Indian truck art is a trend that is becoming a tradition in India. Indian truck art is not art that is modeled after trucks. No, this art genre might as well be referred to as “Indian trucks that ARE art.” When it comes to Indian truck art, it is the trucks themselves that are moving works of art.
Truckers in India live on the road for about 10 months out of each year. These truckers deliver goods to the most rural of areas of the country, places that are not accessible by anything except a vehicle equipped for rough terrains. Because the truckers spend so much time away from home, they turn their vehicles into havens that bring them comfort, remind them of their families, and advertise their businesses. In many ways, these trucks are literally moving billboards that let Indians all across the country know what services each driver offers.
Shantanu Suman says, “The trucking industry of India has played an instrumental role in shaping Indian trade and commerce for decades. It’s a common belief among the truck owners of India that a beautiful truck is good for business and therefore the owners decorate their trucks with ornamented designs and vivid colors.”
Indian trucks are not just artful; they are also practical, outfitted with beds and other living essentials. And, just like Indian culture, they are often wildly colorful. The coolest thing about this type of art is that it is unique; no two trucks are alike.
CNN News’ article Pimp my ride: The psychedelic world of Indian truck art, written by Sheena McKenzie, reports that Indian trucks feature religious images, political logos, Bollywood stars, and anything else that represents the truck owners and their particular businesses. The article goes on to quote graphic designer Shantanu Suman: “Since (the drivers) are missing their kids and wives, they like to decorate their trucks with ornaments to remind them of home. They might adorn the cabin with bangles — things that remind them of their wives.”
On the back of almost any Indian truck, you’ll see the words ‘Horn Please’. This phrase is an invitation for other drivers to honk their horns, alerting the trucker of their presence on the road.
Do you think truckers in YOUR home country should adopt the practice of elaborately decorating their vehicles? It sure would make our world a lot more colorful! Share your thoughts with us in the section below.
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