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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in India Lesson 18 - Teachers’ Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in India Series at HindiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hindi holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 18, Teachers’ Day. In Hindi, it’s called Shikshak Divas.
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan served India both as its first Vice President and as the nation’s second President. He was awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1954. Do you know how he is related to Teachers' Day? This holiday, celebrated every year on September 5, is the subject of this lesson.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
There’s an ancient tale in India that focuses on the honor of being a teacher and the duty students have toward them. Do you know this tale?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
September 5th has been celebrated as Teachers' Day since 1962, and on this day teachers, or Adhyapak, are honored for their contribution to society. Indian tradition accords high reverence to teachers and Gurus, even to the extent that in ancient times, disciples were expected to do absolutely anything their teacher asked. In India today, Teachers' Day is technically not an official holiday – rather, special functions are organized informally at schools, or Skools, and colleges, or Kolleges, to mark the occasion.
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan believed that teachers in any country should be among the wisest and most intelligent. Hailing from a small village near Chennai, he rose to prominence through his academic achievements. He excelled in his undergraduate and later his postgraduate studies, which were entirely funded through merit-based scholarships. He then became a lecturer in philosophy and psychology, and publicized Indian philosophy globally through his writings and lectures. This is why his birthday is celebrated in India as Teachers' Day.
The celebrations in school on this day always begin with a speech, or Bhashan. Teachers are recognized and thanked for their contributions, and children make various presentations dedicated to their teachers. In many schools, students, or Vidyarthi, will take on the role of teacher for the day, and lead their teachers through a number of fun activities. Not only is this day an opportunity to pay respect to the critical work that teachers do, it’s also a chance to strengthen and deepen the unique relationship between teachers and students.
It was Dr Radhakrishnan’s wish that September 5th not be marked as a day of remembrance of his birth, but rather as an occasion to honor all teachers in India. After his death, his students kept true to his wishes by establishing the day as India’s Teachers’ Day.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
There’s an ancient tale in India that focuses on the honor of being a teacher and the duty students have toward them. Do you know this tale?
It’s the story of Eklavya, who was trained to excellence in archery by his teacher Guru Dronacharya. When his Guru demanded Eklavya’s thumb as payment for his teachings, Eklavya obeyed, cutting it off without hesitation. His skills in archery went to waste, but this didn't deter him from his loyalty and devotion to his teacher.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you celebrate a similar day in your country as well?
Leave us a comment telling us at HindiPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you celebrate a similar day in your country as well?