Tag Archives: history

Word Nerd: Is Your Autumn Mellow or Macabre?

26 Sep

Hit the average litterateur with the word autumn, and instead of stars, John Keats’ lines will swim before his or her eyes. And certainly, autumn is a “season of mists”, of “mellow fruitfulness”, of the “maturing sun” and other warm and romantic fantasies. But it is also a season of cooler air, longer nights and […]

Word Nerd: How Moody is the Monsoon?

29 Aug

As I write this Word Nerd piece, August is nearly at an end, and so is the rainy season. In the Indian subcontinent, the rainy season is also known as monsoon, a word which originates from the Arabic ‘mausim’. Mausim means that which comes around once a year. This could be a festival or a […]

Word Nerd: Democracy

11 Jul

July is when some of the oldest modern democracies celebrate freedom from tyranny and arbitrary rule – Canada on July 1, the US on July 4, and France on July 14. On July 9, Argentina celebrated 200 years of independence from the Spanish empire. The United States freed itself from British rule 240 years ago, […]

Word Nerd: The many meanings of Philadelphia

30 May

This week kicked off with the first of three sessions of the Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS) summer program. As we speak, 23 students are at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. Another 76 will head there for two more sessions, to be held in June and July. That got us wondering about all the possible meanings […]

Word Nerd: How to talk about race

9 May

Sometimes, students who are getting ready to go abroad to study have apprehensions about using words to describe race or ethnicity that may offend someone. Here’s a rough guide to talking about race. What is race? There is no scientific basis for race. No DNA defines black, white, or any other people. Some populations share […]

5 surprising facts about Cinco de Mayo

5 May

1.  It marks a small but stunning victory. Many people celebrate Mexican culture on May 5 each year, but not many know the story behind it. On Cinco de Mayo (pronounced ‘singko de maa-yo’; Spanish for the 5th of May) in 1862, Mexico defeated France at the Battle of Puebla. The fighting lasted just three hours, […]

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 […]