The Bungalow: An Indian Contribution to the West

Of varying meaning, the Hindi or Mahratti term is used in Anglophone countries around the world.

The word Bungalow come from Bangla, the Hindi or Mahratti term meaning “of or belonging to Bengal”, as in Bangladesh (East Bengal). As a term to describe a type of dwelling, it is used in practically every continent; something called a bungalow can be found in all English-Speaking countries as well as many ex-colonial ones. As a word of foreign origin, “bungalow” has been incorporated into the main European languages and friends from countries as far apart as Japan and Guatemala confirm that the term and the dwelling it describes can both be found there.

“Bungalow” is also an emotive term. In most countries, the associations are positive; only in Britain, and in certain circles, does it have, at best, a certain risible flavour and at worst, negative associations. Yet on both sides of the Atlantic poems have been written about the bungalow and it has been celebrated in song by artists two generations apart, from Bix Beiderbecke to the Beatles.

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