How Ramayana became popular from east Asia to the Caribbean


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The Ramayana has been popular in India for millennia, as text in Sanskrit and many other languages, as folk theatre, as puppet shows, and as countless kathas or oral retellings organised in villages and small towns. However, the epic enjoys popularity much beyond Indian shores, and the spread of the Ramayana is also testimony to how Indians travelled across the world — as prosperous traders, as preachers, and as bonded labourers. In this article, we look at two broad periods of the spread of Ram’s story: the first few centuries of the common era, when it reached countries like Thailand,...