"Indian culture is increasingly influencing popular culture, not just in America but around the globe," the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said in her key note address to the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum being held in Tampa on the sidelines of the IIFA awards ceremony this weekend.
Sharing with the audience her experience of influence of the Indian culture overseas, Biswal recalled a moment some two decades ago, when she was a Red Cross volunteer in Tbilisi, Georgia, and she went to a local theatre where Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Sholay' was playing, dubbed in Russian.
"Imagine listening to some of the most iconic dialogues of Hindi cinema in Russian!And I will never forget the time I was in the small mountain town of Kutaisi and was asked to sing a folk song.I started singing 'mera joota hai japani', and the entire room of 200 Georgians started singing with me," she said.
"Every day, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural lines are blurred, because from Kabul to Kinshasa, from Moscow to Mumbai, from Tampa to Trivanduram, we are all under the thrall of Indian popular culture. But it isn't just pop culture. It is the idea of India itself that holds such special appeal to so many around the world," Biswal said.