake off the colonial victimhood mindset.
In 1998 there were some commemorations in Portugal, but that year was the big year of the Expo-98 (Expo '98 - Wikipedia), and Lisbon had a new bridge under the Tejo River named “Vasco da Gama” (the biggest in Europe at the time, if I recall correctly). There were some books published, for instance Sanjay Subrahmanyam published Gama’s biography in 1997 or 1998 (?), and a professor of mine, Luís Adão da Fonseca published another (https://www.amazon.com/Vasco-Gama-homem-viagem-Portuguese/dp/9728396090). But I think that the commemorations in 1898 were much bigger.

That the things didn’t work out with India its normal. They hardly worked with Brazil in 2000, and the connections between Portugal and Brazil is much stronger.
 
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Oct 2015
998
India
#46
India has good relations with Britain despite the colonial episode. In fact, some of our members here think that, on the whole, British colonization was good for India.

The difference between Portuguese & British is the way they left: parted company. British left (1947) in a rather friendly atmosphere. French also handed over de-facto possessions (1949-1954) of their territories in India.

Portuguese (1961), on the other hand, left at gun-point and surrender. I am unable to fathom the reasons for such a stand by the then Portuguese government. Perhaps, it was American / western geo-political interests causing the unwillingness to handover Goa. In other words, Goa could be a useful naval or air-base to awe everyone in the neighbourhood.

In daily life, Indians are reminded more often of Portuguese contribution to Indian culture (cuisine) than of the British. Portuguese introduced Red Chilli in India, prior to which only black Pepper was used as Chilli. Today, there is no Indian food without Red Chilli. Similarly, Potatoes were introduced by Portuguese into India. It has invaded India and it is a frequently eaten veggie.

Another thing about Portuguese was they were open to Portuguese & Indian marriages - both Portuguese men & women. So there is a large Anglo-Indian community in Goa & Mumbai who are excellent citizens of the country. Peaceful & happy-go-lucky. British men / women marrying Indians stopped after 1857 Revolt / War for Independence.
 
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Tulius

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May 2016
4,905
Portugal
#47
The difference between Portuguese & British is the way they left: parted company. British left (1947) in a rather friendly atmosphere. French also handed over de-facto possessions (1949-1954) of their territories in India.

Portuguese (1961), on the other hand, left at gun-point and surrender. I am unable to fathom the reasons for such a stand by the then Portuguese government. Perhaps, it was American / western geo-political interests causing the unwillingness to handover Goa. In other words, Goa could be a useful naval or air-base to awe everyone in the neighbourhood.
Yes, I think the events in 1961 that launched a shadow in the relations of the two countries for decades. Even after the Portuguese revolution in 1974, the relations improved slowly.

But I don’t agree with you about the reasons of the stand of the Portuguese government at the time. Portugal had a right-wing traditional dictatorship. The relations with the USA were quite cold at the time. The events in Angola in March, 1961, were instigated by the USA, and the USA forbidden Portugal of the use of NATO materiel in the colonial territories. So it was really the paradigm of the Portuguese government that Portugal was a pluri-continental country, that couldn’t be separated, and that lead to the resistance until the end in the Portuguese India. My godfather was a army career officer and he surrender in India. When the prisoners were released by India and returned to Portugal the reception was quite cold from the authorities, and the officers like my godfather were demoted. Many were sent almost immediately to Africa were the colonial war had begun.

So there is a large Anglo-Indian community in Goa & Mumbai who are excellent citizens of the country.
You have a typo here! :)
 
Oct 2015
998
India
#48
@Tulius

Thanks for both the points (Portuguese unwillingness and Typos). The correct word is Luso-Indian. Coming to know for the first time. [1]

Your gallery collection at DeviartArt on Asia is good. Particularly, the painting of 'Indus Valley Girl'. Most historians imagine her as if she is was standing naked. Actually she must have been clothed like in the painting, but the fabric did not survive because of the 4000-4500 years we took to re-discover her [2]. It has been painted by TyrannoNinja [3]. The painting of Rama and Sita is also good [4].

History truly comes alive with creative paintings.

[1] Luso-Indian - Wikipedia
[2] Dancing Girl (sculpture) - Wikipedia
[3] Indus Valley Girl
[4]Rama and Sita
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,905
Portugal
#49
@Tulius Thanks for both the points (Portuguese unwillingness and Typos). The correct word is Luso-Indian. Coming to know for the first time. [1]
Yes, “Luso” from “Lusitanians”, a pre-roman people that inhabited current territories of Portugal and Spain. Spain kept the name that was used to designate all the Iberian Peninsula (including Portugal), so we stole them the right to use the Lusitanians :D

Your gallery collection at DeviartArt on Asia is good. Particularly, the painting of 'Indus Valley Girl'. Most historians imagine her as if she is was standing naked. Actually she must have been clothed like in the painting, but the fabric did not survive because of the 4000-4500 years we took to re-discover her [2]. It has been painted by TyrannoNinja [3]. The painting of Rama and Sita is also good [4].

History truly comes alive with creative paintings.

[1] Luso-Indian - Wikipedia
[2] Dancing Girl (sculpture) - Wikipedia
[3] Indus Valley Girl
[4]Rama and Sita
Thanks. I have a soft spot for miniatures. Some years ago I begun to make 1/72 paper-miniatures (both historical and fictional) in the style of a site (juniorgenaral.org) and than begun to place them on Deviantart as a backup (TuliusHostilius's DeviantArt Gallery), since the site had a couple of crashes. The figures are not fancy, just little small figures (well 1/72) that can be put on a shelf or used in table top wargames/RPGs (a thing that I don’t do for ages). I really never made many Asian figures. But the most recent is Asian: Lapu-Lapu.

Recently I took charge of a history group there at Deviantart, but still didn’t develop it much – The flow of halt-history is huge and turns any history group into a fiction.

The painting of “Indus Valley Girl” that you are mentioning is from TyrannoNinja, as you said, and probably you saw it on my favourites or in the mentioned group, I have several of his works on my favourites.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,583
USA
#50
India has good relations with Britain despite the colonial episode. In fact, some of our members here think that, on the whole, British colonization was good for India.

The difference between Portuguese & British is the way they left: parted company. British left (1947) in a rather friendly atmosphere. French also handed over de-facto possessions (1949-1954) of their territories in India.

Portuguese (1961), on the other hand, left at gun-point and surrender. I am unable to fathom the reasons for such a stand by the then Portuguese government. Perhaps, it was American / western geo-political interests causing the unwillingness to handover Goa. In other words, Goa could be a useful naval or air-base to awe everyone in the neighbourhood.

In daily life, Indians are reminded more often of Portuguese contribution to Indian culture (cuisine) than of the British. Portuguese introduced Red Chilli in India, prior to which only black Pepper was used as Chilli. Today, there is no Indian food without Red Chilli. Similarly, Potatoes were introduced by Portuguese into India. It has invaded India and it is a frequently eaten veggie.

Another thing about Portuguese was they were open to Portuguese & Indian marriages - both Portuguese men & women. So there is a large Anglo-Indian community in Goa & Mumbai who are excellent citizens of the country. Peaceful & happy-go-lucky. British men / women marrying Indians stopped after 1857 Revolt / War for Independence.
When it comes to colonialism, most Indians seem to have paradoxical views. When Indians were doing the colonization, as they claim in SE Asia, it was good. When the Europeans were doing it as they did in India, it was bad.

Also, Will India withdraw its illegal settlers from the Andaman islands, and give the land back to its natives and independence? It was never a part of India in any manner until the British rule and started settling. In stead India is even changing the name of the islands to sound Indian.
--------------------------
The present Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa, is of Indian descent on his father’s side.
 

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