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View Diary: Origins of English: Hindi Words (122 comments)

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  •  1961-1963... India only independent in 1947 (18+ / 0-)

    only 14 years before. The headmaster at the time was still English... Mr. Gunnery was his name... I think 1962 was the last year of his time there and his successor was Anglo-English. The place was run exactly like the English India day school it had been only there were only a handful of English English students... and a couple of actual British teachers... and a Swiss woman for French.  But a large number of the teachers were Anglo-Indian with English surnames but were all Indian born... and yet the links to England still were there and some graduates went to Oxford or Cambridge... I guess the coursework got more serious and up to date in the higher grades (standards they were called... I was in 6th and 7th standard when I was there) I mention that because the textbooks in the school we used in my classes were mostly Indian reprint editions of older British Colonial era texts... the oldest was the Maths book which was first published in 1914... (this was a later edition... many editions since the first one but you had to wonder just what exactly was updated in it... math may be universal but ways of teaching it and the format of the questions does)... the social studies book with stuff on the USA was astonishingly out of date in certain ways. The science text was also a bit out of date and sparse... Geography seemed OK... we did a lot of maps in our copybooks...
    We had chapel/assembly every morning and though few were Christian... mostly Hindus fewer Sikhs with a few Parsis and some Indian Jews too... we all sang a hymn said the lords prayer etc. (and the oddness of a Hindu fellow next to me reciting "Forgive us this day our daily bread" )... And the Englishness extended to the school song which used the tune of the Harrow boat song (which I never knew at the time) but I still can recall the words to it... and sing it in an Indian accent.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:27:42 PM PST

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    •  Wow, very interesting! Thanks! (7+ / 0-)

      I asked especially because I recently read a Kenyan novel that described the exact same thing--some dozen years after independence, the schools still had Brits in them trying to maintain the former glory and doing the same kind of things that you describe.

      The novel, btw, was Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

    •  How wonderful! (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, IreGyre, ER Doc, spooks51, DvCM, aliasalias, Anak

      What are your views on Kipling? I know he's supposed to be out of favor, but his stories of the people and the Raj attempting to cope with India made me fall in love with the country.

      Got to see it awhile ago. Everything he promised and more.

      This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

      by nolagrl on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:37:49 PM PST

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      •  My childhood Kipling was Jungle Tales & Kim (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        golem, Ahianne, ER Doc, DvCM, GreyHawk, Ojibwa, Anak

        did not get to see his supposed Empire booster side until later... and I get that he was not a one dimensional jingoistic Queen and Country man and that he had a more nuanced take on things that also included reproaches for that side of the British world view...

        I do enjoy all of his work and find his voice and stories/ poems to be evocative and thought provoking tool... Recessional and so many more of his works are both powerful and the source of a lot of argument over his meaning

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:46:25 AM PST

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