On This Day – Hergé’s Birth Anniversary: A Look at India’s Obsession with Tintin
Tintin is admired by one and all!
Created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, Tintin is one of the most popular comic characters in the world. The character first appeared in 1929 in a Belgian newspaper and went on to remain a significant figure in pop culture for years. The comic series, without an iota of doubt, makes a pleasurable part of our growing-up days.
Tintin is a courageous young reporter who (along with his faithful dog Snowy, friend Captain Haddock, and others) embarks on adventures across the world. As Ruskin Bond said, "The beauty of Tintin was that he was like you and me, inquisitive and positive at the same time. The situations he dealt with and the twists that he encountered had everybody involved."
The Tintin series is popular all around the world, having been published in more than 70 languages. But what's fascinating is that it sees huge popularity in India, despite the cultural differences.
India's Obsession with Tintin
Indians are obsessed with Tintin, and how! A research during the release of Spielberg's 'The Adventures of Tintin' showed that 90% of the audience that watch Hollywood films in India are fans of Tintin. Well, the number is bigger than that of many European countries.
In 1975, a children’s magazine in Kolkata, Anandamela, obtained the rights to publish the comic series in Bengali. Thus, Tintin spoke Bengali, and his dog was called Kuttus. The series was a massive hit, and by 2004, 23 comic books of Tintin had been published in Bengali.
The then-chief of Ananda Publishers said in an interview, "Bengali Tintins are a part of every Bengali child's growing up. Our books are everywhere, in all bookstores in Bengal."
Tintin first spoke Hindi in 2010 and gained lots of popularity across India. Snowy became Natkhat in the Hindi series, the cop duo Thompson and Thomson became Santu and Bantu, and Professor Calculus became Professor Aryabhat Suryamukhi.
Well, the rest is history!