2,500 Japanese people traveled to India in one month to convert to Jainism. Apparently 1000s convert every year. Article is from 2020.
Found the original Heer by Damodar, but I don't understand it, lol. Its written in an old Punjabi style. The website says how Damodar's Heer has a Gurmat influence.
That's interesting, I've been to the v&a several times but never paid attention to the Islamic gallery, I'll check it out the next time I go.
You sure it was Heer Ranjha though? Ranjha and Sial are Punjabi clans/names. There's some Sikhs with Ranjha surname, not sure about Sial though, and despite the islamization of the story it sill has a very strong dharmic/south asian influence. Like Ranjha becomes a shaivite yogi, matts his hair, rubs ash on his body, and wears wooden earings etc.
You could say it was a Punjabi story that ended up in Persia, but then that is very unlikely, it always was the the other way round, Persian stories coming into South Asia.
Shirin Farhad are Persian, Layla Majnun are either Persian or Arab in origin, both names are foreign as well, but they ended up becoming a part of South Asian folklore.
I saw a vase dating around the 1300s, which depicted the Heer Ranjha in the V&A Islamic collection years ago (like 15), the vase was from Persia. I think the Heer Ranjha tale is much older than people think - and if the vase is anything to go by, might have originated in Persia (unless it went the other way round?)
Never been able to find it online though.