måndag 30 november 2015

Lucknow Literature Carnival, لکھنؤ ادب کارنیول

Salaam my friends!

I will share this post independently from the other post about the week that has been. Since we went to the very interesting and spectacular event "Lucknow literature carnival" which is an event dedicated to the "tehzib" or composite culture which Lucknow is famous for since Nawabi days, and therefore the literature of all kinds.

All kinds of human rights activists, authors, poets, actors and other culturally important people come there! Mostly to debate and to present new works but also to talk about tolerance and contemporary politics and their importance of cultural people of influence for the Indian general public.

First we saw the famous news anchor and author Rajdeep Sardesai as he was leaving the event, we just missed his lecture! There was a big crowd of people, it actually felt like being in Bollywood Mumbai, except that these celebrities are culturally important and intelligent people, not just movie stars who act on what they are told to act for.

However we saw an interesting lecture given by Ashok Vajpeyi, Keki Daruwalla and Seema Mustafa who are all poets and authors and contemporary Indian poetry, and it's role as a mobilization factor for secularism but also tolerance.

After that a lecture was given about feminism by famous actor Atul Tiwari and feminist Syeda Hameed! Truly rewarding perspectives. Also, most lectures are given in Hindi/Urdu/Hindustani and Hinglish which means that we understand everything. They change language back and forth during the lectures. Truly amazing that we can understand 95 % out of it, without difficulty. That is hard work pays off!

After that the famous actor Basharat Peer arrived and lectured about his latest movie about his native Kashmir, which was a contemporary remake of the Shakespear, Hamlet. Truly awesome!
Another fascinating and world famous Indian author also arrived, Amish Tripathi and held a lecture and book release about his books on Hindu. This may sounds non secular and religious,  but his books are like fantasy and action books, made for young people to be interested in their heritage. He is world famous and among the 100 globally famous Indians today. That was a really cool experience to hear a lecture from him!

The final lecture was given by Vivek Patel and his romantic novel "Raani" which sounded like a fresh breeze of change in contemporary Hindi and Hinglish novels. Maybe I should buy it?

Overall the Lucknow Literature Carnival was a really good experience! I mean these are globally and also within India famous people, just in their own spheres. I bet no one at home in Sweden has heard about them. But that is after all a matter of perspectives.

I will of course also upload some pictures from the Carnival!

Waleikum Salaam

Week 4 23rd of November till 30th of November

Salaam my friends!

I have not been updating my blog as often as I should since I have a LOT of work to do here in Lucknow with my thesis and Urdu studies! However I hace decided that I should update the blog weekly but also in detail, which means I will describe events that are happening and what we are doing in our studies, as a part of my own development and also for sharing with others!

The Monday till Wednesday that was this week was full of studies. Basically we had to write on our Bachelor's thesis and also on our Urdu assignments and also we have Urdu homework everyday.
We also did plan a tour of Lucknow Nawabi parts of town, basically the Small and Large Imambara, the Rumi Darwaza and The Hussainabad clock tower.
This was all done in Hindi, the tour and also the preparations. Our classes are also in Hindi which shows our level of the language. We are actually quite remarkable if I can say it myself.

When our teachers from Varanasi, Roquiya and Reba ji arrived we guided them through the town. The spectacular Imambaras, which are places of worhsip for Shia Muslims who have a significant population here in Lucknow. They were both built by the Nawabs as projects for Hindu-Muslim unity, which Lucknow is famous for. These places are however also open for the public as well as any religious groups. That is a key concept with Shia Islam in India.
It has been a haven for intercommunal relations and networks. It is called in Hindustani, "tehzib" or composite culture. After showing the large Imambara we went to the Rumi Darwaza or "Rumi Door" which is named after the great Persian poet Rumi. A true masterpiece.

After that we experienced some other composite culture, the clocktower of Hussainabad. It is however not a mixture between Hindu-Muslim culture but rather Hindu, Nawabi style mixed with British Victorian and Gothic styles. However much one can despise the British colonialism in this part of the world, it has a significant importance in Indian contemporary history. This is supposed to be an imitation of the Big Ben in India. A fusion between the British empire and the Nawabi culture.

After that we arrived at the Small Imambara, or Hussainabad Imambara. Another spectacular masterpiece of architecture of the Nawabs. Ruling such a short time, but creating such a huge impact which lingers on today. The smaller "Taj Mahal" looking buildings are the Nawabs daughter and her husband's graves. A family grave, multicultural, multireligious and composite place.

After that we had some delicious south Indian food at and south Indian restaurant! Can't wait till I get there after all these months of Urdu studies! I love south Indian food and would like to see all aspects of this great nation!

The day after we had outdoor conversation assignments which was about Urdu in media and newspapers. So we interviewed people at bookstores and also at news stands! A truly rewarding assignment! We must however travel to Aminabad to find the Urdu, editors, Urdu bookstores etc.