Lesson 2: India

All Around This World classes start our journey this season in India, a country with 1.15 billion people and counting, 80% of whom are Hindu. India is the world’s most populous democracy and boasts the world’s longest national constitution, the preamble of which defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic and technically promotes equality despite the country’s deep and ancient system of castes. India is simultaneously one of the world’s largest economies and one of its poorest countries.

And, as of course you already know, India is home to both the world’s smallest bodybuilder and the world’s biggest baby.


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MUSIC: India’s vast musical foundation is based in its mind-bending, millennium-old tradition of classical music . . .

LANGUAGE: There are several hundred languages spoken in India, 29 of which are spoken by over a million people, 122 by more than 10,000 people, at least as of the 2001 census. That’s a whole lot of people saying a whole lot of things . . .

IMAGES: The Flickr.com slideshow for India is an awe-inspiring array of over four million images from all over India that allow us to delve into all aspects of the country’s multi-faceted secular and religious life . . .,

BOLLYWOOD : Bollywood India’s Mumbai-based, Hindi-language, billion-dollar film industry. Most Bollywood films are lavish, epic musicals, full of lavish, epic musical production numbers . . .

KONNAKOL: In konnakol, performers use each syllable, and its accompanying sound, to communicate a rhythm, sort of like a jazz singer would “scat” or a rapper would beat-box . . .

LET’S TAKE A TOUR: If you’re a novice to India and are considering a visit–and you should be!–you may want to get an idea of where things are in order to start making sense of the place . . .

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