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The Poetry of Parveen Shakir Posted by on Feb 27, 2019

For this week’s blog, I thought it would be interesting to delve into the world of Hindi-Urdu poetry, in the form of a ghazal by Parveen Shakir (1952-1994). As you may remember, I wrote a blog post about this poet previously, where you can learn more about her life and contributions to Urdu poetry. Below…

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Learning Hindi through Music Posted by on Feb 16, 2019

When I first started learning Hindi, I did so informally by listening to music and watching movies. In this blog, I’ll discuss one of my favorite Hindi songs – क्यों? (“Kyoon”) – and translate and explain the lyrics. This song comes from the 2012 movie Barfi (बर्फ़ी), which is about the life of a deaf and…

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The Romani: from India to the World, Part 2 Posted by on Feb 9, 2019

In last week’s blog, we discussed the Romani (Romany or Roma), a group (समूह/samooh) of people from the Northwestern Indian subcontinent (उत्तर-पश्चिमी इंडियन उपमहाद्वीप/uttar-paschimi Indian upmahaadveep) who, about 1,500 years ago, migrated (प्रवास करना/pravaas karnaa) from this region (क्षेत्र/kshetra) and eventually settled (बसना/basnaa) in about 30 countries (देश/desh) worldwide. In this second part of the…

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The Romani: from India to the World Posted by on Feb 3, 2019

Almost everyone has heard the term “gypsy,” but very few know of these people’s origin (मूल/mool), culture (संस्कृति/sanskriti), religion (धर्म/dharm) and language (भाषा/bhaashaa). Indeed, you may be surprised to learn that the origin story of these resilient and resourceful people is inextricably connected to what is now India and the Indian diaspora. Known most often…

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The Many Uses of Lagna Posted by on Jan 29, 2019

Lagna (लगना) is, to put it lightly, a multi-purpose verb that is useful in any kind of conversation. Although the sheer variety of its uses may be somewhat baffling at first, as you dip your feet in further in your Hindi studies, you will come to appreciate its seemingly limitless utility. Below, let’s discuss some…

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India’s Siddi Community Posted by on Jan 19, 2019

India is home to a vast array of ethnicities and cultural and religious groups (सांस्कृतिक और धार्मिक समूह), but among the least well known is the Siddi community (सिदी या शीदि समुदाय), who are of African descent (अफ़्रीकी मूल के) and live throughout India and Pakistan. In this blog, we’ll discuss a recent news article about this group…

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Figures from Hindi Literary History: Shivrani Devi Premchand Posted by on Jan 12, 2019

Although many acquainted with the Hindi literary world (हिंदी साहित्यिक क्षेत्र/Hindi saahityik kshetra) are familiar with the name Munshi Premchand/मुंशी प्रेमचंद (his real name was Dhanpat Rai Shrivastav), a prolific author (लेखक/lekhak) who expressed his passion for social justice (सामाजिक न्याय/saamaajik nyaay) in his fiction, many people may not be familiar with his wife, Shivrani…

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