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Lesson Transcript

Maya: Hi and welcome back to All About Hindi, lesson 8. Top Five Things You Need to Know About Indian Society. I am Maya.
Manasi: Namaste dosto. Mera naam Manasi hai. Hi everybody, my name is Manasi.
Maya: In this lesson, we are going to tell you more about life in India.
Manasi: There are so many aspects to Indian society. It’s just hard to know where to begin.
Maya: Well since the title of this lesson is top five things you need to know about Indian society, I picked five topics.
Manasi: Which are

Lesson focus

Maya: India’s city life, family life, India’s work culture, politics and general trends.
Manasi: Wow! We are all set then right?
Maya: Right. Why don’t we start with city life?
Manasi: India is divided into 28 states and 7 union territories and New Delhi is the capital city.
Maya: According to the 2004 census of India, there were an estimated 15, 279,000 people living in the city of Delhi. That’s a huge number and it explains why Delhi is so crowded.
Manasi: And Maya, did you know that Delhi’s official name is National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Maya: Oh I see! Because of the migration of people from across the country, Delhi has grown to be a multicultural cosmopolitan metropolis.
Manasi: Yeah that’s true. Delhi has expanded in terms of population very fast due to the success of education, work, infrastructure, services and tourism there.
Maya: Manasi, can you tell us more about the climate in Delhi?
Manasi: Delhi features an atypical version of a humid subtropical climate with long, very hot summers and brief mild winters.
Maya: How about transportation in Delhi?
Manasi: The Delhi Metro is a mass rapid transit system built and operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Maya: It serves many parts of Delhi as well as the satellite city of Noida and neighboring Uttar Pradesh right?
Manasi: Yes. In Delhi, Auto Rickshaws are a popular means of public transportation.
Maya: As they charge a lower fare than taxis.
Manasi: India’s next major city is Mumbai.
Maya: Ah it is really famous.
Manasi: Yes. Mumbai is the capital city of the state of Maharashtra and it is also the financial capital of India.
Maya: Also it is the second most populous city in the world.
Manasi: That’s right. Another major city is Bangalore.
Maya: Are you talking about the Silicon Valley of India?
Manasi: Exactly. Numerous public sector industries software, telecommunication and aerospace industries are located in Bangalore.
Maya: Can you tell us more about the family life in a big city like Delhi?
Manasi: Well there are a few interesting things to note. One is that you won’t see as many big families in Delhi as compared to other cities.
Maya: It’s very common for three generations the children, parents and their grandparents to live together in the same household. However, a trend towards nuclear families can be seen in Delhi.
Manasi: Also something that is kind of surprising is how long children live with their parents. Well into their adult years, sometimes even until they get married.
Maya: Wow, that’s quite a big difference I think compared to the US. In the US, there would come a time when most parents would say, okay you’ve been here long enough, time for you to go out and live on your own. I can’t really imagine any Indian parent saying that.
Manasi: Oh no and speaking about marriage, marriage is thought to be for life and the divorce rate is extremely low.
Maya: It used to be like that. You should be married by the time you are 25 or else it’s too late.
Manasi: Well some people think like that however things are changing especially in big cities.
Maya: Why is that?
Manasi: Umm well, there are a lot of different factors that contribute to it. People are less willing to settle and are choosier about their partners. A lot of young women these days value their career and in some cases getting married will hinder advances in their career. So there are a lot of other things too.
Maya: But it looks like parents will still encourage their children to marry once they reach a certain age.
Manasi: That’s true. Some parents might even have a matchmaking service help with a search for a partner.
Maya: Umm that’s interesting. Well let’s now talk about Indian work culture. Is there any unique facets of Indian culture?
Manasi: Yes Indian stretchable time has been known to drive some up the wall.
Maya: Right. A business meeting beginning half an hour after the scheduled time is not uncommon.
Manasi: Exactly. Late coming while not encouraged is not punishable either.
Maya: How about work life balance? Do you have very long working hours?
Manasi: Well luckily for the Indian white collared jobs, work life balance is quite good.
Maya: Well that sounds good.
Manasi: Well one more thing you should keep in mind is that kisses, hugs and familiar touches are very uncommon in Indian culture.
Maya: What about meals at the workplace?
Manasi: We have the Tiffin system where in stay at home moms prepare food, package it and send it to the workplace and it is very popular.
Maya: That’s really great. The system allows you to savor a home cooked meal at a relatively low price.
Manasi: Yes that’s true however multinationals have cafeterias which offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian food at a very subsidized rate.
Maya: Right. Let’s now go into politics for a moment. The president of India is the head of state.
Manasi: That’s correct.
Maya: But what is the role of the prime minister?
Manasi: Well that’s a good question. The prime minister is the head of government and exercises most executive powers.
Maya: I see. How old do people have to be in India to vote?
Manasi: 18 is the age that people can vote.
Maya: So that doesn’t change much from other countries. Finally, let’s talk about general trends in India.
Manasi: There are some generational trends that I want to talk about. Indian society is changing quickly in a lot of ways.
Maya: So a lot of people probably aren’t doing things the way their grandparents or even parents did before them.
Manasi: Yes like the lifelong employment system. The older generation was really loyal to the company they worked for. They would work a lot of overtime most of which was unpaid and just for the good of the company.
Maya: The younger generation on the other hand doesn’t seem to really have the same mindset.
Manasi: And that’s correct. I think the attitudes are changing.
Maya: These days, it doesn’t seem like changing jobs is really a big deal anymore. If there is something that they are not satisfied with, they will find a new company to work for.
Manasi: That’s right. You might be able to say that they have a more of their own interest in mind.
Maya: But members of the older generation might see this as being selfish but it will be interesting to see how the generations continue to change.
Manasi: Well that’s a glimpse into the Indian society of today.
Maya: We hope you’ve learned a lot. We certainly covered a lot of information.
Manasi: That’s right and you will get to learn much more in the next all about Hindi series. Listeners, do you know the powerful secret behind rapid progress?
Maya: Using the entire system…
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Maya: Go to hindipod101.com and download the lesson notes for this lesson right now. See you next time.
Manasi: Phir milenge. Goodbye.