Home Uncategorized British Council Celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 English Words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary

British Council Celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 English Words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary

British Council Celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 English Words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary

British Council Celebrates its 70th anniversary with 70 English Words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary :


  • Celebrations underline the strong cultural ties between the two nations, and India’s influence on the English language
  • Selector Pro and Mumbai Music Week announced
  • Announcement of the Howard Hodgkin Exhibition


Mumbai, 23 November 2018: British Council, the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations, celebrated 70 years of its association with Mumbai through a cultural extravaganza, yesterday. As part of the celebrations, the British Council announced the launch of three events, 70 words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary, Mumbai Music Week and the Howard Hodgkin Exhibition.


For the past 70 years, the British Council has worked to connect people from Mumbai and the UK through the arts, sports and education. While knowledge of English language has played an integral role in helping young people from Maharashtra and across India to explore growth opportunities within the country and across the world, the focus on 70 Words of Indian origin that are a part of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) signifies the great influence that India and its various languages have had on the English language.Several Marathi-inspired words such as bhelpuri, palanquin (from the Marathi word ‘palki’), tank (from the Marathi word ‘tanki’), Doolally (a reference to Deolali military camp), Mongoose (from the Marathi word ‘mungus’) have been added to the dictionary, reflecting the long historical and cultural connections between India and the UK. These words from categories such as food, trade, society, religion and more, were added to the OED to facilitate greater understanding and appreciation of the various Indian languages among audiences in the UK and other English-speaking nations. This also underlines the extent of work that students, researchers, corporations and governments of both nations do together.


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


As a part of the celebrations, we also announce theHoward Hodgkin Exhibition on 23 November at CSMVS. This special exhibition inspired by the commissioned façade mural on the renowned, late Indian Architect Charles Correa’s British Council Delhi building. The work was created by the late UK artist Howard Hodgkin, considered one of the greatest British painters of his time and has inspired the visual identity for the British Council’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Antony Peattie’s talk will explain how Hodgkin’s work (his largest) made a statement about UK and India collaboration by bringing art and architecture together, and went on to be regarded as a source of inspiration for both UK and India.


Mumbai Music Week is a music culture ‘confluence’ which will include conferences, workshops, performances, and social events by leading individuals belonging to the music industry in India and UK. Selector Pro is the British Council’s leading music conference and skill building platform coming to India for the first time at Mumbai Music Week. It aims to create links between the UK and Indian industry and entrepreneurship, provide training and support for developing Indian musicians, managers and journalists and share professional expertise and showcase new talent from the UK. British Council aims to celebrate creativity through bringing arts to wider audiences, and Eva’s performances in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of this.


Helen Silvester, Director- West India, British Council said, “It is our privilege to host Eva Lazarus in Mumbai whose musical flavours span across genres from Reggae to Hip Hop, DnB to jungle. We are delighted to launch ‘Selector Pro’, a professional development forum for musicians and music producers in partnership with Homegrown which will be officially launched at Mumbai Music Week in January 2019. Eva’s performance also marks the introduction of Selector Pro for the first time in India. With initiatives like these, we hope to build cultural skills and connect people through access to creativity.”


Varun Patra – CMO & Co-founder, Homegrown – We are excited to partner with British Council on our new property Mumbai Music Week and bring Selector Pro in all its glory to India for the first time. This collaboration kicks off with a showcase at the Dharavi Project and a full-blown capacity building conference at Mumbai Music Week in January 2019. Homegrown is looking forward to having the best industry leaders and culture shapers within the music industry of both countries coming together over 3 days at the Mumbai Music Week and find growth opportunities across the markets.


List of the specially selected 70 words that are a part of the OED

Link: https://www.britishcouncil.org.in/70words



  • Bandana; Bangle; Churidar; Cummerbund; Pashmina; Pyjamas; Shawl


  • Bhelpuri; Chutney; Curry; Dal; Kedgeree; Mulligatawny; Raita


  • Chit; Gymkhana; Khaki; Palanquin; Polo; Pukka; Tiffin


  • Bungalow; Chintz; Cot; Lacquer; Shampoo; Tank; Veranda


  • Blighty; Calico; Cashmere; Doolally; Dungarees; Jodhpurs; Jungle


  • Mandarin; Mogul; Pundit; Purdah; Swami; Thug; Yaar


  • Avatar; Dharma; Guru; Karma; Mantra; Nirvana; Yoga


  • Atoll; Catamaran; Cowrie; Dinghy; Godown; Gunny; Jute



  • Cheetah; Langur; Lilac; Mongoose; Myna; Patchouli; Teak


  • Cheroot; Choky; Coir; Cushy; Loot; Punch; Ro


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