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Inspired by 50s Puppet Show or Just for Appeal? Internet is Wondering What 'Howdy Modi' Means

'Howdy Modi' is also the largest event ever to be held for a foreign leader, other than the Pope.

Jashodhara Mukherjee | News18.com

Updated:September 22, 2019, 9:33 AM IST
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Inspired by 50s Puppet Show or Just for Appeal? Internet is Wondering What 'Howdy Modi' Means
File photo of US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi. (Reuters)

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he would be addressing over 50,000 attendees at 'Howdy Modi', an event to be hosted at Houston, Texas. This is, without a doubt, the highlight of Modi's visit to the United States this year.

For the unaware, the term "howdy" is a commonly used greeting used in Texas and other southwestern states of the US. It is just a different way of saying "how do you do?"

Given that 'Howdy Modi' is the first such event of its kind, the internet has been abuzz since the announcement as to what exactly this event means, for India and its strategic relations with the US. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump announced that he will be joining PM Modi at the event. As per reports, 'Howdy Modi' is also the largest event ever to be held for a foreign leader, other than the Pope. Similarly, this is also the first time Trump will be addressing such a massive gathering of Indian Americans in one place, according to the organisers. The event is to be organised by an Indian community, Texas India Forum.

A quick glance at the Google Trends will show that Indians are quite excited about the event, and have been looking up details and specifications. The event will be held at NRG Stadium in Houston at 8:30 pm (IST). According to a press release by TIF, over 50,000 attendees have already registered for the event and the tickets are already sold out.

Keeping the specifications aside, what does "howdy" instantly remind you of? Do the two words paired together ring a bell? For some of us, "Howdy Doody" is what comes to mind. From 1947 to 1960, "Howdy Doody" was the leading children's programme on television. The show, which was in black and white, focused on the adventures of a puppet, Howdy Doody and his friends. Every episode would start with the punchline, "It's Howdy Doody time", which is still considered to be one of the most popular dialogues till date. And not just us, quite a few people feel the same:

In fact, some have even been wondering if the name of PM Modi's event is a subtle reference to the popular show! How cool would it be if our Prime Minister decided to kickstart his event with Doody's famous line?

Speaking of cartoons, how can you not think of Woody from Toy Story when you think of "howdy"? After all, the term howdy has traditionally been associated with cowboys, right? Also, that's how Woody was introduced to viewers at the very beginning of the series.

Fun fact: Although howdy, as a term, is believed to only have been used by cowboys, it is pretty common in Texas and surrounding states. It originates from "How do ye" in Old English, which has come to be known as "howdy" in common parlance. Yet, from 'Tom & Jerry' to 'Spongebob Squarepants', cowboys have always been portrayed as gun slinging burly men in giant hats yelling "howdy" to anyone they meet.

Why TIF chose to name PM Modi's event "Howdy" remains a mystery; is it a reference to the puppet show of the 50s and 60s? Or is it simply an attempt to "westernize" the event to appeal to Texans? But unsurprisingly, the name works! It HAS generated more interest in the past one week than any other upcoming global event!

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