Indian Imprints in South-East Asia

BY: STAFF CORRESPONDENT

Apr 9, CHENNAI, INDIA (SUN) — A new documentary attempts to shed light on one of the least researched areas of scholarship in Asian history: the many cultural and religious influences of ancient Indian civilisation on the kingdoms in South-East Asia. "Indian Imprints," a documentary film directed by S. Krishnaswamy, which will soon be aired on Doordarshan, will feature the many legacies of a thousand years of close cultural contact between the civilizations of ancient India and South-East Asia, from monuments and temples to dance forms and literature.

The documentary was filmed in over 100 locations in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. From the first century A.D., traders from southern India visited kingdoms in these countries, leading to extensive cultural contact between kingdoms such as the Pallavas in south India and civilisations such as the Cham in south Vietnam and the Khmer Empire in modern Cambodia.

"When ancient Indian civilizations went to these places, they did not go as colonizers, but made an enormous cultural and philosophical impact," Mr. Krishnaswamy, who wrote and directed the film, said. "We have to wake up to our old values of mutual respect and tolerance."


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