Along the sea coasts of India and South-East Asia, one finds shadowpuppetry, telling the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
These were supposed to have been invented on ships, sailing to Southeast Asia, with the light of the flames, casting shadows on the sails of the ships.
In every culture there has been tension between the landowning rich and the trading rich.
That the Chettiar community knew how to manage culture in the pursuit of economics is perhaps the reason of their business success.
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Over time a belief spread that when you cross the sea, you lose caste.
Once the idea became popular, people avoided travelling over water, which, in turn, led to the decline of Indians travelling over the sea; they restricted their trading activities to the ports; communities in Kerala and Gujarat that insisted on travelling converted to Islam and forged marital relations with Arabs.