Online Youth Network Based in Maryland Promotes Speaking of Sanskrit

July 16, 2006

Source: NetIndia123

On July 16, 2006 NetIndia123 reported, "What do the Bollywood blockbuster 'Sholay' or the popular Hindi film song 'Aati Kya Khandala' from the Aamir Khan starrer 'Ghulam' have to do with Sanskrit? Well, a recently launched web portal by a group of youngsters in the US directs you to a video of a 'Sholay' skit and the 'Aati Kya Khandala' song - both in Sanskrit - that they performed at an Indian event in the U.S. This is one of the many new methods that the 'umd_samskritam' group, comprising students at the University of Maryland and young professionals from the area, have adopted to promote spoken Sanskrit in daily life. The group launched their web site July 11. The youth network believes that there is a lot of practical value in the classical language of India, which also is the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism apart from being the oldest attested Indo-European language. 'umd_samskritam' began as a collaboration between DESI, a student group at the University of Maryland, and Samskrita Bharati, a voluntary NGO [non-governmental organization] that seeks to promote Sanskrit, in February 2005, with the intention of introducing spoken Sanskrit in daily life. Its motto is 'Rachayema Samskrita Bhuvanam,' which means 'We shall create a Sanskrit world.' And they have had some success, at least online, for a start. Having grown to over 160 members and about 15 volunteers by May 2006, the group pushed for their web site, in addition to coordinating Sanskrit activities in the Washington D.C. area. The web site aims to function as a repository of Sanskrit resources, link together Sanskrit activities around the world and 'promote Sanskrit through fun" as well as encourage online activities such as blogging and forums.'"