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Articles tagged with: India

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on September 2, 2010 4 Comments
Bonjour/Hello!

My husband and I traveled to Montréal in July, an island city in the majority-francophone Province of Québec, Canada. The linguistic experience of the trip, as my husband quickly pointed out, could be summed up in the two words of this post’s title: “Bonjour/Hello,” the ubiquitous greeting we heard everywhere. The beauty of the greeting […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on August 31, 2010 No Comment
“India exporting English to China”

That’s the title of an article posted in the Indian daily Hindustan Times‘ “World” section, screaming out to me during a routine search for what’s going on in the homeland. As tantalizing as the title is, one quickly learns that it is deceptively so:

Publishers in Beijing are lining up to check if books by […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on July 27, 2010 No Comment
Unmarked Multilingualism?

In doing literature review for language socialization research in the Indian context, I found a provocative chapter written by Mohanty (2006) via the good folks at Google Scholar. This paragraph stood out:

In India, presence of many languages is natural and unmarked in all forms of social and individual communicative acts. Quite early […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on June 20, 2010 2 Comments

Foreignness-emotionally charged-is boundless in its capacity to otherize, peripheralize, and silence. It is not limited by the very same boundaries it seeks to draw-the boundaries may be lifted, readjusted, shifted, moved…one can be enforeigned in different ways, through different lenses, lenses that seek to capture the external, in ways that-ironically-internalize the object of foreignizing. We […]

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Written By: rohanhood on June 17, 2010 3 Comments

I was born in the bustling city of Bombay (now Mumbai; ah! language and politics.) in a middle class Indian family. Due to my father’s transferable  job we moved from one place to another quite often. I learnt seven languages in the process and I must say it was quite a learning.

Bhojpuri in Bihar, Punjabi […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 2, 2010 No Comment
English Next India: The Numbers Game

A recent article in the Times of India discusses the state of English education in India, a language which is one of the focal points in discourses around “development.” Progress, one hears often, depends on our English skills-the nation’s very future depends on how well we speak/read/write the language.  So much so, that […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 17, 2010 3 Comments
A Trip to the Taj

There is something sexy about the term: “international student.” It’s an integral part of my identity, writ into my scholarly badge…For the past six years in California, I have rarely introduced myself simply as a graduate student; I’m importantly an “international student-from India.” And yet, I understand this term but little. It now feels as […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 1, 2010 1 Comment
A Delhiite at the Delhi Airport

I spent a couple of hours at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport today, where I’d gone to pick up someone special. Unfortunately, due to a malicious, evil blanket of fog and zero visibility, the flight was diverted to Mumbai, and it won’t arrive for several hours. I remember almost exactly a year ago, when […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on November 16, 2009 1 Comment
The Tourist is God

On Friday, November 13, Crispin Thurlow gave a talk at the Berkeley Language Center entitled Language, Tourism, and Banal Globalization, in which he “examine[d] some of the ways that language is commonly taken up in tourism’s search for difference, exoticity, and authenticity.” Using a Critical Discourse Analysis framework, Thurlow discussed […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on November 9, 2009 No Comment
Marathi: The Indian “national language”?

The newly constituted Maharashtra Assembly in India was the site of an eventful brawl when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers prevented Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Azmi from taking his oath of office in Hindi: as soon as he began taking the oath, the workers snatched his mike and attempted to shred the […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on August 14, 2009 2 Comments
Indian Independence Day

This evening, Sunehri Market, the local bazaar, was awash in green, white, and deep saffron, the colors of the Indian flag. There were tricolor kites, delicate (miniature) paper flags, exercise wristbands, streamers, paper caps, garlands, towelettes, artificial flower bouquets, and cloth flags. Tomorrow is Independence Day, the 62nd anniversary of Indian freedom from […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on June 7, 2009 2 Comments

In an effort to buy chairs in bulk from a warehouse for my project in a city in North India, we ended up in a rather remarkable part of town that I have never had occasion to visit before. We didn’t have the exact address when we started; my mother’s friend’s daughter’s husband had […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 28, 2009 2 Comments
Indian Sign Stores

This afternoon, I had occasion to visit some “sign stores” in a neighboring village in a New Delhi suburb. We needed stamp pads (it’s a long, dull, inconsequential, and utterly irrelevant story why), and so, this hot afternoon-it was around 104°F, with 25% humidity-we trekked over to the village. The “LADIES TOILET” (or, the “Ladies/महिला”/”Women” […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 25, 2009 No Comment

Devotees of தமிழ் (Tamil) are getting ready to build a temple in honor of the language in southern Tamil Nadu, the Indian state. Here’s a little more about it:

It will have a hall for conducting Tamil discourses and debates, a library comprising famous Tamil books, a free Siddha medical centre and pillars in […]

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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 11, 2009 1 Comment

Living in the United States for the past five years, the extensive circulation of the word “sorry” is something I generally take for granted. However, I was revisiting some of the stories I collected while with some kids at an orphanage in a suburb of New Delhi, India, when it struck me how odd, or […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 8, 2009 1 Comment

Samajwadi Party (a regional Indian party) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s campaign promise to abolish the use of English, “angrezi hatao” (Remove English) in UP (Uttar Pradesh, a north Indian state) has been causing quite a bit of tumult. Mulayam specifically promised “to ban English in education and computers in new projects.” My parents […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 26, 2009 No Comment
Indus Valley Stone Tablets Inscriptions

A new study to be published in Science magazine, regarding the stone tablet inscriptions from the Indus Valley region four thousand years ago, is a topic of hotly contested debate:

Did the people of the Indus Valley civilization have a written language? According to the researchers who conducted the latest analysis, the answer is […]

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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 March 28, 2009 No Comment

The popular daily Hindustan Times carries a recent article on how patients in the major Indian metropolises are sending MMS‘s (Multimedia Messaging Service) for diagnoses to their doctors. Money quote:

“It reflects the changing face of the doctor-patient interaction. I’ve been sent clips of the symptoms – a kid with stomach cramps bawling […]

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