[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Episode 4-Imagining Sanskrit Land: It's Time to get Married

patrick mccartney psdmccartney at gmail.com
Fri Sep 9 04:07:27 UTC 2016

Dear Friends,

Imagining Sanskrit Land is a documentary short-film series about life in
some Indian villages that have become known for their aspiration to speak
only fluent Sanskrit. These villages are somewhat famous within India and
around the world due to misleading media reports that suggest 'everyone
speaks only fluent Sanskrit'. This research aims to put this claim into
proper perspective. My research in general focuses on how and where the
politics of imagination, the sociology of spirituality and the economics of
religion meet. I am interested in how particular identities and practices
accrete and manifest around the utopian aspiration of the  'Vedic way of
life', which can be thought of as a reconstituted neo-Hindu interpretation
of the Vedic period (ca. 1500-500 BCE) and is expressed, in a sense, as a
political ideology and also as a moniker of a consumable lifestyle within
the transglobal yoga, wellness and spiritual tourism industry.

Season 1 explores life in the village of Jhiri, Madhya Pradesh. Jhiri is a
tiny hamlet of about 600 people that does not have any running water or

In Episode 4 - https://youtu.be/_B3un7aHEAc - we catch a glimpse of some of
the culture surrounding life and weddings in Jhiri. I have tried to capture
some of the joy, sadness and mayhem involved through showing aspects of a
few weddings that occurred during my time in Jhiri during April-May 2015.
Because the music was so loud during a lot of the wedding processions this
film does not have much dialogue. This was because it was impossible to
hear what was spoken a lot of the time. The music was so loud that even on
some occasions I recall my teeth hurt.

One important socio-linguistic aspect is that the annual exodus of women
from the village means that this particular Sanskrit language nest 'leaks'.
Viable Sanskrit-speaking women might move 50 kms away to their in-laws
home; which is what happens to one woman in the film who moves to Dungri.
No Sanskrit is spoken there and there is also a language change as well. In
Dungri people speak Hindi and not Malvi, which is the first language of
Jhiri. It is a mutually intelligible variant of the Western branch of the
Hindi family. However, unlike Hindi, which is one of India's two Official
Languages and the state language of Madhya Pradesh, Malvi suffers from a
perceived lack of prestige and is disparagingly referred to by those who do
not speak it as a 'kheti bhāṣā' or 'farmer's language'. This is one reason
that the residents of Jhiri seek to transition to Sanskrit as it is
considered to be more prestigious. It is also believed that Sanskrit will
facilitate a cultural and moral renaissance. Simply by hearing it spoken it
is believed by the promoters of spoken Sanskrit that this will help bring
about a cultural, linguistic and political shift towards creating a
theological state otherwise known as the Hindu nation. This is part an
explicit utopian aspiration to create a pan-global Hindu world and have
Sanskrit replace English as the next global lingua franca.

I hope you enjoy this latest instalment of Imagining Sanskrit Land.

All the best,

Patrick McCartney, PhD
School of Culture, History & Language
College of the Asia-Pacific
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia, 0200

Skype - psdmccartney
Phone + Whatsapp:  +61 414 954 748
Twitter - @psdmccartney

academia <https://anu-au.academia.edu/patrickmccartney>



#yogabodyANU2016 symposium


Ep1 - Imagining Sanskrit Land <https://youtu.be/jMi7tkPBbJ4>

Ep 2 - Total-am <https://youtu.be/7tAp8m9RHPU>

Ep 3 - Jalam ≠ Chillum <https://youtu.be/cLZeuCT_mwQ>

A Day in our Ashram

Stop animation short film of Shakuntala

Forced to Clean Human Waste <http://youtu.be/y3XfjbwqC_g>

One of my favourite song <http://trinityroots.bandcamp.com/track/all-we-be>s

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