Want to learn more about India - - the backdrop for this year's book? A number of resources and facts have been compiled for community members and educators to reference while reading this year's book.
INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS PROGRAM
The I-Speak Program, organized by Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP), places international students and scholars in area schools and community organizations for cultural presentations or performances. If you are interested in having someone attend your class, click here or contact Nicole Namy, Community Outreach Coordinator, MSU Office for International Students and Scholars at (517) 432-1899 or email@example.com.
THE STORY OF INDIA
Learn more in a six-part series entitled "The Story of India" on PBS.
- Hindi and English are the official languages of India. The government also recognizes 17 other languages (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali, Manipuri, Konkani, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu). Apart from these languages, about 1,652 dialects are spoken in the country.
- India is the largest democracy in the world.
- India has the world’s third largest road network at 1.9 million miles. It also has the world’s second largest rail network, which is the world’s largest civilian employer with 16 million workers.
-Introduced by the British, cricket is India’s most popular sport. Hockey is considered the national sport, and the Indian field hockey team proudly won Olympic gold in 1928.
- India experiences six seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer monsoon, and winter monsoon.
- Indians hold prominent places both internationally and in the United States. For example, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems (Vinod Khosla), the creator of the Pentium chip (Vinod Dahm), the founder/creator of Hotmail (Sabeer Bhatia), and the GM of Hewlett-Packard (Rajiv Gupta) are all Indian.
- Chandragupta Maurya (340-290 B.C.), a leader in India who established the Mauryan Empire (321-185 B.C.), was guarded by a band of women on horseback.
- When the first independent prime minister of India, pacifist Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), was featured in Vogue, his distinctive close fitting, single-breasted jacket briefly became an important fashion statement for the Mod movement in the West. Named the Nehru jacket, the prime minister’s coat was popularized by the Beatles and worn by such famous people as Johnny Carson (1925-2005) and Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990).
- Indians made significant contributions to calculus, trigonometry, and algebra. The decimal system was invented in India in 100 B.C. The concept of zero as a number is also attributed to India.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is known around the world as Mahatma, which is an honorific title meaning “Great Soul” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. He devoted his life to free India from British rule peacefully and based his campaign on civil disobedience. His birthday, October 2, is a national holiday. He was assassinated in 1948.
- The earliest cotton in the world was spun and woven in India. Roman emperors would wear delicate cotton from India that they would call “woven winds.” Mogul emperors called the fabrics “morning dew” and “cloth of running water.
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