INDIAN E INFLUENCE ON BRITAIN
Words of Hindi and Urdu origin soon infiltrated the English language. ‘Pyjamas’ comes payjamah, from the Urdu word meaning leg garment, while ‘shampoo’ is from the Hindi word čāmpo, meaning to press and knead.
The modern game of polo originated in northeast India in circa AD 33, and was adopted by English plantation owners in Assam from c1854. The sport was later popularised by the British upper classes.
Materials such as cotton and silk, accessed through trade with India, were increasingly used in British clothing. Indianinspired patterns such as paisley also became popular in fashion.
Once Indian spices were widely available in Britain, curries and chillies featured regularly in the British diet. London’s first Indian restaurant opened in 1810, but it was Victoria’s love of curry that made its popularity spread.
Indian tea culture gave rise to the tradition of afternoon tea, together with the establishment of tea shops and tea rooms. Victoria’s expansion of trade with India made products such as tea cheaper and more plentiful.