7 Times The West Tried To Sell Desi Products With Videsi Names

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7 Times The West Tried To Sell Desi Products With Videsi Names

From haldi doodh to turmeric latte: Seven times the West gave desi items a makeover


Time and again, the West has 'borrowed' traditional Indian wisdom and repackaged it to make it trendier (ahem, ahem... yoga). But how far is too far? Maybe when they started selling the humble khatiya for approximately half a lakh rupees? The recent furore over the repackaging of the Indian charpai by an Australian led us to compile a list of all the times the West repackaged desi items to make them 'trendier' and way, way more expensive.

Take a look:

The infamous chai tea latte

Perhaps the most (in)famous example of the West appropriating Indian culture is the Starbucks chai tea latte. The drink, popular in the US, translates literally to 'tea tea latte', and is modelled after the Indian masala chai.
 
Handmade, woven 'Mohinders'... or jootis

For approximately Rs 10,000, you can order 'ethically handmade leather slip-on shoes'. Or you could buy the same thing for 1/10th of the price at any local artisans fair.
 
Traditional Indian daybed 'charpoy'

Or, as we know it, the humble khatiya. An Australian ad selling a 'traditional Indian daybed charpoy' for 990 Australian dollars - approximately Rs 50,000 - recently left Indians stunned. You can read more about it here.
 
The charpoy bed is also available in the US
 
Biodegradable leaf bowls

Found with almost every street vendor in India, the 'biodegradable leaf bowl' or the doona was 'developed' last year by a research team at Naresuan University in Thailand. The 'invention' caused quite a furore on Reddit.
 
 
Raw toothbrush or Miswak

The Miswak twig has been around in India and South Asia for over 7,000 years and has traditionally been used as a toothbrush. Now, however, a Czech company has repackaged it as a trendy raw toothbrush and is selling each twig for approximately Rs 300. No kidding. You can read more about it here.
 
A mooda or a woven side table

The traditional cane 'mooda' or stool, sometimes available for as low as a 100 bucks, has also been repackaged by the West as a woven side table. You can buy them for Rs 12,000.
 

Turmeric latte

Another example of desi drinks going global. Most of us have been forced to drink up our haldi doodh to cure every ailment from common cold to minor cuts, but the drink has now received a trendy makeover. Anybody up for Instagramming a turmeric latte?
 
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