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Articles tagged with: Bengali

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 26, 2012 No Comment
An accent on English

My father recently recounted an anecdote from his post-graduate years at the University of Moscow in the mid-1960s. He and his friend-we’ll call him Dr. Ramanna-were chatting amongst themselves on a cold, wintry day, surrounded by a slew of Russian colleagues. One Russian gentleman seated nearby inquired: What languages were […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 6, 2010 No Comment
Finally: Tintin Speaks Hindi!

As Hergé‘s iconic Tintin series turns 80, having been translated into 58 languages and sold 230 million copies across the globe, it will be available for the first time in the world’s fourth largest language, Hindi. In India, the series has been available only in English and Bengali till […]

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Written By: vagabond_multilingual_journal on November 28, 2009 1 Comment
Exciting publication opportunity!

Multilingual Literature submission deadline: 12/15/09!

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 15, 2009 1 Comment

A couple of days ago, I chanced upon a very provocative piece entitled “I’m In Ur Base, Imitatin Ur Doodz!” posted by Ta-Nehisi Coates on his blog at The Atlantic Online, where he’s a contributing editor. Here’s what caught my attention:

Often when a white person wants to give his opinion on something […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 4, 2009 No Comment

It’s that kind of a day in Berkeley, 58°F, overcast, drizzling lightly, fog swirling over the city. I am reminded of the mid-monsoon time in Delhi, where the grass suddenly becomes a vivid and lush green, swollen and distended with moisture; new leaves spring everywhere; and the scent of rain-soaked earth rises […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 30, 2009 2 Comments

So instead of writing a post inspired by a rereading of Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, I thought I would have a little more fun with my iMovie, and “vlog” instead of blogging. Here’s a short reflection on habitus through the scripts I have inhabited….and which have inhabited me.

Music: Jacques Dutronc, “Les cactus”

Habitus from […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 24, 2009 4 Comments

My mother often tells me stories of growing up in pre-Independence Calcutta (Kolkata), India, and I am always fascinated by details about Bengali (Bangali)* cuisine. I grew up in a (primarily) vegetarian household (where food was niramish), whereas the defining aspect of traditional Bangali cuisine is (traditionally freshwater) fish curry (machher jhol) and […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 21, 2009 1 Comment

In reading On Phenomenology and Social Relations, I was struck by some glorious lines Alfred Schutz (1970) penned on language. You find these lines in the chapter entitled Social Means of Orientation and Interpretation, which begins by situating language in the context of culture:

“In order to command a language freely as a scheme […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 15, 2009 2 Comments

Last night, I was interviewed in a radio segment for a show entitled “Four Elements,” to discuss the importance of “Fire” in Hinduism. The idea behind the show is to explore the importance of the four basic elements-earth, wind, fire, water-in different cultures. First off, Hindus recognize five elements: the four listed above, and sky. […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 9, 2009 1 Comment

An article by Neelabh Mishra entitled “An Awadhi Lilt For Obama: Let’s realise that language bridges make for creative cohesion,” appearing in this fortnight’s issue of Outlook, an Indian news magazine, caught my attention today. The title was immediately interesting to me: I was curious about how Awadhi (अवधी), a dialect of Hindi […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 26, 2009 2 Comments

One of the most fascinating aspects of my ethnographic work in a orphanage in a Hindu ashram in a satellite town of New Delhi, India, is the multilingual setting. The kids, to recap quickly, are first language Bengali speakers, second language Hindi speakers, attend an English medium school, and take part in mandatory 4 hour […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 21, 2009 2 Comments

This past Thursday, I attended Language Matters: Strengthening Asian and Pacific Islander Language Education at Berkeley. The stated aim of the event, according to the program brochure, was “to promote the creation of majors and minors for marginalized API languages like Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Tamil, Vietnamese, Khmer, etc, and to promote labor equity for […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 9, 2009 2 Comments

On the occasion of India’s Republic Day (January 26), two weeks ago, I engaged my mother in a conversation about her memories of growing up in pre-independence war-time Kolkata (Calcutta), in West Bengal, India. Out of the many stories, my mother’s vivid recounting of the “madman” of Bagh Bazaar stands out for me.

My […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 4, 2009 5 Comments

After being gently prodded to do a “post” on this, rather than simply offer an “aside,” I thought I’d write up “25 Language-Related Random Things” about me, inspired by the Facebook phenomenon taking the Internet by storm.

1. Sometimes when I am writing quickly in Bengali, I use Hindi letters.
2. When I was […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 26, 2009 2 Comments

The Mudra Institute of Communications in Ahmedabad (MICA) recently organized a popular conference on the phenomenon known as Hinglish. According to conference organizer Rita Kotharu, “Hinglish has been around for some time now, but it tends to be dismissed as the preserve of those who know neither English nor Hindi well. It now […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 16, 2009 3 Comments

I am immersed inexorably in the pulsating drumbeat of receding time…the throbbing hours close in on me. It is time, my precious, it is time

These last few excruciating hours, I want to plunge into your soul….I want to taste you, touch you, breathe you in, feel your ebb and flow in all my senses…I […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 4, 2009 3 Comments
The Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar

The Khadi Handicrafts Fair sign was only barely visible through the fogged up car windows as we arrived there around dusk yesterday. Four or five middle aged men in thick woolen caps and dark shawls gathered around a small bonfire, their palms spread out, the flames nearly licking their fingertips. A young man stood forlornly […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 2, 2009 4 Comments
“Happy New Year 2009”

Happy new year, Didi!” the monkey-cap wearing kids yelled out as I stepped into the children’s study room in the basement of an orphanage. As I smiled at them, I felt the cold cement through the sheer nylon of my stockinged feet. The temperature in the room was little warmer than the 4°C outside, and […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 29, 2008 2 Comments
Books in Three Narratives

5:10 pm. Ma and I find ourselves at the NOIDA Trade Fair at the old circus grounds. There are stalls selling some Limca Book “record-breaking” variety of honey; “stomach flattening” abdominal belts; South Indian gold-plated jewelery; pleather accessories; miraculous “Ayurvedic” herbal supplements promising to cure every ailment known to man; tamarind, mango, and pomegranate flavored […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 27, 2008 5 Comments

The Hubli Unusual Abuse competition takes place today on the hallowed grounds of the Dakshina Vaishnodevi Temple in Karnataka, a southern Indian state. The participants will “hurl abuses” (in English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and other Indian languages), and winners will be awarded flower garlands. There are some guidelines for […]

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