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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Hindi quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Hindi tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. HindiPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Hindi teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by HindiPod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Hindi Language, Hindi Online, Learn Hindi, Site Features, Speak Hindi, Team HindiPod101

Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in India

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Are you familiar with the most important Hindu deity, Lord Ganesha? In the Hindu faith, he’s considered the god above all other gods, and multitudes of devoted Hindus worship him and celebrate his birth each year. 

In this article, HindiPod101.com will teach you all about the Ganesh Chaturthi holiday in India and how it’s celebrated today.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Ganesh Chaturthi? 

Festival of Lord Ganesh

Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of the गणेश भगवान का जन्मदिन (ganesh bhagwaan ka janmDin), or “birthday of Lord Ganesha.” He is the most important deity in Hinduism, known for having a human-like body but the head of an elephant. Lord Ganesha is revered for his role in the universe as the “Remover of Obstacles,” the “God of Success,” and the “God of New Beginnings.”

The origins of this holiday are debated, though most people agree that the celebrations began in Pune during the 1600s. Celebrations of this holiday dissipated for a time, but continued later as a way to reunite India after it had been divided by British rule. The three people most often credited with making Ganesh Chaturthi popular again are Sardar Krishnaji Khasgiwale, Lokmanya Tilak, and Bhausaheb Rangari. The latter two were freedom fighters during that time period. 

So if India is no longer under British rule, why is Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated today?

Well, like many holidays in other cultures, people grew used to the celebration over time. It simply became a way of life. That said, the सार्वजनिक समारोह (saarvajanik samaaroh), or “public celebration,” for Ganesh Chaturthi is massive and full of energy! Hindus are glad to worship Lord Ganesha for his blessings of luck and success, and they hope that in continuing to worship him, his blessings will continue to flow. 

    → Are you fascinated with religions? Check out our Religion vocabulary list to learn the names of different religions in Hindi! 

2. When is Ganesh Chaturthi This Year?

A Statue of Lord Ganesh

Each year, Ganesh Chaturthi takes place in August or September, though its exact date is determined by the moon’s cycle. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s tentative date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: August 22
  • 2021: September 9
  • 2022: August 30
  • 2023: September 18
  • 2024: September 7
  • 2025: August 26
  • 2026: September 14
  • 2027: September 4
  • 2028: August 23
  • 2029: September 11

The holiday then lasts for ten days. 

3. Ganesh Chaturthi Traditions 

Flower Garlands Used for Ganesh Chaturthi

Perhaps the most well-known aspect of this holiday is the Ganesh Chaturthi decorations, which are clay models of Ganesh statues called मिटटी से बनी गणेशजी की मूर्ती (mitti se bani ganeshji ki moorTii). Sculptors begin crafting these lovely clay statues weeks, or even months, before the holiday begins. Because every Hindu family will be purchasing at least one, this holiday is very profitable for the sculptors who lovingly design the Ganesh statues. 

Hindus place smaller versions of the statue inside their homes on an altar called Mandir; larger statues are placed in public areas on pandals. The Mandir and pandals are elaborately decorated for the occasion and are often placed in special lighting. 

Ganesh Chaturthi is a time of sincere worship for Hindu devotees, who flock to their nearest public Ganesh statue to pray and say a मंत्र (manTra), or “mantra.” Worshipers are marked with blood-red sandalwood paste on their foreheads as they arrive, and priests guide them in saying various mantras. 

Some Hindus opt to fast for the holiday, believing that doing so will please Lord Ganesha so that he blesses them. The Ganesha Chaturthi fasting procedure isn’t very strict, except that the devotee should avoid meat and alcohol at all costs. There’s also a so-called “waterless fast,” in which the devotee goes twenty-four hours without food or water. 

On Ganesh Chaturthi, special sweets called मोदक (moDak), or “Modak,” are prepared. These are ball-shaped dessert items made with jaggery and coconut, and they can be either deep-fried or steamed. Lord Ganesha is said to have loved Modak, hence its popularity on this holiday. Learn more about fasting and Ganesh Chaturthi recipes on the Times of India website

To end the ten-day worship period, Hindus perform the मूर्ती विसर्जित करना (moorTii visarjiT karna), or “idol immersion.” This is when the Lord Ganesha statues are plunged into the ocean or another body of water, where they will begin to dissolve. Because the statues are designed to give Hindus a more tangible presence to worship, the act of allowing them to dissolve in water represents the idea that even though Lord Ganesha’s presence is not always tangible, it’s always there. Some also believe that it’s a way of symbolically letting go of the things they value, and of realizing that all things eventually come to an end. 

    → See this list of Fruits and Vegetables in Hindi to learn more about what Hindus might eat on Ganesh Chaturthi, and learn the names of popular Drinks while you’re at it! 

4. The Birth of Lord Ganesha

Mantra

While there are numerous stories about Lord Ganesha, the most relevant one to this holiday is the Ganesh Chaturthi story, which talks about his birth and early life. 

Lord Ganesha was the शिव और पार्वती के पुत्र (shiv aur paarvaTii ke puTrr), or “son of Shiva and Parvati.” It’s said that the Goddess Parvati created Ganesha by making a statue of him and breathing life into it. Afterward, she told her son not to let anyone into their home while she went to take a bath. But Parvati’s husband Shiva arrived at their home shortly after this, only to be turned away by Ganesha. This turned into a bloody brawl, in which Ganesha’s head was taken off. 

Parvati, angry with her husband, convinced him to go and look for a new head for their son. But after having all the gods search for one, all they could come up with was the head of an elephant. Thus, Ganesha has the body of a human and the head of an elephant. 

After this event, Parvati named her son Ganesha, making him the god above all gods. 

5. Essential Vocabulary for Ganesh Chaturthi

An Indian Woman Praying to Lord Ganesh

Let’s review some of the Hindi vocabulary from this article! 

  • गणेश चतुर्थी (ganesh chaTurthii) – “Festival of Lord Ganesha”
  • भक्त (bhakT) – “Devotee”
  • मोदक (moDak) – “Modak”
  • सड़क पर जुलूस निकालना (sadak par juloos nikaalna) – “Street procession”
  • शिव और पार्वती के पुत्र (shiv aur paarvaTii ke puTrr) – “Son of Shiva and Parvati”
  • सार्वजनिक समारोह (saarvajanik samaaroh) – “Public celebration”
  • मंत्र (manTra) – “Mantra”
  • गणेश भगवान (ganesh bhagwaan) – “Lord Ganesh”
  • गणेश चतुर्थी (ganesh chaTurthii) – “Ganesha Chaturthi”
  • मूर्ती विसर्जित करना (moorTii visarjiT karna) – “Idol immersion”
  • गणेश विसर्जन (ganesh visarjan) – “Ganesh Visarjan”
  • मिटटी से बनी गणेशजी की मूर्ती (mitti se bani ganeshji ki moorTii) – “Clay models of Ganesh statues”
  • गणेश भगवान का जन्मदिन (ganesh bhagwaan ka janmDin) – “Birthday of Lord Ganesha”
  • फूलों का हार (foolon ka haar) – “Flower garland”

Remember that you can check out our Hindi Ganesh Chaturthi vocabulary list to study these words further and listen to their pronunciation. Don’t forget to add them to your flashcard deck! 

Final Thoughts

Doesn’t Ganesh Chaturthi sound like a huge event? It’s the ideal time for devoted Hindus to worship Lord Ganesha and receive his blessings for the coming year, so it’s no wonder! 

Are there any major religious holidays in your country similar to Ganesh Chaturthi? Tell us about them in the comments.

If you’re interested in learning more about Indian culture and holidays, HindiPod101.com has a special blog archive dedicated to these topics, so make sure you check it out. Also keep your eyes open for future blog posts like this one, and study up on other popular Indian holidays in the meantime.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi from the HindiPod101.com team!

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Eid al-Adha in India – Sacrifice and Charity

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Friends, charity, faith, and tradition come together each year on Eid al-Adha. Indian Muslims gather together for an enjoyable time and live out the values of the Muslim faith. 

In this article, you’ll learn about Eid al-Adha in India, from how it got started to how Indian Muslims celebrate today. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Eid al-Adha?

Up-close Image of a Young Goat

Eid al-Adha, often called “The Feast of the Sacrifice” in English, is one of the most important Muslim holidays worldwide. 

It originates from the story of Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his son Ismael. According to the Quran, Ibrahim had asked Allah to give him a son, and Allah did so. But as Ismael grew older, Ibrahim began having recurring dreams of slaughtering his son and realized it was an order from Allah to sacrifice his son. Upon Ibrahim telling his son this, Ismael told his father to do as Allah willed. Ibrahim prepared his son for the sacrifice and was about to slaughter him, but was stopped by a voice. This voice told him that the “vision” had already been completed. Ibrahim was given a lamb to sacrifice in Ismael’s place, and Ismael was revealed to be a righteous prophet.

Today, the Muslim celebration of this holiday focuses on selflessness and serves as a reminder that Allah blesses the faithful. Eid al-Adha is also associated with the willingness to give up cherished possessions to glorify Allah.

    → See our Religion vocabulary list to learn the names of different religions in Hindi! 

2. When is Eid al-Adha in India?

The date of Eid al-Adha varies each year on the Gregorian calendar, as it takes place on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The holiday then lasts for roughly three days. 

Here’s a list of this holiday’s tentative start date for the next ten years.

YearStart Date
2020July 31
2021July 20
2022July 10
2023June 29
2024June 17
2025June 7
2026May 27
2027May 17
2028May 6
2029April 24

Note that these dates may not be entirely accurate, and may vary. The date of Eid al-Adha is officially determined each year by professional moon-sighters, and the dates above are only expected estimates.

3. How is Eid al-Adha Celebrated?

A Muslim Family and Friend Gathering for Eid al-Adha

On the Eid al-Adha holiday, Indian Muslims gather together for ईद नमाज़ (iid namaaz), or “Eid prayer,” in mosques and in more open spaces. Many people opt to नए कपड़े पहनना (naye kapde pahan na), or “wear new clothes,” for these gatherings, and to offer each other Eid al-Adha greetings. Due to the large number of Muslims living in India, this Eid al-Adha prayer time in India is known to sometimes cause traffic or otherwise make transportation difficult, so keep this in mind if you plan on visiting! 

One of the most important Eid al-Adha observances is that of sacrificing an animal. In light of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son—and Allah’s provision of a lamb to sacrifice in Ismael’s place—many Muslims भगवान के नाम पे भेड़,गाय,बकरे,भैंस या ऊट की बलि चढ़ाना (bhagwaan ke naam pe bhed,gaye,bakre,bhains ya oot ki bali chadhaana), or “sacrifice a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo, or camel in the name of God.” 

It’s worth noting that this sacrifice is not used as an atonement for sins, and it’s said that the blood and meat of this animal don’t reach Allah at all. Rather, this sacrifice is more about selflessness and charity, and is a way of showing devotion to Allah (which pleases Him). The sacrificed animal, therefore, is usually divided into three portions: one portion for the poor and needy, one portion to bring home to one’s own family, and one portion to give away to friends and other relatives. 

Eid al-Adha in India is the perfect occasion to prepare and enjoy meat-based meals and other tasty dishes!  

4. Islam & Mosques in India

A Table Full of Food for Eid al-Adha

Did you know that India and the Arab world had trading relations long before the introduction of Islam

Perhaps it’s for this reason that Islam spread fairly quickly in India. The country has many mosques, a couple of which date back to the 600 ADs! 

You can read more about Indian mosques on Wikipedia

5. Must-Know Hindi Eid al-Adha Vocabulary 

A Lamb about to be Sacrificed

Let’s review some of the Hindi vocabulary words and phrases from this article! 

  • भेड़ [n.]

bhed

sheep

  • बकरीद [n.]

bakri id

Eid al-Adha

  • नए कपड़े पहनना

naye kapde pahan na

Wear new clothes

  • भगवान के नाम पे भेड़,गाय,बकरे,भैंस या ऊट की बलि चढ़ाना

bhagwaan ke naam pe bhed,gaye,bakre,bhains ya oot ki bali chadhaana

Sacrifice a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo, or camel in the name of God

  • बलिदान [n.]

baliDaan

Sacrifice

  • मुसलमान [n.]

musalmaan

Muslim

  • बड़ी ईद [n.]

badii iid

Greater Eid

  • गोश्त का एक तिहाई हिस्सा दोस्तों और पड़ोसियों को देना

goshT ka ek Tihaayi hissa DosTon aur padosiyon ko Dena

Give away one third of the meat to friends and neighbors

  • ईद नमाज़

iid namaaz

Eid prayer

  • परिवार और दोस्तों की महफ़िल

parivaar aur Doston ki mahfil

Family and friend gathering

  • गोश्त का एक तिहाई हिस्सा ज़रूरतमंद को देना

goshT ka ek Tihaayi hissa zaruraTmanD ko Dena

Donate one third or more of the meat to the poor and needy

  • बक्र ईद [n.]

bakr iid

Bakrid

Remember that you can find each of these words with an audio pronunciation on our Hindi Eid al-Adha vocabulary list for pronunciation practice! 

Final Thoughts

The importance of Eid al-Adha for Muslims in India can’t be overstated. This is a holiday of community, charity, and other prominent Muslim values! 

What are your thoughts on this holiday? Is there a similar celebration in your country or faith? Let us know in the comments! 

To continue learning about Indian culture and the Hindi language, check out these free resources from the HindiPod101.com blog:

Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn about Indian culture or the Hindi language, know that HindiPod101 has your back! Create your free lifetime account today and take advantage of our numerous learning tools: themed vocabulary lists, spaced-repetition flashcards, audio and video lessons, and so much more! 

Stay safe out there, and happy Hindi learning.

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The Sikh Anniversary of Guru Nanak: History & Traditions

The Sikh Anniversary of Guru Nanak

The Guru Nanak Jayanti in India is one of the most important holidays in the country for those of the Sikh religion. Each year, they celebrate the birth of the first Sikh guru, and attend other festivities throughout the celebration.

Learning about this Sikh religious holiday will provide you with a more structured framework for which to continue in your Hindi studies. As any successful language-learner can tell you, understanding a country’s culture is a step you can’t miss!

In this article, you’ll learn Guru Nanak Jayanti facts to gain more insight into the culture of India and Sikh religion, including the Guru Nanak Jayanti history and current celebrations. At HindiPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

Let’s get started, and delve into this fun and relevant aspect of Indian culture!

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1. What is the Guru Nanak Jayanti?

As we mentioned earlier, the Guru Nanak Jayanti is the largest festival in the Sikh religion. This festival, first and foremost, celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak.

There are ten Gurus in the Sikh religion, and this festival celebrates the birthday of the first Sikh guru: Guru Nanak. As you may have guessed, Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh faith. He was born in 1469 in a small village in Punjab, and he dedicated his life to spiritual ends. He preached and taught methods to achieve enlightenment, and his teachings form part of the holy book—the Guru Granth Sahib—and are frequently sung in hymnals.

2. Guru Nanak Jayanti Date

Man Wearing Turban

Each year, the Guru Nanak Jayanti takes place on a different date, though it’s usually in November. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: November 12
  • 2020: November 30
  • 2021: November 19
  • 2022: November 8
  • 2023: November 27
  • 2024: November 15
  • 2025: November 5
  • 2026: November 24
  • 2027: November 14
  • 2028: December 2

3. Guru Nanak Jayanti Activities & Traditions

Giddha

A few days before Guruparv, all Sikh temples (Gurudwaras) are decorated with lights, and street processions move through cities and towns singing religious hymns. In these processions, five disciples called Panj Pyare lead the way. Panj Pyare are five learned men of the Khalsa Sect who have dedicated their lives to the cause of community service and protection. In these processions, the Sikh flag, called Nishan Sahib, waves proudly as the group walks on singing hymns and displaying the traditional Sikh martial art, Gatka.

The day of the Guru Nanak birthday celebration (Guruparv) starts with hymns and prayers. Throughout the day, people listen to religious sermons and spiritual (Dharmik) speeches. Special community meals called Langar are organized in the temples, and people enthusiastically participate in the celebrations with their families. Guruparv is celebrated in gurudwaras all over India, but these celebrations are most prominent in the states of Punjab and Haryana.

The Guru Granth Sahib has 1,430 pages, and for every Guruparv, the entire text is read without pause. This is called the Akhand Path and takes forty-eight hours to complete. The Akhand Path is considered sanctifying, and many people attend Gurudwaras just to listen to it.

4. What is Langar?

Earlier, we mentioned a special meal called Langar, which is served in Sikh temples every day, and especially on the auspicious day of Guruparv. But what is the meaning of Langar?

Langar means “service” and refers to the kitchen run in Sikh temples where every visitor is offered a free meal. Langar food is vegetarian so that people of any faith or diet may participate. This tradition was started by Guru Nanak.

5. Essential Vocabulary for Guru Nanak Jayanti

Sikhism

Here’s some Hindi vocabulary you should know for the Guru Nanak Jayanti festival!

  • गिद्धा (giddha) — Giddha
  • पंजाब (punjab) — Punjab
  • ननकाना साहिब (nankana sahib) — Nankana Sahib
  • सिख (sikh) — Sikhism
  • पहले सिख गुरु (pehle sikh guru) — First sikh guru
  • गुरुद्वारा (gurudwara) — Gurudwara
  • गोल्डन टेंपल (goldan temple) — Golden Temple
  • अमृतसर (amritsar) — Amritsar
  • पगड़ी (pagdi) — Turban
  • गुरु ग्रंथ साहिब (Giddha) — Guru Granth Sahib
  • भंगरा (Bhangra) — Bhangra

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Guru Nanak Jayanti vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about how Nanak Jayanti is celebrated, and that you learned something new! How are important figures’ birthdays celebrated in your own country? Similarly, or very different from the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak? Let us know in the comments!

Learning about a country’s culture and history may be the most enriching and fascinating aspects of trying to master its language. If more cultural information is what you’re after, you may find the following pages helpful:

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Hindu Holidays: Celebrating the Onam Festival in India

Onam Festival in India

The Onam Festival is a ten-day-long celebration in Kerala that welcomes the return of its previous king Mahabali. Tradition holds that Mahabali was both generous and kind, and today, he visits his former kingdom each year during Onam.

This is one of India’s grandest festivals, with many unique traditions that reflect the culture and history of this country.

In this article, you’ll learn all about Onam—at HindiPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Onam?

Onam is a popular and essential festival for the people of Kerala.

According to the holiday’s legend, the kind and generous former king of Kerala, named Mahabali, visits his people during this massive festival each year. Mahabali is known for giving up all of his kingdoms to Lord Vishu, who visited him in the form of a dwarf named Vaman, and he, himself went to the underworld.

Thus, the people of Kerala seek to celebrate the visitation of such a wonderful and generous king.

2. When is Onam?

10-Day Holiday

Kerala celebrates the Onam Festival during the first month of the Malayalam calendar. As such, the date of Onam varies each year on the Gregorian calendar. For your convenience, we’ve composed a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: September 11
  • 2020: August 31
  • 2021: August 21
  • 2022: September 8
  • 2023: August 29
  • 2024: September 15
  • 2025: September 5
  • 2026: August 26
  • 2027: September 12
  • 2028: September 1

3. Onam Celebrations & Traditions

People Eating a Big Lunch

This festival is celebrated for ten days, and the tenth day is called Thiruonam, which is very important.

During this festival, people bring colorful flowers from gardens and market places, and decorate the courtyard of their houses. Women make beautiful flower designs (rangoli) in the courtyard and decorate with lamps.

The special feature of this flower design is that it’s round in shape, and for each of the ten days of the Onam festival, another round circle of flowers is added. These flower designs are called Pukkolam

Women perform a special dance called Keikottikkali around this circle of flowers, while singing melodius, rhythmic songs.

The most enchanting event of this festival? Most certainly the Snake Boat Race called called Vallamkali or “water race.”

These boats are shaped like a snake and are rowed by about forty to one hundred paddlers. Like the dancers, the boatmen sing rhythmic songs, and paddle to the rhythms. This event gains much enthusiasm and excitement from the audience!

4. Onam Sadya & Payasam

Now for everyone’s favorite topic: traditional food!

On Onam, as well as many other important holidays and events in India, people eat something called sadya. Essentially, this is a vegetarian meal that consists of multiple dishes, which is plated on a banana leaf. People eat sadya with their right hand, while sitting on mats.

Payasam (also called Kheer), is a special rice pudding. Typically, it’s made with boiled milk, sugar, and some type of grain; its flavor is then enhanced dried fruit or nuts.

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Onam

Flower Floor Decoration

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Onam in India!

  • ओणम (oNam) — Onam
  • दस दिन तक चलना (Das Din Tak chalna) — Last for ten days
  • पूकलम (Pookalam) — Flower floor decoration
  • नौका दौड़ (nauka daud) — Boat Race
  • दावत (DaavaT) — Banquet lunch
  • घर वापसी (ghar vaapassi) — Homecoming
  • पायसम (paayasam) — Payasam
  • नए कपड़े (naye kapde) — New clothes
  • महान सम्राट (mahaan samraat) — Great king
  • सम्राट महाबली (samraat bahaabali) — Emperor Mahabali

To hear each of these Hindi vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Onam vocabulary list! Here, you’ll also find relevant images alongside each word to help you better remember what they mean. 🙂

How HindiPod101 Can Help You Learn About Hindu Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Onam Festival with us! Which of the celebrations we talked about sounds the most interesting to you, and why? We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

To continue learning about Hindi culture and the language, explore HindiPod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

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We hope you’ll give your Hindu friends nice Onam wishes and a “Happy Onam!” (हैप्पी ओणम!).

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Body Language and Popular Gestures’ Meaning in Hindi

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The art of body language is a powerful tool for decoding someone’s state of mind. In fact, gestures form a whopping 55% of total communication made by a person. Undeniably, it’s the most important type of nonverbal communication among human beings, which makes it important to learn gestures’ meaning in Hindi, as well as those in other languages and cultures.

Every country in the world has its own typical set of body language. In fact, a certain gesture in one country may give off a completely different meaning in another country. That’s what makes the whole genre of nonverbal communication so unique. In this article, we’ll be going over Hindi body language tips and more, because gestures when speaking in Hindi are of great importance. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Hindi Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

Table of Contents

  1. Importance of Indian Gestures: An Overview
  2. Understanding Indian Culture
  3. Common Gestures in Indian Society
  4. Study Indian Gestures and Phrases with HindiPod101.com

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1. Importance of Indian Gestures: An Overview

Talking about gestures, Indian culture has a very diverse and rich history. Indians are quite emotional and expressive. That’s why body language in India comprises of many hand gestures and head nodding during a conversation.

The literal Hindi meaning of “gesture” is ‘हाव-भाव’ (haav-bhaav), whereas “body language,” meaning in Hindi is ‘शारीरिक हाव-भाव’ (saariirik haav-bhaav). Having trouble pronouncing these words? Start with our free lesson on basic Hindi pronunciation tips.

With different Hindi gestures, people also express their sense of basic emotions, such as respect, joy, wonder, sadness, or disappointment. Relying on various gestures in India for emotional expression is so much a part of our culture that we do it all the time without even noticing it. For example, in India, body language is a great way to find out whether someone is really into the conversation or not. The fact may surprise you, but in India, gestures and greetings are mostly followed by a variety of typical Hindi words.

And now that you’ve learned gestures’ meaning in Hindi, we invite you to visit our HindiPod101.com blog to learn more about Indian culture and diversity.

You can also check out a number of body language books in Hindi to get a glimpse into Indian non-verbal communication.

2. Understanding Indian Culture

Before we delve into the subject of body language in Hindi, here are some unspoken yet common etiquette rules to keep in mind when meeting with the native people socially:

Using Right Hand While Cooking and Eating

  • Hugging and Touching: As traditional values still hold a high place in Indian society, hugging and touching between opposite genders in public isn’t taken very well.
  • Shoes and Footwear: You might also see people taking off their shoes before entering houses or the kitchen area.
    Wearing footwear to any religious place is strictly a no-no. Whether you’re visiting a temple, mosque, or gurudwara, remember to take off your shoes before entering.
  • Eating Meals: It sounds like too much, but when visiting the country, eat your meals with your right hand. Using the left hand for meals is frowned upon, without exception.
    Wondering about Indian food already? Check out the lip-smacking delicacies from Indian Cuisine.
  • Clothing: Lastly, people are also sensitive about what you wear and how you dress. However, this may not be the case when you’re in certain metropolitan cities.
    But in small towns and streets, you’ll be more comfortable in an attire that properly covers your body and is not very revealing.

As you can see, there are some specifics you should understand about gesture meanings in Hindi. Read more on the Do’s & Don’ts in Indian society to make your stay easier and more culturally appropriate.

3. Common Gestures in Indian Society

Indian hand gestures

In India, gestures reflect the state of mind. The moment you take your first step in this country, be ready to get pampered with lots of warmth and personal attention. Indian people leave no stone unturned when it comes to welcoming their guests.

While Indians expect their local gestures and phrases to be nothing less than a mind-wrenching riddle for a person who’s from a totally different part of the world, wouldn’t it be great to win their hearts with just a little bit of homework on your part?

And what better way to impress them than by showing your love with an Indian greeting gesture?

We’ll also teach you about some funny Indian gestures and what qualifies as rude hand gestures in India. Most gestures are okay to use in public as they show your positive involvement and respect. There are many body gesture meanings in Hindi, so we’ll do our best to cover these.

However, it’s better to avoid some forms of body language that may offend the other person. Even the native people stay clear of them.

So, let’s decode the most popular gestures and rules in the art of body language that India practices in its everyday life. Here are the most common body language gestures in Hindi!

1- Positive Gestures

Positive gestures are exchanged for sharing joy, positive vibes, and respect. All the positive gestures described below are completely okay to use in a public place.

1.) Joining Hands for Namaste

Namaste or Namaskar

The first gesture we’re going to talk about is how to greet in Hindi. It’s also one of the most common hand gestures in Hindi.

  • It’s called नमस्ते (NamaSTe) or नमस्कार (NamaSkaar).
  • Whenever you meet an elder person or someone of the opposite gender, this is the perfect way to greet them.
  • While saying नमस्ते (NamaSTe), join the palms of your hands, in such a way that they’re placed near your chest, then slightly bow your head with a gentle smile on your face.
Quick Tip

This gesture isn’t required when you’re meeting someone of your own age and gender. You can use a quick “hello” for them, as well as for kids.

Also keep in mind that in Hindu religion, the same hand gesture is used while praying to God.

2.) Touching the Feet of Elders

Elderly people who are either close relatives, or parents/grandparents of your friends and spouse, are usually addressed by touching their feet.

  • It’s a symbol of your deep respect toward them, and is yet another way to express your gratitude for older people, where a simple नमस्ते (NamaSTe) wouldn’t suffice.
  • The same gesture is also used to ask for their blessings.
  • When meeting aged folks, stand at a comfortable distance.
  • Slowly bend your upper body and touch their feet. While doing so, you should say प्रणाम (pranaam).
Quick Tip

The ideal way to do this is by using both hands. However, people aren’t that particular about it nowadays and this gesture can be seen using just one hand as well.

But one thing’s for sure: touching the feet is a sure shot way to melt their hearts!

3.) Blessing the Young Ones by Placing Your Palm on Their Head

Naturally, this comes as an immediate response to the gesture described above.

  • The elders are supposed to lovingly touch the young ones by placing their palm on their head. By placing their palm, they intend to bless you with positive vibes as well as wish you joy.
  • Usually, elderly people can be heard saying, जीते रहो (jiiTe raho) to males and जीती रहो (jiiTii raho) to females. The phrase means “have a long and satisfying life.”
Quick Tip

If someone younger is touching your feet, you should respond by doing this gesture.

In case you’re the one who’s touching the feet, wait for a second to allow them enough time so that they can bless you.

4.) Hugging

Hugging Gesture

The hugging gesture is practiced by Indians as a tender display of affection. This is one of the most affectionate body language signs in Hindi.

  • People hug their friends and cousins, those in the same age group, and those of the same gender.
  • The elders shower their love by hugging their kids and grandchildren.
  • Festivals like Holi and Eid are especially celebrated by hugging each other.
Quick Tip

While hugging, you can casually say, कैसे हो (kaiSe ho) to men and कैसी हो (kaiSii ho) to women.

Irrespective of the occasion and Indian traditions, we suggest that you don’t share a hug with the opposite sex.

5.) Saying “Wow” Using One Hand

The Gesture for “Superb” or “Wow”

In Hindi, hand gestures translate to हाथ के इशारे (haaTH ke isaare).

  • The one we’re talking about now is a hand gesture that says “Wow!” or “Superb.”
  • Hindi translations for these words are वाह! (vaah!) or ज़बरदस्त (zabaraDaST).
  • The gesture is made by touching the tips of the index finger and the thumb so that it forms a circle.
Quick Tip

It’s a casual sign which serves the purpose of complimenting someone out of affection, and is usually exchanged between friends and couples.

The “Wow” sign is also used for praising someone’s picture on social media.

6.) Thumbs-Up

The Thumbs-Up Sign

  • This is a cool sign that confirms an approval, such as “We’re all set!” It’s also used to wish luck.
  • It’s shared between classmates, often before exams, any competition, or a performance, in order to drive away nervousness.
  • In short, with a “Thumbs-Up” sign, you’re saying “It’s going to be great!”
  • The Hindi translation for the phrase is सब बढ़िया होगा (Sab badhiyaa hogaa).

7.) Subtle Nodding Along

Nodding Along When Listening to Others

  • This is a non-verbal communication that’s really effective. It’s a delicate way of assuring the speaker that you’re listening intently.
  • Nodding the head also stands as a symbol of your warmth and empathy toward the other person. You should also maintain eye contact (but not too much!) to establish trust. Eye contact meaning in Hindi can vary, but in this case it will be much appreciated.
  • In such situations, you could always use Hindi phrases like, सही बात है (Sahii baaT hai) to say “That’s right” or expressions such as “Hmm” (हम्म [hmm]).
Quick Tip

This gesture is more powerful when it comes naturally to you. Indians are emotionally sensitive and thus their judgement depends quite a lot on nonverbal gestures.

If you have a rather cold or stern body language, they might interpret it as disinterest in the conversation. It’s good to keep warm facial expressions in Hindi conversation.

8.) Joining Palms Sideways When Prasad is Given

Joining Palms Sideways

Joining palms is a hand gesture that’s displayed in particular situations only.

  • With open palms facing upward, join them sideways.
  • The palms should be gently curved so that anything offered doesn’t fall out of your hands.
  • Your head should be slightly tilted forward.
Quick Tip

This gesture is a common sight in temples and places of worship. People use this hand gesture while accepting sacred offerings (usually something sweet) after the worshipping is over.

The sacred offering is known as प्रसाद (praSaaD).

It’s not advised to perform the gesture during normal meals.

2- Negative Gestures

Negative gestures are used in extreme conditions, but they’re better to stay away from in a public place.

1.) Showing the Slap Gesture

  • The slap gesture is given with a tilted but straight and open palm.
  • In India, parents often use this gesture to warn their mischievous kids, and adults use the slap gesture to threaten each other during a serious verbal fight.
  • It’s more common to come up between two strangers as opposed to family members, as the gesture is too harsh to be practiced by adults within the family.
  • It’s better to avoid using it at all costs.

2.) Little Finger for Taking a Pee

Showing the Little Finger to Take a Pee

  • Though not specifically Indian, raising a little finger means you urgently need to take a leak.
  • Kids are most likely to use this with their parents to avoid embarrassment, especially in a public place or in front of guests, though adults also use it in their friend circle.
  • Men use this gesture more than women.
  • However, this gesture isn’t considered very polite. So skip it in the office or in front of your female friends.

3.) Side-to-Side Head Shaking for a “No”

Saying “No” with a Head Shake

  • Indians aren’t offended by a “No.” Still, they could do with a slightly softer tone.
  • Body language that involves clear hand movements and side-to-side head nodding is considered quite harsh.
  • If possible, don’t be too direct in disagreeing with or rejecting an offer. Instead, go for gentler words that indicate your negation in a respectful way.
  • Indians can quickly catch your “no” even when that word hasn’t even been uttered.

4.) Hands on Waist When Talking to Elders

Hands on Waist

Another posture that’s better to stay clear of is the “hands on waist” gesture.

  • In plain words, it’s only offensive during an argument with your elders. In other cases, it’s quite a normal gesture.
  • To be honest, a lot depends on the nature of the conversation. For instance, when talking to a friend or colleague about a neutral or pleasant topic, putting your hands on your waist indicates a sense of jolliness and frankness. It also shows that you’re enjoying the talk.

4. Study Indian Gestures and Phrases with HindiPod101.com

HindiPod101.com is a great platform to help you understand the rich and varied cultural habits of India, including the Hindi body language tips we went over in this article. Now, you can easily gain more command over the Hindi language while learning about different body gestures displayed in India and their meanings. Further, there’s also much to learn about Indian cuisine, festivals, and many survival phrases to be used in India.

For a foreigner, using these words may not come as easily as you would think. To understand Indian body language, Hindi knowledge becomes an inevitable prerequisite.

And for that, HindiPod101.com is here to help you with everything you need, from getting familiar with Hindi alphabets to free tutorials on Hindi grammar.

Having acquired a command over the simple words and phrases used in Hindi language, things will become less complicated from there on.

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    This may be one of the most rewarding parts of learning a new language. You’ll be able to get to know speakers of other languages on a more personal level. Meeting people from around the world is one of the main reasons people begin to study a language, so don’t ever feel like making new friends isn’t a good enough reason to start studying!

    Exploring A Different Culture
    Whether you decide to live abroad, or you’re just taking a vacation, knowing the local language will give you the ability to better understand the people and culture of a different country. This can open your eyes to not only their country, but your country as well! You can understand how people see your home from their perspective.

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    Health Benefits
    Good news! Studying a new language actually comes with health benefits! Studying a new language helps keep your brain sharp! By studying every day, you’re helping your mind fight off the old age and stay fresh!

    Because It’s Fun
    When it comes down to it, learning a new language is just plain fun! There’s always something new to learn and the rewards are endless! Whether your goal is to meet new people or to get a job in a new country, language learning is something that is actually enjoyable!

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