- Sep 17, 2021
It seems the reputation of British tourists is not a recent thing.
Below is an excerpt from William Dalrymple's 'The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire' of the time in the 1680s soon after Bombay (Bumbye then) was possessed by the British. The British had originally believed it to be somewhere near Brazil because it was a Portuguese possession earlier, and the maps had been lost in transit.
Anyway, this company official writing home was relieved to not have to do business from Surat (Suratte). The English were not the most popular there anymore.
"Their private whorings, drunkenesse and such like ryots (riots) ..breaking open whorehouses and rackehowses (arrack house) have hardened the hearts of the inhabitants against our very own names."
Little wonder then that the British were soon being reviled in the Surat streets 'with the names of Ban-chude and Betty-chude which my modest languiage will not interpret."
Of course, there was a helpful dictionary also written back then to help British officers to understand 'hindustani', called 'HOBSON-JOBSON.' Free copies can be found on the internet and it is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Read it to see the word 'Rundee' explained in detail with proper pronunciation.
Dalrymple quickly provides us with the meanings of the above 2 phrases from Hobson-Jobson:
"Banchoot and Beteechoot terms of abuse which we should hesitate to print..."
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