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Lesson Transcript

Manasi: [Namaste hindipod101.com mein swagat hai]
Maya: Hi everyone and welcome back to hindipod101.com. All about Lesson 9. Important Dates During the Indian Calendar Year.
Manasi: [Namaste] Hi everybody, Manasi here. So Maya, what are we going to be talking about in this lesson?
Maya: The top five most important holidays in India.
Manasi: Well India has a lot of interesting celebrations through the year. In this lesson, we are going to learn about five holidays that are near and dear to the hearts of Indian people.

Lesson focus

Maya: We will be going in reverse order though which means we will start with #5 and coming in at #5 is
Manasi: Gandhi Jayanthi.
Maya: So Manasi, doesn’t this holiday mark the birth of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi?
Manasi: Yes the father of the nation or Mahatma Gandhi as he was fondly called was born on October 2nd, 1869. Maya, did you know that the 2nd of October is also celebrated as the international day of nonviolence?
Maya: Yes the United Nations General Assembly announced on June 15, 2007 that it adopted a resolution that declared the 2nd of October will be celebrated as the international day of nonviolence.
Manasi: Also on this day in India, liquor is neither sold nor consumed in his honor.
Maya: That sounds nice. What comes in at #4?
Manasi: At #4, we have Diwali which is actually a series of holidays celebrated in India.
Maya: This is a significant festival for people from various religious beliefs like Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also celebrated in many different countries other than India like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.
Manasi: As per the western calendar, it mostly occurs between end of September and mid-November but the dates vary each year. It is also known as Deepavali which means festival of light. Manasi, I’ve seen a lot of colorful pictures and videos of Diwali celebrations. People lighting small clay lamps filled with oil, beautiful designs made from colored powder in front of the houses and also colorful lanterns.
Manasi: Yes. The clay lamps called diyas signify the triumph of good over evil within each individual. The powder designs are called Rangoli and the lanterns are called candle. Diwali is a time when all the family members get together and celebrate. I still remember when I was young and my grandparents house used to be filled with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. The entire house used to be filled with the smell of mouthwatering snacks and special sweet dishes. In the evenings, we used to all get dressed up in new clothes and after the puja, we used to light firecrackers outside.
Maya: Wow that sure sounds like fun. Do you still celebrate it that way?
Manasi: Well now with the nuclear family system and also with most of the young generation working away from home, Diwali is not a grand affair anymore but it is still a big festival and we do love to get together with our families.
Maya: I see. What do we have next on our list?
Manasi: At #3 is Krishna Janmastami.
Maya: I know that one. I read that it’s a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna who is an avatar of the Hindu deity, Vishnu.
Manasi: That’s true. Krishna Janmastami is observed on the [ashtmi tithi] or [krishna paksha] of the month of [bhadra] in the Hindu calendar.
Maya: That’s similar to mid-August to mid-September in the Gregorian calendar. So how do you celebrate it?
Manasi: Well, one of the most popular ways to celebrate is to play [dahi handi]
Maya: Do you also play it?
Manasi: Well no, I normally enjoy watching it. It’s where teams of young men form a human pyramid to reach a high hanging pot of butter and break it.
Maya: Oh wow! And how high is the pot?
Manasi: Well, it can be as high as ten storeys’.
Maya: That’s really high. Manasi, what’s second on our list?
Manasi: January 26th, the Republic Day of India.
Maya: And how do you celebrate it?
Manasi: Indians decorate their houses, shops, companies and other buildings with a flag of India. Many places organize illuminations to mark the importance of this occasion. Also every year, a grand parade is held in the capital city of New Delhi.
Maya: That sounds interesting. So now, we are at the top of the list. The most important holiday in India is
Manasi: India’s Independence Day.
Maya: Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th right?
Manasi: Yeah to commemorate its independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation on that day in 1947. Flag hoisting ceremonies are held all over the country. We pay tribute to all the freedom fighters who gave their lives for the freedom of our country.
Maya: It sure sounds like all the celebrations in India are full of colors and festivity.
Manasi: Yeah that’s true. Well listeners, ever have any Hindi language or lesson related questions?
Maya: Or maybe you have some feedback for us.
Manasi: Leave us a comment or ask a question on the lessons page.
Maya: It’s super simple. Go to hindipod101.com
Manasi: Click on comments
Maya: Enter your comment and name


Manasi: And that’s it.
Maya: Commenting is a great way to practice writing and reading in Hindi.
Manasi: It helps you learn faster
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Manasi: No excuses.
Maya: Go to hindipod101.com and comment now.
Manasi: Now. [fir milenge] Goodbye.
Maya: Goodbye.