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 promotes equality (even as the country continues to wrestle, like so many others, with a stratified — albeit evolving — system of class). India is simultaneously one of the world’s largest economies and one of its poorest countries.
— 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 . . .– 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 . . .