If you are an English-speaking traveller visiting India, Connect! will prove to be an invaluable companion. You can now express yourself, get your queries clarified, tackle most situations- including really tricky ones. Designed as a handy pocket book, replete with icons and colour coded pages, you will find it easy to use and a ready-help. The diverse range of phrases and contexts will help you deal with most things that come your way.
So, set off to explore the charm and grandeur of the India & Nepal and communicate with Connect! With Connect! your trip will be a cake walk.
Hundreds of languages and dialects are spoken in India-of these twenty-two are officially recognized by the government. Hindi is the national language by virtue of being I the most widely spoken language in the country; it is also the chosen language of the world's most prolific film industry (known to all Indians as Bollywood).
While Hindi and its dialects are spoken in Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh its influence and popularity wanes as you move southward towards peninsular India. The local languages take precedence in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, you might face stubborn opposition if you try to push your luck with Hindi. The state has been staunchly anti-Hindi for decades and takes pride in its history of resistance.
The origin of Hindi dates back to the 10th century AD when it derived from an amalgamation of Sanskrit and other ancient Indian languages; its modern form is believed to have evolved I in the eighteenth century. While rural areas in northern India I have their own dialects, one gets to hear many variations of the language in the urban pockets too.
The Hindi spoken in Mumbai is a guttural street dialect that offends the sensibilities of visitors used to the sweeter Hindi of 6 the Uttar Pradesh capital, Lucknow. But even Bambaiya Hindi (as Mumbai Hindi is called) can sound like music to the ears when compared with the Hindi of Delhi.
This phrasebook has a standardized version of Hindi that is understood by all in the Hindi heartland.
Cultural Influences in North India
North India comprises the states of Jammu & Kashmir. Himachal Pradesh, Punjab. Haryana. Uttar Pradesh. Uttaranchal. Madhya Pradesh. Jharkhand, Bihar and the National Capital Territory, Delhi. It is a melting pot of cultures that is unified by the use of a common language.
India is one of the world's oldest civilizations. dating back to 2500 BC, though the country as it exists now is a comparatively recent creation. Located as India is, between East and West Asia the north of the country was always vulnerable to invasions from both sides, a fact that has deeply impacted the region's culture.
Ancient and Medieval India comprised kingdoms ruled by powerful dynasties that left their mark in the north and influenced language, art and architecture, music and other aspects of Indian heritage. The most important feature of ancient and medieval Indian history is the growth of religion, mainly Hindusim and Buddhism and Islam. These religions too have contributed significantly to the cultural unification of India.
Hindi and Popular Culture
However, the fact that the country was not the unified entity it is today facilitated colonization, most notably by Britain, though small pockets of India have also been under French, Dutch and Portuguese control. The Europeans eventually left India but signs of their erstwhile occupation are everywhere; the English language is arguably the most notable British contribution to Indian culture. English is spoken all over India and is one of the unifying factors between the north and the south. In both regions its usage is confined to urban areas where a combination of Hindi (or the local language) and common English nouns (park, bus stop, railway station, airport, beach, guest house, hotel, cinema hall etc) can help you communicate with the man on the street. English is taught in schools; it is. often the preferred medium of instruction in private schools-parents often choose to send their children to these 'English medium' schools since knowledge of the language can help broaden job options.
Popular culture has played a major role in keeping Hindi alive in urban India. The Hindi film industry is hugely popular and film songs not only keep the language alive in the imagination of the younger generation but also help it retain its youthfulness. Sometimes songs are liberally peppered with English words and music composers often set the words to western tunes to appeal to the younger generation that is growing up on a steady diet of western pop. The media seems to have taken its cue from the film industry and Hindi news and entertainment programmes have shunned the more ponderous Hindi of a decade ago for a younger sounding 'Hing-lish.'
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