What’s the Secret to Learning a Foreign Language?

Learn about the latest research on efficient ways to learn a foreign language in this article from Slate Magazine.

“Bishar Blues” Screening 11/13/12

Check out Amitabh Chakraborty’s Bengali film, Bishar Blues, at 7 p.m. on November 13 at Lincoln Public Library. This landmark documentary concerns the bauls (or “madmen” itinerant musicians) of Bangladesh, whose ancient songs still occupy the collective Bengali imagination.  This is a rare look into the world of the bauls, who are both spurned and venerated, as they inhabit a threshold between societies, sexualities, and religions, preaching Hinduism and Islam simultaneously.  This film screening is organized by one of my students, and I would love it if you drop by!

Boston Hindi Speakers Conversation Meetup Tomorrow 11/8/12


Check out the Boston Hindi Speakers Conversation Meetup tomorrow  November 8, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at Paneera Bread, 1288 Mass Avenue in Cambridge.  This group includes a bunch of native speakers as well as people who are new to Hindi, so it’s a great opportunity to learn and practice.

State, Private Property, and the Supreme Court in India

Cover of the Magazine Frontline: "Of the rich, by the rich, for the rich"

Overview  in the Indian  magazine Frontline, by Namita Wahi (a Harvard Law doctoral candidate)  of the fundamental right to property as outlined  in India’s constitution, and how it has affected the poor and disenfranchised.

New Films on the Relationship Between Food and Faith

Poster for Holy Kitchens, True Business episode

From the Harvard South Asia Initiative Newsletter:  On Monday, Sept. 17, Chef Vikas Khanna, Michelin Starred Indian Chef, restaurateur, food writer, film maker, humanitarian and the host of the TV show MasterChef India will bring True Business, a film about Sikh community kitchens, or langars, which provide free food to everyone who comes, regardless of belief. The langar has been a part of Sikh tradition since the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. The tradition is based in the ethic of equality, sharing, community and inclusiveness.   True Business is the first film in Khanna’s Holy Kitchens film series, which visits sacred places, religious leaders, philosophers and devotees of the world’s religions to examine the experience of sharing food in a spiritual context. Watch the trailer here.

The Holy Kitchens series also includes  films on the relationship between food and other faiths including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and others.  More info can be found here.

Is “Slumdog” Racist Poverty Porn?

Here’s an interesting analysis from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette (!) of the “Slumdog Millionaire” debate that began a few years back.

Oprah in India

Check out  “Oprah Travels to India,”  on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” especially the first episode, in which Oprah discovers that a family of five can live happily–by their own account–in a 100-square-foot room.

In this clip from “Oprah Travels to India,”  Oprah says she now understands what’s really important after visiting the Hegde family’s 10-foot-by-10-foot home in Mumbai. Oprah  also visits the family’s bathing area, where 60 neighbors share four toilets and a small room for washing.  Accompanying Oprah is Shantaram author Gregory David Roberts.  

Raj Kapoor Film Series at Harvard Film Archive

There will be a Raj Kapoor Film Series at Harvard Film Archive, September 2012: Raj Kapoor Film Series Schedule.