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Influence of  Foreign Culture on  Kannada Literature  



Kannada as a modern language has been influenced a range of foreign cultures and literary works as well. B.M.Srikantiah – (1884-1946) (popularly known as BMSri and referred to as Kannadada Kanva) is considered as the “Father of Modern Kannada Literature”. It was him who made a call upon the contemporary writers to move away from the archaic forms of writing and to adhere to a more original form of writing. The result was the beginning of a new era in the history of modern Kannada literature. The new era is called as – Navodaya literally meaning ‘the new sunrise.’ During this period there was a profound foreign influence on Kannada literature, the literary forms such as short stories, novels, plays, literary criticisms and poems came under the new light of foreign culture and literature. In spite of this influence we can see a genuine creative urge in these literary works.  

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As one of the oldest surviving languages the incidences of foreign influence on Kannada are not only immense but are noteworthy as well. The most notable foreign influences were experienced during the end of the 19th century and the start of the early 20th century. Notable Kannada writers responded to the call of B.M. Srikantaiah and produced quality literature that was primarily based on modern concepts and thoughts. Literary works by Bankim Chandra Chatterji (Bengali) and Harinarayana Apte (Marathi) were readily translated to Kannada by writers such as B.Venkatacharya and Galaganatha. The contemporary Kannada literature came under further foreign influence after the establishment of a printing press and a publishing house at Mangalore by the Basel Mission Organization. The first authenticated Kannada- English dictionary was published even before the start of 20th century as a result of some dedicated work by Reverend Ferdinand Kittel (1832-1903), the German missionary worker.

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