Hyderabad: As part of its 70th Anniversary celebrations, the British Council unveiled the 70 words of Indian origin specially selected from the Oxford English Dictionary, underlining the proximity and understanding between the two nations. The 70 words of Indian origin span categories such as people & places, food, clothing& accessories, society, wildlife and nature, and so on. Some of the most commonly used Indian words are raita, pashmina, bhelpuri, dal and chutney among others. 

Over the last 70 years of its presence in India, the British Council has worked to partner India’s knowledge ambitions, with the English language playing an important role in helping Indians explore opportunities in India and across the world. The occasion highlights how the English language has evolved with words of Indian origin with a few words that date back to the pre-independence period while many words have been added recently (words like bhelpuri, churidar).

On the occasion, Alan Gemmell OBE, Director India, British Council, said, “There are many points of connection over the centuries in which people, ideas, language, goods and services have moved between Britain and India.  

The British Council has been one such point and - as we celebrate our 70th year, we are proud to say that we have been inspired by India everyday of those 70 years and hope that in a small way, we inspire young people in both our countries to imagine what the next 70 years could be. Our 70 Words is a momentary reminder of the layers of connection and fluid nature of the English language.” 

 “For the cashmere we drape and pyjamas we sleep in; the bangles we wear; the shampoo that cleans our hair; the cheetahs we watch whose speed we admire; and, the curry and kedgeree we might eat on a verandah - we thank the rich languages of India, and the people who have mixed and shared over the generations of those last four hundred years”, he said. 

Complete list of all 70 words will be available on this microsite: https://www.britishcouncil.org.in/70words

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