Yesterday, I completed my very first week of Hindi language studies and I am in awe of the beauty and deep history that surround the language. Week one at the Landour Language School was a little overwhelming at first as they tend to move quite quickly. It’s my understanding that they try to get students through the entire text book in just about 8 weeks’ time. My first week was spent primarily on learning to read and write consonants and vowels in the short and long form; nouns; adjectives; formal imperatives, and numbers from one to twenty. I have made connections with a few teachers here who are simply amazing and are truly dedicated and passionate about helping students learn Hindi. I’ve also learned to take what I have learned in class each day into Char Dukan’s shops each evening and see what I can stir up in conversation with some of the locals.
I found myself in a pretty good groove with the language towards the end of the first week week and I realized that I can slow the speed of MY lessons to what fits best for me and that I most definitely do not need to finish the entire text book in 8 weeks. This, in addition to pairing my Landour Language School textbook with Rupert Snell’s “Teach Yourself Hindi” is proving to be quite a powerful set of resources. I’m excited for what week 2 will bring.
Its 7:00 AM Saturday morning here as I write this update. After breakfast, which I have so fondly fallen in love with Anil’s banana pancake and coffee with milk, I am walking down to the Tibetan community of Happy Valley. The one hour walk will wind me down the hill and take me through Landour Cantt., The Bazar, Camel’s Back Road, Landour, and the through Mussoorie as well. Happy Valley lies just on the opposite edge of Mussoorie and is home to a few thousand Tibetan refugees. Today I am just doing some reconnaissance work for the second purpose of my trip, which is to conduct research for my Honors thesis topic: “The Role and Impact of New Social Media on the Tibetan Diaspora Living in India Today”. I pretty much can’t wait to make it down there and take everything in this morning. This will serve as a nice little warm up to my 9 day trip to Dharamsala, the home of the Dalia Lama and the Tibetan government in exile, in just 8 days!
This life is amazing…