press enter to search

The ties that bind: India and Indonesia's cultural and historical bonds

Vimmy Sinha

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, March 26, 2019  /  02:32 pm
The ties that bind: India and Indonesia's cultural and historical bonds

Shadow play: Wayang puppet shows mostly tell stories based on the Hindu epics the 'Ramayana' and the 'Mahabharata'. (The Jakarta Post/David Caessarre)

Author J.K. Rowling recently tweeted about the character of “Nagini” in the film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald by writing, “The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini’. They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake[...].” Rowling’s comment linking “Nagini” to Indonesian mythology drew a reaction about the true origin of the word Nagin or Nagini. Indian author Amish Tripathi, who wrote The Secret of the Nagas, the second novel of the Shiva Trilogy, tweeted in response to Rowling’s comment, saying: “Actually the Naga mythology emerged from India. It traveled to Indonesia with the Indic/Hindu empires that emerged there in the early Common Era [...] Nagin is a Sanskrit language word.” It is also true that Nagin or Nag...