Thursday was in general a very calm day. We had Urdu class with our teacher Ajaz, and now we are officially done with the Urdu script, so here comes the next challenge for us, to master writing and reading. And by the way we have an assignment due this weekend concerning a visit to an Islamic school we are visiting tomorrow, in Urdu. We are going to write a report and interview the people there!
I love doing fieldwork and using language as a method and an instrument of understanding so it is going to be really nice. Afterwards we had a class in the origins and compleixities of the Hindi-Urdu conflict, which was very rewarding. We also studied the phenomenon of language as a catalyst and mobilizing factor for nationalism and identity, a very important factor which is often foreseen in political science.
Later on we just went to Anokhi and Coffeeday for some shopping and some relaxation, since the city was practically empty in Hazratganj due to Diwali celebrations. Almost all stroes were closed and it was really calm.
Friday was a very rewarding and fun day! We had Urdu classes, both writing and then vocabulary drills in the afternoon. In between we had a lecture from Dipak ji about the panchayat system, which is the foundation of South Asian democratic institutions. It is a very interesting and importan subject to study, since the craddle of democracy is in Western contexts always seen as an ”Athenian invention” and a Western invention. This proves that democratic institutions can be found elsewhere. We also debated the issue of caste, class and religion within the panchayat systems and also concerning the native populations (Adivasis) of India.
This day we also had a very nice lunch with Miriya ji, Dipak ji and Roquyia ji! Really good Chinese and thai food for a change! And in the evening we had the INLANSO inaguration dinner with the landlady and our teacher Ajaz! A true feast of kababs and biryani (I only ate biryani since I'm a vegetarian) and also baklavas and other sweets!
Saturday is the visit to the school so we have to go to bed early to be able to get up like all the students who study 6/7 days in India!
Namaskar, Ma'asalama, Aleikum Salaam