Archive | April, 2016

The value of international education for 21st-century Indians

26 Apr

I was privileged enough to spend a part of my childhood in sunny California, where I studied at an almost bohemian elementary school, complete with a farm that students tended, and teachers who felt more like friends. Coming from India, I often faced questions from students and teachers about my cultural background: Did India have […]

Word Nerd: Are Rules Only for Fools?

25 Apr

I love English. Even if I couldn’t tell you what the hell a dangling participle is, off the top of my head. Asked to define a split infinitive, I can only cite the Star Trek motto. Say orientated instead of oriented, however, and you will make me wince. But, if you were to say orientated […]

How we made a prize-winning marine sciences video

19 Apr

On January 15, my teammate Meha Gandhi and I submitted a video entry into the Marine Sciences category of the Advance to Australia film-making project. Our criterion was to make a three-minute video on the topic ‘Marine Sciences – India’s coastal and marine environments: A future for everyone?’ Instead of basing our video on the […]

Word Nerd: Paneer, cottage cheese, and the vocabulary of diversity

18 Apr

Photo of cheeses by Rodney. Used under CC BY 2.0 license

Recently, a friend who is a professor of Italian language and culture expressed her frustration that an English-language textbook had translated “ricotta” as “cream cheese”. I remarked that it was like Indian cookbooks wrongly translating “paneer” as “cottage cheese”. She said that this was different because the author was a scholar of Italian cinema, and […]

Word Nerd: Do Korean Cats Mew?

11 Apr

All words are sounds. And some sounds are words – oink, quack, neigh, pow, bam, biff. A sound-word is called an onomatopoeia (on-uh-mat-uh-pee-uh). Like great yoghurt, olives and moody gods, the term is Greek. A lot of this linguistic phenomenon imitates nature – the call of animals and birds, the cry of babies, and sounds we […]

Word Nerd: Globalization is an ancient thing

4 Apr

We sometimes talk about globalization as if it happened because of two decades of economic liberalization in India. In fact, it has been going on for thousands of years. In the 4th century BCE (Before Common Era), some of what is now India was part of an empire ruled by a former pupil of the […]