My Urdu blog!
Welcome to my blog about my Urdu studies and studies of multicultural societies and also Islamic culture in Lucknow India. The centre for Islamic and Nawabi culture of Uttar Pradesh and northern India.
I have just started my blog since the internet has been down as well as electricity... Well that's India. Surprise huh?
The first week has already passed and it has been an intense week! I have had a really intense week of Urdu studying, exams, Diwali and getting adjusted to life here in India!
Oh how I have missed it! The chaos, the shouting, sounds, animals, smells, pollution. It may sound horrible but I simply love it.
I feel at home in this culture, the crowds, the food and the life here. Also partly since I speak one of the major languages maybe... It is a part of me as a person and a South Asian scientist.
The first two days, which was basicallyjetlag.com since we flew from Sweden through Qatar, to New Delhi and to Lucknow, and lasted for about two days. While reaching here we were so tired we slept the entire remaining part of the Tuesday. Wednesday our intensive Urdu course started and we have now a week later, gone through and learned the entire nastaliq ”alphabet” so now we should be able to write it! Huge success!
We have also taught our teachers some Urdu nastaliq script and grammar, in Hindi. Isn't that kind of amazing? To teach a language in a language that is not your mother language? I could never imagine that I would be so good at managing Hindustani as I am now. But that is all thanks to the wonderful institution of INLANSO, the center for Indian Languages and Societies in Varanasi and also thanks to my teachers in Uppsala University.
I say we since my awesome colleague Beatrice is with me here to study Urdu and to write our respective Bachelor's thesis! I have chosen my subject to be about Muslim representation in the Panchayat system, which is a democratic institution only found in Southern Asia, and I want to focus my work on Muslim underrepresentation and linking it to Hindu nationalism. My colleague has chosen to work on comparing radical Hindu nationalism with radical Islamic nationalism.
We rent an apartment here in downtown Lucknow which is really neat and nice, and since we haven't found any good maids or anything we acutally do clean and wash, much like life in Sweden. No luxury here lol.
We live close to the busy shopping districts of Hazratganj and Saharaganj which is insanely crowded and since there are very few foreigners we are quite popular. People apporach us and try to talk to us all the time. But also they look at us sometimes with curiosity and awkwardness since they have not seen foreigners before.
Here in Lucknow I am also trying to find a more spiritual side of me, that of Sufism, Islam and Islamic yoga and meditation, since Lucknow is a big Islamic center in Northern India and since Islam is also a part of Indian multiculturalism.
In the last few days a lot has happened! I had a re-exam in methodology which I hope I pass this time! #Inshallah
And also the Hindu festival of Diwali which is huge, like a mixture of Christian New Years and Christmas was celebrated this week. We started at the women's cooperative organization of Sanatkada on Sunday, with nice musical performances and awesome food. But the real date of Diwali which is celebrated as the memory of goddess Lakshmi being returned from evil capture by demons is celebrated as a new start of life. The victory of good over evil and peace over war. This is a huge festival all over India and South Asia and a lot of Non-Hindus celebrate it too!
Our awesome friend Nirutpal invited me and Beatrice to his family's place to celebrate it! Truly Indian style to be so friendly and hospitable! We had a great time!
Also Father's day was this Sunday and I just want to tell everyone at home in Sweden and in the US that I miss them so much! You are my gems in the sea of diamonds. I miss and love you!
Namaskar, Alleikum Salaam
(I will promise to update more often!!!!! Now when I have internet!!!)