Happy Diwali! Namaste Dost, ap kaise hei? Mai bahut achee hunh. Mira nam Blair hei. Mai USA se hunh. Mai kam Hindi bolte hai. Hello friend, how are you? I am very good. My name is Blair. I am from the USA. I speak a little Hindi. Hindi is a verb final language, which means the verb is at the end of the sentence. It also means you will not be able to translate directly from the Hindi sentences to the English sentences below. The first sentence actually translates without changing the word order, “Hello friend, you how are?”
Learning a little of the language is just one of the things we do before visiting another country. There is a lot that goes into leaving the country for a month especially when you travel with your child. We are much better at packing than we were when we started traveling. The bags keep getting lighter. When we take our long trips, we do not stay in one place so it really matters how heavy your bags are.
Passport & Visa: We have to make sure our Passports are up to date. You might be surprised to learn we also need visas to get into Dubai and India. That is one of the things I love the most about traveling, learning how presumptuous I am in my Americaness. It isn’t intentional, and I think I am pretty humble about things like that, but… Well there it is. And yeah, it is what the rest of the world is referring too. 😉
Culture & language: What is the culture like? We had the benefit of learning something about the culture from our wonderful Hindi teacher, Sandeep. Each Tuesday night for 8 weeks, Sandeep would teach us some Hindi and something about the culture. One thing we wanted to do was celebrate New Year in Delhi. We will get to celebrate OUR New Year in India, but surprise, the Hindi New Year is called Diwali (pronounced duvali) and it already happened on November 3 while we were in the states. There is that paradigm shift again, where I learn that the rest of the world doesn’t do it like the one I have been immersed in my entire life. Luckily, we had our Hindi teacher invite us to have Diwali dinner at his house.
One thing Sandeep recommended was that we watch some films from India. The first film we watched was Lagaan, it was up for an Oscar for best foreign film. Lagaan is a sports film centered around the game of cricket. Here is the description from Wikipedia. “The film is set in the Victorian period of India’s colonial British Raj and revolves around the peasants from a barren village who are oppressed by high taxes imposed by their rulers. They attempt to persuade the British officers to reduce the taxes because of poor agricultural production. Instead, a wager is offered: If their village team beats a British team in a game of cricket, their taxes for three years would be cancelled. After accepting this wager, the villagers face the arduous task of learning an alien game and playing for a result that will change their village’s destiny.”
One of the things I loved best in Lagaan was the singing. This is a serious film about a serious subject and there was singing. Yes, I want to visit a country where serious films have singing. I cannot wait to experience this joyous culture.
I re-watched Monsoon Wedding and watched for the first time, Like Stars on Earth. Both were marvelous!!! Full of singing of course. And those Indian men can really dance. Maybe Sean and Jim can pick up some moves while we are there.
More on the prep for the trip tomorrow. Until then Namaste (which means both hello and goodbye.)