Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Multi cultured India

As I was heading to Chennai recently, I thought, in India, if you travel for about 10-12 hours on road or train, you are most likely to encounter a place with different language. [I thought about this specifically because I do not know Tamil and Chennai being in Tamil Nadu is renowned for its legendary Tamil signboards everywhere]

But with language comes so much more, such as different art forms, like poetry, novels, movies, songs, etc. A language has a culture associated with it. A culture that exists for centuries together, and has enriched the literature and made man achieve more in each form of art. It has sustained all these years and there is so much depth in each language, so much thought that has gone into it and people have been part of such cultures for ages.

And hence, India with its umpteen hetero-lingual states has so many such rich cultures associated with it, unlike popular countries like US, UK, Australia who have the same language but with different accents spoken in different states. Its truly fascinating.

PS: Just as I was departing Chennai, I saw a bank’s advertisement on the train: “In India, there is a different language every 400 kms.” The ad continued something like “Bank on us for banking” or some such thing, but it was quite a coincidence that my exact thought was out there on the train as an advertisement!

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